The Torch Anti-Fascist Network’s Conference Comes to Philadelphia

In 2013, an announcement came from Anti-Racist Action in the U.S. for a new way forward, called The Torch Anti-Fascist Network.  This would be a way to create local organizations in a coordinated way across the U.S. to combat fascist organizing as it was clearly on the rise.  Last year, they had their first conference to draw people into the organizing effort and continue the discussion on tactics and organizing.  Now, November 7-8th is going to be the 2nd Annual Torch Anti-Fascist Network’s Conference, which is hosted in Philadelphia by Philly Antifa.

Their announcement outlines more about the need for coordinated anti-fascist organizing, and how the conference is put together.

This November 7th and 8th Antifa Philadelphia is proud to host the 2nd annual Torch Antifascist Network conference. The Torch Antifa network is comprised of autonomous Antifascist groups who share information and resources. We expose, oppose and confront Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, Anti-migrant and Anti-Choice groups and individuals, as well as other bigots and fascists.

For more info on our analysis of fascism and our points of unity, as well as contact info for our chapters, go to our website.

We do not believe that these groups are a small problem. Thousands upon thousands of act of violence and discrimination are perpetrated in this country by people who belong to these organizations every year. Thousands more by people who may not hold formal membership from fear or laziness but have similar beliefs. These cases are isolated and minimized as much as possible because the media has no interest in vilifying sexists or white supremacists the way they do Muslims, Black people and environmentalists.

In reality groups like American Freedom Party, Blood and Honor USA and the KKK recruit, train and embolden the “lone wolf” shooters, bombers and bashers. They also profit from it in money and privilege while injecting their racist, sexist and homophobic analysis into the mainstream political dialogue and making any sort of better world impossible.

The tactics of Torch and groups like us have proven effective time and time again for years all over the world for neutralizing our enemies organizing abilities and recruiting methods. Because Antifa represent another example of people power trumping state authority, specifically its desire to coddle racists and fascists, repression for Antifascists has become a normal expectation. This, partnered with the danger represented by the Fascists themselves, makes attending this conference all the more crucial.

We are calling on all Anti-Racists, Anti-Fascists and egalitarians to join us in Philadelphia this fall to Network and socialize and maybe get involved in Torch.

This conference will include both a public and private portion. The public portion will be open to all interested (no Fascists, obviously). More information on exact events will be released as the conference approaches. The private portion will be only for Torch Network members and potential members who have been vouched in. So crews looking to join the network should contact us via the closest chapter to you (contact info below) as soon as possible.

Housing is available to vouched Antifascists. Food will be provided at the public events.

If interested in attending the conference, send us an e-mail at PhillyAntifascists@gmail.com with “Torch Conference” as the subject line.

In Solidarity,
Antifa Philadelphia and the rest of the TORCH Antifa Network

The White Nationalist H.L. Mencken Club Coming to Baltimore

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Many people have been focusing on the upcoming National Policy Institute conference as this makes up much of the intellectual core of the white nationalist movement in the United States.  NPI, which is run by Richard Spencer, has brought together some of the most popular pseudo-intellectuals and fringe speakers to pull at their central theme, “The Identity and Spirit of Our People.”  This theme is almost identical to all of their other ones, yet it seems like the veneer of respectability they crafted so thoroughly is slipping a little more every year.  That mirage of academia is, however, still very much in tact for the H.L. Mencken Club.

This conference is not one that you will likely have heard about as it is even more insular than the NPI yearly conference, but it attracts largely the same crowd.  Before Richard Spencer went on to take over NPI and start its regular conference, he was still busy editing the pan-far-right Alternative Right website.  During this period he was involved with the H.L. Mencken Club, which brings together academic reactionaries from around the world.  In years past, the Club hosted speakers on a range of subjects like why entering WWII was a disaster, why we need to reclaim a “WASP elite,” and the importance of eugenics.  Like NPI, there tends to be a common acceptance of scientific racist notions like Human Biological Diversity and the need for white identity, yet they have worked hard to continue to serve a very particular audience.

Pat Buchanan(left), Paul Gottfried(center), and Richard Spencer(right), at a previous H.L. Mencken Club conference.
Pat Buchanan(left), Paul Gottfried(center), and Richard Spencer(right), at a previous H.L. Mencken Club conference.

The concept of the H.L. Mencken Club may seem even too fringe for their movement as their ranks are not made up of PhD’s ready to publish papers on 19th century biohistory.  This really is not the point, however, as what they are looking for is to reclaim an intellectual tradition that lends the far-right the same sense of legitimacy as many academic left ideas have.  To do this, the H.L. Mencken Club really prides itself on its elitism, though you will notice if you look through its ranks and speeches that it is a stretch to say that there is the same intellectual depth here that you would find at most academic conferences.  There simply is not the same philosophical and critical background for this narrow range of racist ideas as they would like, so they are going to at least try to build the veneer of it.  The conference itself requires that “Gentlemen wear suits and ties,” a point that highlights how silly this charade is.

The conference is largely organized by Paul Gottfried, who was best associated with Paleoconservatism in the 1980s until he was generally ousted from the mainstream conservative movement for his ideas on racial differences in intelligence.  He continued to publish regularly and associate with the fringes of the right, and often is there welcoming fellow racists who are finally exposed in their Republican strongholds.  People like Robert Weissberg, John Derbyshire, Peter Brimelow, and Pat Buchanan, have all been ushered in the Club when being kicked out of their regular movement gigs at places like National Review.  In the past, Richard Spencer has given talks on right-wing elites of the past, a defense of “decadence,” and the need for mixing conservationism with eugenics and racial nationalism.

