An antifa lunatic debates a neocon mouthpiece. Watch the train wreck unfold.
Some interesting comments from Lorenzo Komboa Ervin posted below.
I would agree with much of his analysis, except to say that Trump is not a fascist. He’s more like the Republicans we had back in the 70s like Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller (which is bad enough). It’s possible to criticize the establishment without exaggerating. All of the things that are being criticized in this statement have been generated by the neoconservative/neoliberal Center, and not by “fascists.” Radicals need to forget about these loopy fringe groups and start focusing on attacking the state/corporate/imperialist Center. The most dangerous thing about the far right at present is that some of them commit individual violent crimes (which makes them no different than tons of other violent criminals in US society). Other than that, the neo-Nazis and other similar tendencies are irrelevant pariahs. And the Antifa are Maoist and Trotskyist infiltrated gangsters that are just as worthless as commie terrorist groups from the past like the Weathermen.
From Lorenzo Komboa Ervin
My point of differentiation with Antifa, the ARA, and many Anarchists is that I have always considered the state and monopoly capitalist corporations as the greatest threat of fascism, not fascist street forces. A pro-fascist coalition now runs the state itself with the Trump administration, which screams out for new strategy and tactics.
The other thing is that Antifa do not unite with the history of Black anti-fascism and unite with communities of color. I have had this criticism for many years, and I think for Antifa to go to the next stage, it must build a mass movement, not just serve as a vanguard paramilitary force alone.
We have seen the war on drugs and rise of mass imprisonment of Blacks/POC, 30 + years of mass murders of Blacks/POC by paramilitary police, austerity attacks against the poor, the rise of corporate power and consolidation with the state, and so on, all of which opened the door for Trump’s corporate fascist regime.
Because they are revolutionary Marxist totalitarians. I am likewise opposed to liberal democracy, but for polar opposite reasons than Marxists, Nazis, or Islamists. Liberal democracy was an important historic achievement, but only in a limited way. The overthrow of the traditional ancient regime model of society by the modern bourgeois republics was a necessary stage in political evolution just as the replacement of emperor-worship in ancient societies with the “divine right of kings” ethos of the monotheist religions was a step forward in its own time. However, the effect of liberal democracy was to establish the oligarchical dictatorship of state-capitalism with the creation of electoral coronation systems as the means of conveying legitimacy upon the state. Serious anarchist thought involves an effort to retain the achievements of liberal democracy (e.g. freedom of opinion and minimal limitations on the power of the state) while ultimately working to abolish the state altogether. Marxism, Nazism, and Islamism have all been retrograde movements that sought to abolish the achievements of modern liberalism while restoring the “cult of the leader” and/ or theocratic concepts of past models of the state.
By Sean Illing
When Donald Trump used the phrase “alt-left” to describe the anti-neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville last week, most people had no idea what he meant. I’m actually not sure he knew what he meant.
“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the ‘alt-right’? Do they have any assemblage of guilt?” Trump said during a rambling press conference.
If the alt-left exists, it’s probably best represented by “antifa” (short for “anti-fascist”) — a loose network of left-wing activists who physically resist people they consider fascists. These are often the scruffy, bandana-clad people who show up at alt-right rallies or speaking events in order to shut them down before they happen, and they openly embrace violence as a justifiable means to that end.
The naivete of this writer is extraordinary. There really is such as thing as “left fascism,” and a mere 30 years ago it ruled 1/3 of the world’s nations, sometimes in alliance with right-wing fascists (e.g. the relationship between Franco’s Spain and Castro’s Cuba, Communist support for Peronism, or support for Maoism by 1970s Italian neo-fascist terrorist groups). During the rise of the totalitarian movements of the 20th century, far left as well as far right groups had violent paramilitaries and street thugs that were used to intimidate or eliminate their opponents. The Stalin-allied KPD in Germany was as large as the NSDAP, and had their own equivalent of the SA in the Red Front.
