For years, it has been undeniable that there has been a concerted COINTELPRO-style campaign targeting the anarchist left in the U.S.
This has been an incontrovertible fact since at least 2021, when the Grayzone published an expose of Alexander Reid Ross, former editor of the Earth First! Journal, author of Against the Fascist Creep, and leading antifa ideologue.
(FULL DISCLOSURE – I contributed to the Earth First! Journal for years, but I got involved after ARR’s tenure as editor. I have never had any direct contact with this despicable creep.)
THE SMOKING GUN
In March of 2021, the Grayzone published an expose of Alexander Reid Ross by Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal.
The piece is important, as it is basically the “smoking gun” which proves my point – Alexander Reid Ross is a spook.
The Grayzone previously exposed Alexander Reid Ross’s audition for the Integrity Initiative, an information warfare operation aimed at generating hostility with Russia and targeting dovish officials that get in the way. The now-defunct Integrity Initiative was overseen by British military-intelligence operatives and covertly funded by the UK Foreign Office. Its existence had been hidden from British taxpayers until a series of leaks exposed the disturbing project, triggering a national scandal and outrage in the UK’s parliament.
Ross was invited to speak at what the Integrity Initiative called its “main event,” in Seattle, Washington in December 2018. There, he delivered a typically incoherent talk laying out a furtive network of “red-brown” alliances and “syncretic” communist-fascist media outlets. His presentation ended by accusing Zero Hedge, an alternative financial and news outlet, of inspiring anti-migrant militia violence on the US-Mexico border.
In January 2021, Ross was named a “senior research fellow” by the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), a think tank funded by billionaires including right-wing oligarch Charles Koch. NCRI proclaims its mission is “to track, expose, and combat misinformation, deception, manipulation, and hate across social media channels.”
At the NCRI, Ross has co-authored reports with former top officials of the US national security state whom any self-respecting anarchist would undoubtedly view as an existential threat and absolute menace.
On March 11, the NCRI published a report on “Viral Disinformation of the COVID Vaccine.” The first contributor named in the list of co-authors was Alexander Reid Ross. Collaborating on the project with Ross was Kelli Holden, the former chief of operations for counterintelligence at the CIA.
It annoys me to no end that the soul-searching that should have happened after ARR was exposed has not occurred.
Alexander Reid Ross was influential within the anarchist left in the U.S., and he worked closely with other authors with similarly divisive, dubious politics.
Most notably amongst these are Shane Burley and Spencer Sunshine. More on that later.
ARR was involved in the AK Press collective, and I have yet to see any sign that AK Press has distanced themselves from him or his collaborators, who represent a very distinct political faction.
You would think that AK Press, as an anarchist publisher, would want people to know that someone whose work they have promoted is an intelligence agent.
Yet AK Press continues to sell ARR;’s book Against the Fascist Creep, which we now know was part of a campaign of ideological subversion undertaken by intelligence agents in order to sow division amongst Leftists and lead potential revolutionaries into a dead end.
Why hasn’t AK Press followed the example of Southern Poverty Law Centre, who made it clear as far back as 2018 that ARR was a malicious actor?