Robert Weissberg
Robert Weissberg

When looking at this year’s line-up, there is a clear sign that a certain core of white nationalist intellectuals are still trying to maintain relevance.  Gottfried will be hosting a panel called “Elitism and Politics” that will feature Bob Weissberg, who people will know as one of the few Jewish speakers at American Renaissance conferences, and will likely try to work in some discussion of race and IQ.  Weissberg has made a name for himself in white nationalist circles for his Darwinist language about racial minorities, accusing African American of everything from having sub-normal intelligence to being genetically prone towards violence.  Next, anti-immigration fanatic Peter Brimelow(who, ironically, is an immigrant), the founder of the racist website VDare, will continue the conference’s theme of elitism by looking at it within a socio-economic context.  We will also be seeing Keith Preston, who is speaking at the National Policy Institute just a week prior, and will be here with one of the most bland and innocuous titles possible: “The Alliance of Transnational Capitalism and the Managerial Therapeutic State.”  We recently published a blog confronting Preston’s claims that he is still an anarchist, but his direct support of fascist politics and organized racists exposes him very clearly.

The conference is certain to draw many of the same constituents as the National Policy Institute, but its proximity to the NPI conference and the fact that Richard Spencer is no longer involved may suggest a rift between the two forming.  The “white unity” that Spencer often calls for seems almost impossible in the white nationalist subculture, which is mainly made up of infighting and internet raving.

Now that Paul Gottfried left his teaching position at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, where his tenured position insulated him from blow back of his support for fascist politics.  The Mencken Club was always his pet project, and he took it from a more generic right-wing philosophy conference to the insular and openly racialist project it is today.  Because of certain “far-right celebrities” like Peter Brimelow on the panels, it may be able to drum up the opposition it deserves.  In previous years, organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League could not quite agree if the Club was a “hate group,” but at this point the Club has made itself an out-of-the-closet organization for the racialized radical right.  Part of this indecision comes from the level of academic discourse that hides the rhetoric, and the quiet face of Paul Gottfried, now in his mid 70s, is a part as well.

Their 2015 conference is specifically about a call for a new “elite,” racially, politically, socially, and economically.  This is a call to specify a new “aristocracy;” a rule class that was not elected and is enforced through structural inequality.  “Race realists” make up both the panelists and the audience, so it is clear who the “elite” is they hope to arrive.  It is up to Anti-Fascists and anti-racist organizers to challenge the H.L. Mencken Club and to shake up their pseudo-academic festival of white self-congradulation in a way that they never would have expected.  Further alienate people like Gottfried and Weissberg, disallow them to hide their fascist new-vision under academic double speak, and use this as a rallying point to build a mass movement against the creeping fascism that is coming from fear and crisis in the west.  Academia has always been a place that they fight a battle over ideas, and we have the ability to stop their attempts to reverse racial progress.

The Mencken Club seems to know that their presence is rarely welcome in communities, so, while they are posting that you can get a group rate deal on hotels where they are hosting it, they have yet to post the details about exactly where the conference is.  They also note on their website that “The H.L. Mencken Club reserves the right to withdraw or deny admission to anyone who seeks to disrupt the conference or whose presence is deemed a nuisance.”  We will be waiting to see the rest of the specifics for the conference and share them widely, so until then a flying squad can be organized that can head to the location when it is made available.  There meetings have been in Baltimore, and it looks like this is not going to change, so expect it to be in the more upper class area of the city, a short drive away from Washington D.C.

Support Anti-Fascist Organizing with the Anti-Fascist Defence Fund

Jeremiah, who was helped by the fund for his medical bills, was stabbed by two neo-Nazis after he confronted their racist behavior.
Jeremiah, who was helped by the fund for his medical bills, was stabbed by two neo-Nazis after he confronted their racist behavior.

Anti-Fascist organizing, both in the U.S. and internationally, has always been a controversial and confrontational affair.  The primary tool here is to do what can be done to deny fascists and racists to have a platform, which means counter-demonstrations, disrupting events, challenging them in public, creating community movements to counter them, and a whole other range of tactics and strategies.  Because it has this huge range, there are militant components that have been crucial to the success of keeping the reactionary forces from having their day.  This means that there is important need to both support Anti-Fascist prisoners and those attacked by Nazis, as well as the basic funds needed for ongoing organizing.  As right-wing organizations grow in response to changing demographics and economic collapse, we have to fight for a future before it resolves into radicalized barbarism.

Because of this, we are doing a call out to support the International Anti-Fascist Defense Fund, a project that raises ongoing money to support these projects.

Their fundraising statement outlines their goals and accomplishments very clearly:

In its first three months of this Fund’s existence, supporters in six different countries have made contributions. So far, we’ve donated about 40% of that to anti-racists in France, Germany, Spain, and the U.S. who’ve been injured or arrested as a direct result of standing up to bigots (the remaining amount placed in reserve). Here’s where the money has gone so far:

1) Valentin is an anti-fascist from Bremen, Germany that defended himself and his friends against a planned assault by a gang of neo-nazis after a football match. Valentin is now facing various charges for this “crime.”

2) Sergi is a Spanish anti-fascist currently facing a lengthy prison sentence for defending himself at a protest against a neo-nazi concert.

3) Stephen was charged with “breach of peace” for standing up against a KKK rally in Columbia, South Carolina, USA in July.

4) Eddien was also charged with various “crimes” for confronting the KKK at the same action Stephen attended. Eddien was just released after reaching a plea deal with prosecution!

5) Jeremiah was at a concert when two neo-nazis showed up and started making trouble. Jeremiah confronted them and was nearly stabbed to death by one of the racist scumbags.