Some antifa types may fancy themselves as “anarchists,” but their ranks are already heavily infiltrated with Marxists, Leninists, Maoists, and Trotskyists, and anytime anarchists have been aligned with Communists it has always been the Communists who got the upper hand, from the First International to the Russian Revolution to the Spanish Civil War to Paris ’68 to the Students for a Democratic Society. One of the largest antifa groups is the one in Portland, which is Maoist. Yvette Felarco’s group in the Bay Area is a front for a Trotskyist organization. I’m told the group here in Richmond is Maoist. The New York City antifa appear to be heavily Communist as well. Yes, the antifa are the left’s version of the neo-Nazis.
By Margaret Sullivan
The Washington Post
For many Americans, the first they heard of antifa was last month when a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville burst into the news.
Since then, though, it’s everywhere.
Trevor Noah did a comic riff on it last week, calling one wing of the group the “vegan ISIS.” Sean Hannity’s substitute, Jonathan Gilliam, lumped in Heather Heyer, the woman killed in Charlottesville, with anti-fascists. And The Washington Post’s editorial board suggested the group call itself “profa” because its tactics work against its cause.
Most notably, of course, President Trump denounced Charlottesville violence “on many sides” — equating the neo-Nazis there with the anti-fascists, who say they aim to fight back against the rise of white supremacy and totalitarianism. (With roots in 1930s Europe, antifa’s adherents believe in direct action, including force if they deem it necessary.)
Some comments from a Facebook friend on Antifa:
Just because a group claims to oppose fascism, that doesn’t make their fascistic behavior any less fascistic.
Black bloc so-called anarchists train in organized street fighting, wear uniforms which simultaneously shield them from accountability and mark them as an organized group intent on using violence and intimidation to shut down points of view they deem objectionable.
How is this anarchism? Anarchism is supposed to mean life without rulers, but the people who dress in black, assault those who criticize their tactics and threaten journalists who attempt to document their actions are instituting an alternative rule, replacing rule of law with the rule of paramilitary violence.
“Paramilitary?” Say what?
In my view, the people who train to use violence against the proponents of an enemy ideology, who travel to the places where they expect to find people publically professing enemy viewpoints, and who seem to receive deferential treatment from the authorities qualify as a paramilitary.
As Timothy Snyder warned in On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century, “Be wary of paramilitaries.”
I think Snyder was thinking about Trump supporters as the paramilitaries to watch out for, but the Antifa groups who use Black Bloc tactics are the mirror image of the violent wing of the white nationalist movement. Each depends upon and validates the other.
In the case of Antifa, I regard them as part half-assed paramilitary and part useful idiots. Their actions strengthen the position of the Oligarchs, who delight in seeing working class people at each other’s throats.
I also see them as drug addicts who are addicted to self-righteousness and the adrenaline rush of paramilitary violence. In this respect, they are much akin to yobs who assault people and damage property in support of their favorite sports team. Like so many drug addicts, they pursue their high at the expense of things that most people think of as important. The opiate addict will choose their high over the respect of the friends and family to whom they lie and from whom they steal. The black-clad hooligans prioritize their violence-induced high over the safety of innocents and over the democratic values of free speech and a free press.
By Leighton Woodhouse
Yesterday, at the anti-Alt-Right rally in Berkeley, I watched groups of masked Antifa members in Black Bloc formation swarm individuals who were apparently antagonizing them, and pummel them with their fists, feet, and flagpoles. When the victims tried to escape, they were run down, and in at least one case, cut off by the Antifa mob and beaten down some more. In the incidents I witnessed, about five or six Antifa members at a time participated in the attacks, while perhaps 50 others stood behind them, forming an impenetrable wall that blocked bystanders from intervening, or documenting the violence on camera. Those people would also help chase the victims when they fled.