6) Paul is a German anti-fascist who was arrested at a July anti-Pegida action for the “crime” of carrying a flag with a flagpole the police was decided was “too short.” He was just released from prison and is now serving a probationary sentence in the community!

7) Maxime Bugsel, a 19-year-old French antifascist, was shot to death in the early morning hours of August 29th in Bruay-la-buissière. We contributed to the funeral costs and to help out his family.

We’re proud to be able to help anti-fascists and anti-racists all over the world when they need real solidarity and support the most! JOIN US BY DONATING!

Go ahead and click here to be taken to the fundraising page, and share it around as widely as possible!

Why We Delete The Comments of Racists and Neo-Nazis

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We have an interesting readership over here.

Anti-fascist and anti-racist organizers are regularly interacting with us here, sharing news stories that are relevant, as well as things like fundraising projects.  This is a great way of meeting anti-fascist organizers internationally who are doing amazing work that we are proud to be associated with.

Then there are the other readers.

We have been regularly linked to by radical right-wing publications like The Right Stuff, The Daily Shoah, and Attack the System.  Through this, we have gotten a stream of comments, well several hundred, that are just blatant retreads of the racist vile that they enjoy over at their HBD comments threads and  Dark Enlightenment message boards.  We are regularly accused of being “cultural Marxists,” a term that no one uses but them to describe something that doesn’t exist.  We often get notes from email addresses like FuckOff@Youreakike.com.  On a daily basis we get entire thesis’, often running several pages long, that go into bizarre conspiracy theories about Jews, explaining how we have an obligation to publish that people of color are “degenerate,” and obscure blogs that outline bizarre readings of evolutionary science.  Plainly put: we get traffic, ever day, on a pretty huge scale, of fringe wing nuts and racists.

The most common claim though, after they notice their comment never appeared, is that we are censoring them.  You’re absolutely fucking right.

We have no interest in what you think you are owed, what you think we should be doing, or what you think is important for people to know.  The most basic principle of Antifa organizing is “No Platform.”  What this means is that we intend to not allow you into our communities.  To not allow you to organize.  To not allow you to publish.  To not allow you to speak.  We are determined to silence you in any way possible.

So, why would you think that we would allow your delusional rants on our site?  Feel free to keep commenting, and we will continue to delete your comments and ignore you.  Perhaps someday we will publish a “best of” set of snippets of the most bizarre claims and accusations, but until you hit our Funniest Home Videos tribute, you will continue to be silenced.  We would never support state censorship as we know that when the political tides turn it could easily be imposed on us, but we certainly support the right of a community to suppress you and your ideas at every turn.

If that means that we have to keep deleting your comments every morning, then so be it.

Letter to Keith Preston: No, You’re Not an Anarchist

Keith Preston speaking at the white nationalist National Policy Institute Conference
Keith Preston speaking at the white nationalist National Policy Institute Conference

Recently, in our blog looking at the National Policy Institute we mentioned that their line-up included former anarchist Keith Preston.  As we mentioned in the article, Preston used to be a member of the anarcho-syndicalist Workers Solidarity Alliance and was at the founding convention of the Love and Rage Anarchist Federation.  It should also be mentioned that he was a member of the syndicalist union the Industrial Workers of the World.  The reason that this is relevant, as we will get to later, is that Preston came from organizations associated with the broad anarchist tradition and not just countercultural “scenes” associated with anti-authoritarian tendencies.

According to Preston’s own descriptions of himself, after disagreements over what he saw as identity politics and the “cult of antiracism” in Love and Rage, he started looking towards Libertarianism and Anarcho-Capitalism.  He later got involved in just about every disparate ideological strain that could vaguely be associated with anti-statism, then working to find ways for collaboration for these groups, left, right, and center.  He himself argues for a concept call “pan-secessionism” or “anarchy-pluralism,” where by these “different anarchist tendencies” can collaborate in creating regional communities in a decentralist grid.  It needs to be stressed, however, his idea of what different anarchist tendencies includes strange right-wing constructs that no one in the anarchist camp would include including such charming ideas like anarchy-monarchism, national anarchism, anarchy-capitalism, and anarchy-fuedalism.

Keith picked up our article to giggle about the reference to him speaking at the NPI conference, where he has spoken in the past.  After first quoting us and then going onto mention Alexander Reid Ross’s expose series on Michael Schmidt, he went on to address claims that he is a “former anarchist.”

Whether these guys like it or not, I’m still an anarchist who embraces the entire range of anarchist and decentralist thought. Sorry if that if upsets anyone.

He goes on to make jokes about people’s shock at an anarchist’s support of secretive ideas about racism and genocidal fascist traditions.  Yeah, it certainly was pretty funny.

The question about whether or not what Keith Preston considers anarchist is one that has been explained at length over and over again, especially about the so-called “anarchy-capitalism.”  Preston’s ideas are based solidly on the idea that ideologies that literally have no historical or ideological connection can still be said to be the same thing.  Libertarianism, which is a completely deregulated form of capitalism, is a tradition that really did not exist in any meaningful way(We already know that you will probably dispute this Preston, but that is only grasping at straws) before the 1980s where people like Murray Rothbard vocally tried to take the “anarchist” title as a way of undermining the historic libertarian tradition.  Rothbard, working with people like Lew Rockwell, produced work throughout the 1980s that by today’s standard might even be seen as white nationalist, but not to mention hideously vile to working class people and minorities.  We are not going to go into the volumes and volumes of literature that outlines why “anarchy-capitalism” has no connection to anything understood to be anarchism, but we will go into just a few areas of this.

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Literally, every single traditional anarchist that Preston likes to prop up on his website, Attack the System, consider themselves primarily of an anti-capitalist tradition.  Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, and even Pierre Joseph Prodhoun and Max Stirner, were all violently anti-capitalist.  Bakunin’s first formulation of contemporary anarchism came out of a split in the first meeting of the International Workingman’s Association with Karl Marx, where Bakunin saw the communist tradition better served by an anti-statist tendency.  It was not simply that socialism was a part of the anarchist tradition, it was the foundation of it.  Kropotkin fueled this even further by developing the very basis on which the ideas of modern anarchism rested, which is today known as Anarcho-Communism.  While many traditions have split from the surface political forms of this, the foundational ideas have remained the same.  Rudolph Rocker brought these ideas into the workplace, Emma Goldman elaborated them into gender and sexual liberation, and as they came up through the 20th century they adapted to the struggles against oppression from different oppressed identities.

What anarchism never did, however, was become a tool for those who own capital to justify a complete release of any constraints for their cruelty.  Anarchism, at its core, has always been an idea about the smashing of social and political hierarchy, embedded in capitalism and enforced by the state.  It is not that anarchists are opposed to the state just because it is a bureaucratic machine, but instead because it enforces ruling class interests and are created in the image of that class.  To be opposed to the state is because of its role in capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy.  There is literally no connection then to “national anarchist” ideas that are based around the idea that white people are somehow an oppressed class, which is against all common understanding of power and history.  There is no role for bigotry, anti-Semitism, the oppression of women and queer people, or for the rich to maintain their wealth.  No Keith, there is literally no connection between what anyone in anarchism actually thinks and does and what you espouse on your silly platforms.

In a recent presentation at NPI, Preston embarrassed himself as he went on to show how white nationalism was compatible with anarchism.  In his stuttery twang, he spit out his idea of “totalitarian humanism,” which is one of his charming notions that the left forces their ideology of “humanism” on the right.  His use of these types of labels is a way of creating a mirage about the fact that he is playing with pre-school ideas about how the world works, where by any attempt to confront racism and domination is somehow the real oppression.  To do this it doesn’t require any deeper analysis about white supremacy, heteronormativity, or what people of oppressed classes have actually experience in their lives.  Instead, Preston can rail against Political Correctness as the true evil, which I’m sure is much worse than the crisis of sexual assault happening against women worldwide or the vicious cruelty of de-regulated capitalism on the working class.

What is really at the core of anarchism?  It was never just liberty for liberty’s sake, but understanding that true freedom for the individual comes from challenging oppression, authority, and hierarchy.  The analysis looks at the role that capitalism and the state have in suppressing most of the world for the benefit of the few, and intersectionality has helped to draw out the way that other oppressed identities can create a more complete matrix.  Anarchist do not oppose the state because it forces equality, it limits capitalist accumulation, or it is to “modern.”  They oppose it because it does not allow for equality, because it is a tool of capital, and because it is a brutal machine for the interests of the ruling class.  These are not just the ideas of “one strand” of anarchism, but literally all strands of anarchism.  While anarchists may disagree about the methods and the tools, they never disagree on the basic ideas about capitalism and oppression.  What you describe are a series of right-wing ideas that you are trying to provide a venue for on the radical left.

More importantly, Preston has worked hard to create a space for some of the most vile fascist and white nationalist strains in the U.S.  He is supporting a conference October 31st, 2015, that will discuss explicit anti-Semitism(Kevin McDonald), that will have silly misogynist rants(Jack Donovan), that will argue for an ethnically cleansed “ethno-state”(pretty much the rest of the speakers), and will be a meeting space for people associated with just about every single major player in the “white right.”  He has been published and/or interviewed in places like Alternative Right, Red Ice Radio, Radix Journal, and Counter Currents.  He is right along side people making claims that African descended people’s are degenerates with lower IQs than whites.  He is paired next to people who deny the holocaust, who think the world is run by a secret cabal of Jews using pornography and banking to destroy the white race, and who state that major world events are Jewish conspiracies.  He stands next to those who think that rape is just a social construct, that white people need to rid their continent of people of color, that we need to re-establish a fascist(and yes Keith, we mean fascist by any broad definition of political fascism) world order.  Fascism is the core flip side of the anarchist project, where by they intend to enforce hierarchy, social authority, and inequality.  Fascism, and all of its various “strands”(We are sure you will love that term, Keith.) is the political opposite of the anarchist project, where there is literally no crossover and anarchism requires the explicit failure of all of these traditions.

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In Preston’s most recent book, named Attack the System, after his own website, he put a big American flag on the cover alongside a few bullets.  Do you think that anarchism is unique to America as a country?  Do you think that the imperial state of the U.S., built on slavery and exploitation, and crystalized in the flag, is somehow anarchist?  What do you think most anarchists would see when they see your claims of a “new anarchist perspective” emblazoned in front of the American flag?

Plainly put, you serve a different community, not the one you claim.

As Preston likes to lament, he is going to continue to call himself an anarchist despite his detractors.  Feel free to do that Preston, but you know as well as we do that there is nothing in your simplistic idea about the world that can fit in anything that anarchism was built on.  Do you actually think that any of the traditional anarchist voices you like to toss around would have supported your various capitalist and racial separatist ideas?  I’m sure that these are backflips that you have to do mentally while you realize that you are more welcome in circles full of swastika tattoos and shaved heads than the anarchist movements that are growing internationally.

So no, Keith, you are not an anarchist, but you can keep putting it on as a Halloween costume so you do not have to confront the fact that you have joined hands with racists, sexists, and homophobes.  We would call this shameful, but it is pretty clear that this is the only community that will have you at this point.