In one case, as a crowd of non-Black Bloc protesters yelled at the assailants to let their victim go, an Antifa activist yelled, “He’s a Nazi!” over and over again, justifying the assault. Then, abruptly, maybe after realizing that the victim was not, in fact, a white nationalist, he changed his mantra. “He doesn’t have to be a Nazi!” he now shouted. The suggestion was that even if the victim wasn’t a fascist, he still deserved to be beaten. For what was unclear. Maybe because he supported Trump? Or he objected to Antifa’s tactics? Or refused to do something they ordered him to do? Who knew? The only thing those of us watching from a few yards away could tell was that a man, by himself, was on the ground, with a bloodied face, covering his head with his arms, being kicked and punched by a group of masked people, who were shielded by dozens of their comrades. My guess is that a lot of the Antifa people in the crowd who were passively assisting in the violence, including the guy yelling that he was a Nazi, didn’t know anything more than that, either.
Last week, Mark Bray, a historian of Antifa, said on Trumpcast, Slate’s podcast on all things Trump, that Antifa members are “some of the most caring and compassionate people I’ve met.” I just finished directing a short documentary about the online origins of the Alt Right, for which we interviewed several Antifa members, and I can affirm his depiction. To a person, our interviewees cared deeply about egalitarianism and anti-racism, and spent much of their day-to-day lives either working professionally or volunteering for organizations and in activist groups that fought for the social and economic rights of the disenfranchised. They gave eloquent and persuasive explanations for why fascism must be confronted head-on, with tactics up to and including violence.
An interesting interview with an Antifa who was present in Charlottesville. This also makes for an interesting counterpart to the account of the Charlottesville conflagration by Matt Parrott of Traditionalist Workers Party that I posted previously. Yet another interesting observation is that both sides are claiming victory in this battle.
In the three weeks since anarchists helped shut down the largest fascist rally the US has seen in decades, the pendulum has swung back and forth between new public support for anti-fascist organizing and a dishonest, fearmongering reaction spearheaded by the extreme center that plays right into the hands of far-right elements in the police and FBI. Now, fascists are shifting towards a strategy of decentralized attacks while the Trump administration prepares a new racist offensive against nearly a million residents of the United States. It’s more pressing than ever to learn from our victories in order to strategize for the next round. We spoke with a participant in the front lines of the clashes in Charlottesville about why an under-equipped anti-fascist contingent was able to defeat a more numerous body of fascists, how to halt the creep towards authoritarianism, and what courage means in these struggles.
In Charlottesville, on Friday night, August 11, if the torchlit march had not encountered any protesters around the monument or elsewhere—if it had been able to proceed without meeting any opposition—what do you think the consequences would have been?
Well, it’s easy to be doctrinaire when you’re speculating. I mean, any time fascists do something provocative without opposition, it sets a new baseline for them. It’s like, “Oh, marching with torches and chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ is a pretty low-key thing to do, let’s always do that at our gatherings from now on. It’s fun and easy!” But I think it strengthens their movement even more when they encounter opposition that they can easily defeat, which is what actually happened on Friday. If that had been the only event in Charlottesville, or if the rest of the weekend had gone the same way, it would have been a gift to their movement.
As I predicted, state repression against both the Alt-Right and Antifa is on the way.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
State and local police, not the feds, are the best protection we have against domestic terror. And we need the feds to fight foreign terror. The violent radical leftist group that goes by the Orwellian name “Antifa” (anti-fascist) “is thuggish in its tactics and totalitarian in its sensibility,” as Rich Lowry forcefully put it in a column on Tuesday. It also engages in terrorism. The eye-test leaves no doubt about that. Neither does federal law. Section 2331(5) of the U.S. penal code defines domestic terrorism as activities that occur primarily within the United States; that “involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State”; and that “appear to be intended” to accomplish at least one of the following three objectives:
The Onion is generally a left-leaning site. Fortunately, they’re smart enough not to fall for the “anti-facism” hysteria Kool-Aid.
BERKELEY, CA—Vowing to derail whichever event it is by any means necessary, local Antifa organizers announced plans Monday to disrupt an upcoming neo-Nazi rally or whatever else is going on that day. “We will stop at nothing to prevent these vile fucking neo-Nazi hatemongers from gathering, or, if not them, someone else,” said Sarah Jackson, 26, adding that the only way to end the spread of fascism is to physically confront Nazis, peaceful right-wing protesters, or just random people going about their daily lives. “We need to tell these Hitler-loving fucks or whoever else is standing there, ‘Get out of our city!’ Remember, we’re talking about white supremacist terrorists, people running errands on their lunch breaks, or a group of tourists, so if we have to throw a punch or two, then so fucking be it.” At press time, black-clad Antifa demonstrators screaming “Fascists, go home!” had swarmed a Scandinavian street festival.