Keith Preston is likely to respond to this blog, and he will mention all of these different “anarchists” that support his anarcho-pluralism, yet your pack of fringe “dissidents” mean very little to people involved in the actual anarchist movements.  He will likely use white nationalist buzzwords like “cultural Marxist” to describe us, which is just a silly anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in an attempt to say that Frankfurt School Marxism has had more influence than it has had because of its “Jewish character.”  He will probably call us authoritarians, because to angry white men being told that their opinion does not matter is just as oppressive as Jim Crow.  We want to say up front that Preston’s opinion on our anarchism because what we are saying here is not a fringe idea, but what anarchists along vast sets of traditions will agree on.

So Preston is set to humiliate himself even further on Halloween as he begs the pseudo-intellectual racists at NPI to be in their club, and they will be more than willing to take his “island of broken toys” into their camp of violence, nationalism, and reactionary anger.  We, for one, would like to write you a letter of recommendation for your entry into the Alternative Right.

You are one of them, not one of us.

Under the Radar: The Neo-Folk Band “Changes” And Their Open Fascism

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The anti-fascist tradition, starting in the interwar period in Europe and Japan, and moving through the nationalist insurrections in the decades that followed, have always created a difficulty of adaptation.  American fascist organizations have often been built on deeply American traditions like Christianity, U.S. patriotism, and the legacy of the Confederate south.  This has created a uniquely American form of far-right organizing, that still had cultural connections to the mainstream GOP and socially conservative culture.  It is the shift away from this in the contemporary fascist incarnations that has confused many people on the anti-fascist left, especially as the syncretic nature of adaptive contemporary fascism comes forward.  Involving itself in deep green movements, animal rights, anti-capitalism, and other social movements usually associated with the left, this fascist kernel takes on these social issues, yet for many different reasons that those on the radical left.

Where this breaks even further is the growing far-right cultural sphere that looks more like the rainbow gathering than a Klan rally.  The shift towards Euro-paganism because of its assumed “European ethnic” core, as well as much of the music and art that is associated with this revival.  It is through this that the musical current of Neo-Folk and related genres have become a difficult place for those in the music underground as far-right elements have become the most vocal members of the scene, using the music as a way of focusing on a romantic and mystical reading of European history.  There have been obvious controversies as anti-fascists shut down appearances of Neo-Folk bands like Death in June and Sol Invictus, who draw so clearly on the traditionalist fascist right that is hard to argue with, but many others go under the radar.  One of these is the band Changes, who has ridden the fence enough to be accepted in both political camps.  At least until recently.

The question of Neo-Folk and the fascist right is a more complicated one, but the ability to identify the bands in question are not.  Changes has a much longer history than most of these bands, all the way back to the American flower child year of 1969.  Made up of Nicholas Tesluk and the better known Robert Taylor, the music has been so closely aligned with the resurrection of Germanic Heathenry that they helped to set the template to the cultural influence on the musical movement.

When looking at their history it looks like most narratives of middling bands with moderate followings, until you are able to see enough spots that drive out questions.  Their recent history outlines a more explicit connection to the traditionalist far-right, as well as folksih Heathenry.  In 2013 the Asatru Folk Assembly and their most vocal member, Stephen McNallen, hosted a music festival called Stella Natura.  This was essentially to be a music festival to reflect the cultural influence and ideas at play in the AFA, which are racial and ethnic identity tied to European history and aesthetics.  There were a couple of dozen bands, mainly made up of musical backgrounds that have some problematic associations like Viking Metal and Neo-Folk, including people like Hell, Cauldron Black Ram, and Hail.  Changes was also in the line-up there, with Stephen McNallen elevating them from the rest of the list by performing a Heathen blot as an announcement for their taking of the stage.

Out of the two members, Robert N. Taylor has been the most vocally problematic as he has continued to associate himself with racially defined movements.  In 2006 he was quoted in Chronicles of Chaos as saying “None of this had any real connection to integration or peace between races.  Integration did not occur – flight of the whites occurred.  It has no secret that once blacks predominated in an area, the crime rate would soar and the streets would become dangerous to walk.”  Taylor has made a name for himself in the right-wing music press for inflammatory comments that certainly cannot be misread.  In Stigmata, which is a well known racial Neo-Folk publication, he discussed his involvement with the neo-fascist “Minuteman” organization in the early 1960s.

Minutemen drew from the full scope of those on the right. From “Barry Goldwater” type conservatives, Objectivists and libertarians, anti-communists, constitutionalists, Christian Identity, neo-Fascists, Nazis, gun-owner advocates, etc..”

“My involvement in the Minutemen was considerable. I became a member of the newly formed organization at about 14 years old. I first was a member, then became the principle organizer and leader in the Chicago area. Then I became a member of the Executive council of ten as the director of intelligence. By the time I was 24 years old I was the editor of the organization’s publication, On Target as well as the national spokesman for the group. My involvement lasted through most of the years of the organization’s existence.”

What made On Target uniquely different from other anti-communist or right-wing publications was that in addition to articles and commentary on various current issues, it also contained names, addresses and phone numbers of its assumed communist and liberal enemies. Often literal dossiers on such people were featured. Combine the slogan, cross-hair masthead, and such detailed information on perceived enemies, and the potential threat was implied, without ever being actually stated.”

“We have studied your Communist smirch, Mao, Che, Bhukarin. We have learned our lessons well and have added a few homegrown Yankee tricks of our own. Before you start your next smear campaign, before you murder again, before you railroad another patriot into a mental institution…better think it over. See the old man at the corner where you buy your paper? He may have a silencer equipped pistol under his coat. That extra fountain pen in the pocket of your insurance salesman that calls on you might be a cyanide-gas gun. What about your milkman? Arsenic works slow but sure. Your auto mechanic may stay up nights studying booby-traps. These patriots are not going to let you take their freedom away from them. They have learned the silent knife, the strangler’s chord, the target rifle that hits sparrows at 200 yards. Only their leaders restrain them. Traitors beware! Even now the cross-hairs are on the back of your necks…”

In the early 1960s, both of the members joined the Chicago Minutemen, which was a far-right militia dedicated to combating the “communist threat.”  This meant that at the same time that the hippie “back to the land” movement helped to birth much of their fan base, they were taking on a popularization of post-WWII racialism.

Like many in this community, Julius Evola’s poetically racist spirituality is both a philosophical and artistic inspiration.  In their 2013 tour they referenced Evola’s ideas and rhetoric in subtle ways, going as far as to take the title of Evola’s book Ride the Tiger as the name for their tour.    They went on to reference the Kali Yuga at the bottom of tour posters, a reference to what Evola listed as a degenerate “fourth age” where by the proper roles and social hierarchies are no longer in effect and the world needs to be destroyed.  This is the defining idea for their “anti-modernism,” a term and idea that flows through their work and the rest of the Neo-Folk fringe.

They have had a community of support that strays far from conventional music connections to those that alternate between organizing, writing, and using music as a venue for ideas of Social Darwinism and Blood and Soil nationalism.  Blood Axis’ Michael Moynihan, who has his hands every fascist esoteric tradition from militaristic Odinism to Satanic Fascism associated with Charles Manson veneration, produced one of their albums.  They continued relationships with the far-right Neo-Folk edge musicians like Andrew King from Sol Invictus, Allerseen, and David E. Williams.

With all of these associations, why is it that Changes continues to appear in folk music circles where left-wing politics tend to dominate?  Well this has happened by general intent in Changes where they intend to play on the obscurity of many references and outright lying about associations.  They often do not refer to Michael Moynihan by name on their promotional material, and they do not usually have the cultural and social following of the more radical edge of the music scene like people like Death in June do.  That being said, the politics are up front if you are looking for them.  Again, in Chronicles of Chaos, they listed that there was confusion about their positions in the past, but today the audience is more in line:

“In the early to mid ’70s the audiences were alright, but I doubt that most of them knew what our music was all about. The folk music scene was pervaded with leftists at that time, both as performers and as audiences. That has radically changed. It was as if Changes had to wait over thirty years to find the real audience it had been seeking all those years.” 

This does not mean that they have gone entirely unnoticed as anti-fascists have repeatedly had them removed from their platform.  In Chicago, Changes had their concert with Death in June canceled after their positions were discovered.  The venue The Green Note canceled their show, noting “if there is any truth to the extreme political views held by the members of Changes, these run in contrast to our beliefs and we felt unable to go ahead with the show.”

Robert Taylor in Front of a Germanic Rune
Robert Taylor in Front of a Germanic Rune

We come back to the band Changes here because of one of their most recent show announcements.  Robert Taylor, on his own, will be performing in the evening portion of the white nationalist National Policy Institute.  This is an appropriate setting as NPI often makes up the more “alternative” cultural side of white nationalism, that often meets up with the European New Right and is attended by friends of theirs like Stephen McNallen.  At this conference there will be speeches by the “who’s who” of movements like Men’s Rights, white nationalism, pan-Europeanism, National Anarchism, and folksih spirituality.  In this new world of bizarre ideas trying to act as religious and intellectual justifications for racial hatred and separatism, Taylor’s obscure references and dark musical edge create an aesthetic fence that allows them to further obscure their own image.  This allows them to just seem like “controversial” or “alternative” ideas rather than what they are: the same racists and fascists that we have had to deal with since WWII.  While Taylor may couch these ideas in talk of nature and ancestors, the key issues are the same as those who have been burning crosses and attacking minorities.  We cannot let their style and cultural status obscure the issue, and their appearance at NPI should be the last straw for anti-fascists.

With that we should return to the Anti-Fascist Action principle: No Platform.  They will not be allowed in our venues, their music and voices not allowed in our spaces.

Special thanks to Who Makes the Nazis for so much of their research on Changes, which we used as part of this report.

Center for Immigration Studies Associating With Open White Nationalists

Center for Immigration Studies With Kyle Bristow, Know Racist and anti-Semite
Center for Immigration Studies With Kyle Bristow, Know Racist and anti-Semite

Is it a surprise that the Center for Immigration Studies, an openly anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant group, is associating with the fringe of the white nationalist movement?

While the rhetoric around immigration restriction has become commonplace in the backchannels of the Donald Trump campaign and ultra-conservative louspeakers like Breitbart, it is easy to forget that this is a movement that does not have a left, right, and center.  Directly from the start it has been dominated by far-right ideas, with publications like VDare standing directly with the white separatist camp that simply uses Republican talking points to broaden the support for blocking foreign immigrants.

While it is a movement that has been centered on the far-right since the 1980s, it has used crossover points into the mainstream GOP to continue to save face.  Paleoconservatism and Libertarianism of the late-80s was this melting point where people like Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis, and, later, Peter Brimelow, were able to work on anti-immigrant narratives that coded language incredibly cleanly.  These were the crossover individuals that themselves were acceptable both in radical right circles and establishment beltway boardrooms.

It is not uncommon to see someone like Brimelow with the Center for Immigration Studies, but they have now taken it a step further.  In recent reports from places like the Southern Poverty Law Center, it looks like cozying up to the upfront wing of the racialist movement.  Their “Immigration Opinions” volume was written by British nationalist Paul Weston, known for his association with the British Freedom Party and the neo-fascist English Defense League.  Earlier in September, this section was written by Pat Buchanan(the obvious crossover) and Robert Weissberg, of American Renaissance fame.  All of these covered the traditional range of xenophobic topics, including the “third world invasion” and the “Muslim problem.”  The director of the Center for Immigration Studies, took this all a step further, and was pictured with militant white nationalist Kyle Bristow, who is as “out of the Nazi closet” as you get.

This example, though not unexpected, should serve as an example of what the immigration debate has been hinged on.  There has been a lot of “acceptable” faces in this conversation, but this has only appeared this way in as much as they are able to code the language in Dog Whistle jargon.  The foundations of the anti-immigration position, its hard ideas and arguments, were developed and curated on the radical right.  Behind every seemingly moderate proposal at restriction or control is a foundational argument that the U.S. is a white nation that must be preserved as such.  When presented clearly people are able to confront the racial ideas that are scapegoating racial and religious minorities, and it is positive when we can see the dividing line clearly.

Anti-Facist Action: Challenging the National Policy Institute’s 2015 Conference

NPI-Conference-2013

It’s that time of year again.  Richard Spencer has gotten together his gang of misunderstood racist misfits to put on a show.

The National Policy Institute, the most mundanely titles white nationalist organization in the United States, is having their 2015 conference on Halloween at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  The organization has become one of the intellectual centers of a neo-fascist American movement that runs under the auspices of antiquated philosophy, pseudo-science, fringe politics, and big personalities.  The associated website, Radix, has become a who’s who of the “alt right,” which we prefer to identify as “alt fascist.”  This means far right ideas that associate with counter-cultural and intellectual elements, including neo-paganism, radical environmentalism, and other more spiritually and intellectually inclined folks, while also bridging to former paleoconversatives and beltway types.  They cheerfully lament about the “decline” of white civilization, the destructiveness implicit in immigration and queer identity, and about how skin color determines IQ while Judaism implies “world control.”  We used to say these aren’t your father’s neo-Nazis, but they essentially do represent the Klan with a copy of the Norse Eddas and a Thesaurus.

In 2014, Richard Spencer, the now President of the National Policy Institute and Editor of Radix, was imprisoned in Hungary when trying to organize a “pan-European” conference that would bring people together from the U.S. white nationalist movement, the British nationalist community, the French New Right, the Russian Eurasianists and National Bolshevists, and other people who want to “put aside petty nationalisms” and unite along the lines of race.  The prime minister, the normally far-right Viktor Orban declared him a national security threat, and, after the nationalist Jobbik party abandoned him, they arrested and deporting him.  He has previously had a number of popular conferences that attracted everyone with a desire towards anger and separateness, from racial pagans to men’s right’s activists towards conspiratorial anti-Semites, with different themes all covering for the overarching idea that white’s need to band together and “fight back against displacement.”

This year they are continuing the tradition of working with Washington DC’s National Press Club, mainly because they don’t have the same kind of vulnerability to anti-fascists that commercial venues do.  This is a government facility, the National Press Club building no less, and they tend to do what they have to do to defend their tenants, no matter the political position.  This year they are having their regular line of edge speakers, including known people like the fabled anti-Semitic professor Kevin McDonald.  McDonald is the University of California Long Beach professor best known for breaking with his tradition of Evolutionary Psychology to write a series of books defining Judaism as a “group evolutionary strategy” where by they destabilizing western nations so that they can raise up their in group.  He enjoys his Jew hatred with a side of “race realism” where he writes regularly that African descended people’s have lower IQ than whites and Asians, while edited the racist Occidental Quarterly.  Sam Dickson, a common traveler to NPI and the white nationalist American Renaissance, will provide his usual incoherent rambles about white determinism.  He is best known as a past lawyer for the Klan, and currently deals in real estate speculation where he specializes in kicking out and exploiting families of color.

Two of the more interesting speakers will be Jack Donovan and Keith Preston.  Donovan is known for being a gay “anti-gay” author, so to speak, where he writes extensively how queer men should abandon gay identity because it is associated with effeminacy, leftist politics, and feminism.  He instead identifies as an “andriophile” and writes about the important of male tribalism and deeply misogynistic works on the edges of the Men’s Rights movement.  More recently he has been extending an incredible support to white nationalism, leaning more in the direction of folkish Heathenry in the masculanist and tribalist interpretations.  Preston will be known to people as he is a defector from the larger anarchist movements of the 70s and 80s, formerly a member of Workers Solidarity Alliance and was present at the founding convention of the Love and Rage Anarchist Federation.  He now runs the “pan-Secessionist” Attack the System, where he promotes right-wing libertarian ideas and racialist National Anarchism.  Here he will give his usual speech where he sadly attempts to soften anarchism to be compatible with authoritarian racial nationalism, which he sees as having common ground as they are both opposed to the current State.

Guillame Faye and Roman Bernard will bring a French perspective to things, with Faye known best for his neo-fascist Faustian books Why We Fight and Archeofuturism that could be called a sort of Reactionary Dune World Fantasy.  Roman Bernard was with the far-right Generation Identity movement in France, and was brought over to Radix because of his known prowess for fundraising.  Richard Spencer will join them as a speaker, as he usually does, where he will give one of the more congenial presentations as he is quick in the running for the “funny and smart racist” award.  Spencer is a good reminder of what kind of ideas can fuel people who are superficially smart and friendly, or that it can poison people who you might find socially comfortable.

The biggest difference with the 2015 conference, which is called Becoming Who We Are(a phrase Spencer uses to outline that people are often born with their political inclinations innate to their person), is the structure of the conference.  First, there is going to be a sort of “day session” and a “night session.”  The day session will include the regular speakers, while the night session is going to have music, drinks, and a live podcast.  Richard Spencer is an avid podcaster and has been for over a decade, starting with Vanguard Radio at his Alternative Right publication, and now moving it over to Radix Journal.  He has invited other people to join him on this, including the folks from Sweden’s nationalist Red Ice Radio.  Another person who has been asked, and semi-agreed, is Mike Enoch, our fanboy from The Daily Shoah(please give us more airtime).  This is something we find incredibly confusing since we know that it is important to everyone at The Daily Shoah and The Right Stuff to maintain their anonymity.  The conference is obviously going to be attended by journalists and undercover anti-fascist organizers who will see who Mike Enoch actually is on the panel, so it is curious that they would actually expose themselves like that.  It may be simply that having a private identity is really only a temporary solution, though they even recently discussed how difficult it is to receive donations at The Daily Shoah without revealing personal information.

The music will be by the band Changes, which is likely the most interesting part of the conference’s line-up for those who study these movements.  Changes is a well known folk band, though it usually gets attached to neo-folk at this point.  As many people note in the anti-fascist milieu, neo-folk and offshoots have a large nationalist presence who see it as an opportunity to focus on “European revival.” Changes is strongly influenced by Germanic Reconstructionist Heathenry, which again has had that unfortunate association for those who want to identify an ethnic religion for those of Northern European descent.  For much of the existence of NPI and participating organization, there has been little cultural crossover to the neo-folk movement, and really only occasional crossover to Heathenry.  This seems to be a next step for NPI, which will also help to eventually separate the racist from the not in the alt-folk and metal underground.  This could be useful for those who are inclined towards the music yet remain strongly committed to anti-fascist principles, which is a difficult prospect as nationalism poisons the art it touches and often becomes infectious.

The NPI conference has commonly been a focus point for Anti-Fascist Action in the Washington DC area, though the idea of shutting the event down is much more difficult because it is a secure facility.  This may be a useful turn towards more mass movement actions, where by the event could have a counter rally during its opening hour of 10am.  This could mean that instead of focusing on militant action in this particular case, it could be advantageous to bring together anti-racist organizers from the civil rights, broader anti-racism, and #BlackLivesMatter movements.  This could be a meeting point that, first, would confront what is happening inside of the National Press Club building, but also discuss the broader issues of white supremacy, populist nationalism, and anti-black violence that is amplifying in the current U.S.

We are listing a few anti-racist organization in the DC area that people should coordinate with if they want to engage in counter protest.  It has been said that the Southern Poverty Law Center already has operatives with tickets, yet that is unverified and they usually operate independently without coordinating larger movement building.  We encourage anyone who does attend any rallies or actions in response to the NPI conference to send in report backs for us to add to the website.

Anti-Racist Action, Washington DC

One People’s Project

The conference runs 10am to 9pm at the National Press Club on Octobe 31st, 2015

If you want to send your thoughts on this conference to the National Press Club, here is the contact information:

Front Desk: 202-662-7500
Reservations for Events: 202-662-7501
Membership Office: 202-662-7505
Booking Rooms for Your Event (Catering): 202-662-7541

As Expose is Released, Michael Schmidt Continues to Deny

The long awaited article from Alexander Reid Ross and Joshua Stephens has had its first volume released, and later chapters will come out every couple days for the next couple of weeks to give it time to simmer with those who have a stake in its contents.  This volume outlined a little bit about Michael Schmidt’s background, then mostly looking at a 2008 internal document he shared with the South African platformist organization Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front.  The article itself goes into the deeply problematic elements of the paper that essentially says that people of color will never take the lead in revolutionary movements.  Instead, white anarchists are essentially the vanguard that will lead these communities who can only serve at a lower level.

The racist implications of this paper are clear, even if people have disagreements about what Schmidt’s intent was.  Schmidt himself has chosen not to remain silent about this part of the article as he has taken to social media to speak out in anger.

So it took my former publishers in the US a whole 18 days to come up with a single 2008 internal discussion document in which I ask difficult – and no doubt politically incorrect – questions as to why the ZACF had failed to (at that stage; they have now) attract significant black membership, as their “proof” that for decades I’ve been an undercover white supremacist. I’d say I was devastated if I hadn’t regained my sense of humour about all this buffoonery.

In fact the document was given to them by those who started this whispering campaign against me, so they probably had it 18 days ago; why wait so long? Because they are clutching at straws!

What he is mentioning at the end is that the statement came from AK Press a couple of weeks ago, yet the article itself was not ready at that time.  Many expressed frustration that the evidence was not made immediately.

The next volume of the series on Schmidt will be released on Wednesday, October 14th.

Nationalists Show Connections to Yakuza Organized Crime in Japan [VIDEO]

In continuing to bring you interesting news, documentaries, and reports from the front lines of anti-fascist struggle we have been sharing a series of short documentaries from Vice Magazine on the rise of the far-right internationally. Much of this has focused on European fascist movements like Pegida, UKIP, and Golden Dawn, but this is not just a Euro-centric problem. An imperial neo-fascism has been brewing in Japan for years based much on the legacy of their monarchial past, and from their current place in the Asian world. Today, many are noting that the nationalists in Japan have connections to traditional organized crime in the country, known as the Yakuza.

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Taking on Fascism and Racism from the Ground Up.