As any Eastern European can tell you, neo-Communists are just as dangerous as neo-Nazis.
By Marc A. Thiessen
Last weekend in Berkeley, Calif., a group of neo-communist antifa — “anti-fascist” — thugs attacked peaceful protesters at a “No to Marxism in America” rally, wielding sticks and pepper spray, and beating people with homemade shields that read (I kid you not) “No Hate.” The Post reports how one peaceful protester “was attacked by five black-clad antifa members, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself.” Members of the Berkeley College Republicans were then stalked by antifa goons who followed them to a gas station and demanded they “get the [expletive] out” of their car, warning, “We are real hungry for supremacists and there is more of us.”
The organizer of the anti-Marxism protest is not a white supremacist. Amber Cummings is a self-described “transsexual female who embraces diversity” and had announced on Facebook that “any racist groups like the KKK [and] Neo Nazis . . . are not welcome.” The protest was needed, Cummings said, because “Berkeley is a ground zero for the Marxist Movement.”
By Sam Kestenbaum
For Jewish protesters gathered at this month’s far-right rally in Charlottesville, facing off with white nationalists meant coming face to face with groups that call openly for their murder.
“First stop Charlottesville, next stop Auschwitz!” white supremacists shouted, brandishing swastika flags and hoisting their arms in the Nazi salute. “Get in the showers!”
“For weeks, I was debating whether or not anti-Semitism was central to the American formation of white supremacy,” said Bethany Koval, a Jewish college student and activist from New Jersey. “I was emotionally unprepared for many of those traditional Nazi chants in Charlottesville.”
Koval said that before Charlottesville she saw white supremacy as primarily targeting or exploiting African Americans and other people of color. “I struggled to see how Jewishness fit into that equation,” Koval said. “Then came the tiki torches.”
By Jacob Siegel
Live long enough and you may hear future historians recall the war between 4chan and an art collective called LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner.
They’ll tell the story of how anonymous, interconnected imageboard users gathered clues from public video footage, like passing aircraft and the position of stars, to geolocate the roving, anti-Trump art project He Will Not Divide Us, put on by actor Shia LaBeouf and his collaborators. Records will show that the people on the group’s trail—pro-Trump activists, impish saboteurs, and budding neo-Nazis—didn’t need high-end spy gear. Instead, they found their mark by collecting and processing public information through decentralized and supposedly leaderless networks. It might one day look, in retrospect, like a form of social automation: continuously updating intelligence assessments converted into real-world effect by volunteer foot “soldiers” acting without orders.
For a time the Republicans (except Trump) appeared hesitant to criticize the Antifa, possibly out of fear of being called racist (or maybe they just didn’t know who Antifa are). The Democrats did likewise, probably out of fear of alienating potential constituents (or maybe due to a “never punch to the left” mentality). However, the Antifa did the establishment’s work for them by becoming so outrageous and brazen and that the Republicans naturally had an opportunity to get in a shot at “left-wing terrorist, socialist, blah, blah, blah…” and the Democrats immediately had to take action against Antifa as a potential electoral liability.
By Robert Wenzel
The establishment has apparently just gotten word to take down Antifa, a group they were singing the praises of as recently as two weeks ago.
This is big. Only weeks ago after Charlottesville, MSM and aligned cronies were supporting Antifa against Trump’s whataboutism in deflecting away from the neo-Nazis.
Even Paul Ryan wouldn’t condemn Antifa. From Dailywire:
And neither would Elizabeth Warren:
Just as the Trump administration has realized that it’s Alt-Right supporters are a liability, and has subsequently purged its Alt-Lite figures like Steven Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, so has the left-wing of the political class apparently has begun to regard to the Antifa as a liability and call for a purge. Already, Yvette Felarca has been arrested. More state repression against the Antifa is likely to come.
BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arreguin on Monday said it is time to confront the violent extremism on the left by treating black-clad Antifa protesters as a gang.
A large number of masked Antifa activists were seen jumping the barriers at a largely peaceful demonstration in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Civic Center Park on Sunday.
Some began attacking Trump supporters at the rally.
By Keith Preston
The State exists for the purpose of maintaining a monopoly over the legitimate use of violence within a particular geographical territory in order to more effectively control resources, exploit subjects, protect an artificially privileged ruling class, and expand its own power both internally and externally. The State does this while maintaining a self-legitimating ideological superstructure, and buying the loyalty of the middle class by suppressing the lower/underclass. The State is what you would get if the Mafia managed to eliminate all of its competitors, including the State itself, and consequently become a state of its own.
At times, the State will seek to maintain total control over every aspect of social life (e.g. the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, present day North Korea or Islamist regimes like ISIS, the Taliban, and Saudi Arabia, or Israel’s conduct in the occupied territories). However, most modern states allow for a fairly robust civil society to exist that may actually have the effect of affording the average person a fair amount of comfort. States of these kinds, so-called “liberal democracies,” may even encourage intense political debate within certain narrow parameters (or even fairly broad parameters). Some states will allow or even encourage a fair amount crime and disorder in order to legitimize the expansion of state power to an even greater degree (what the late paleconservative writer Samuel Francis called “anarcho-tyranny’‘). For example, isn’t it interesting that in spite of the massive police and prison systems that now exist in the United States, one third of all murders go unsolved?
However, no state can allow disorder to spiral too far out of control, or it will lose its legitimacy in the process. A state of this kind is a protection racket that continues to engage in extortion and exploitation, but can no longer offer actual protection. Hence, states tend to be very sensitive to perceived threats to their own legitimacy. At present, the violence that is taking place between the Antifa, Alt-Right, and their various allies certainly poses no threat to the state. America in 2017 is light years away from Weimar Germany in 1932. But the important question involves the issue of to what degree the State will continue allow such violence to persist, if indeed it does persist, which it may not. That remains to be seen.
Noam can be a bit wacky a times (e.g., “April 15 should be a day of celebration” and “the Republicans are the most dangerous organization in history’). But when he’s right, he’s really right. Amusingly, since this interview came out, I’ve seen pro-antifa elements in the anarchist milieu, such as Goofy Gillis of C4SS, taking the “Noam was a fan of Pol Pot!” line they apparently lifted from Accuracy in Media and David Horowitz, lol. Budding neocons all.
By Steven Nelson
The left-wing “Antifa” movement is rising in prominence after clashing with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., but one progressive scholar says the anti-fascists feed the fire they seek to extinguish.
“As for Antifa, it’s a minuscule fringe of the Left, just as its predecessors were,” Noam Chomsky told the Washington Examiner. “It’s a major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant.”
Many activists affiliated with the loosely organized Antifa movement consider themselves anarchists or socialists. They often wear black and take measures to conceal their identity.
Chomsky said, “what they do is often wrong in principle – like blocking talks – and [the movement] is generally self-destructive.”
“When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it’s the toughest and most brutal who win – and we know who that is,” said Chomsky, a professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “That’s quite apart from the opportunity costs – the loss of the opportunity for education, organizing, and serious and constructive activism.”
Relevant observations from a Facebook commentor:
Say whatever else you want about antifa, they’re outlook on combat strategy and their tactics are more suited for socially softer places, like Europe. If this stuff keeps up they are going to get mowed down and slaughtered by the police state, to their and their supporters utter unsuspecting horror. It’s like their soft middle class backgrounds, insulated by consumer culture actually make them think this^ behavior is hardcore urban warfare or something… this is the United States, 2017. There are more guns than people here. Japan didn’t invade this country because there would be a “rifle behind every blade of grass” and police can extra-judicially murder you on site because they feel like it.
By Peter Beinhart
Since 1907, Portland, Oregon, has hosted an annual Rose Festival. Since 2007, the festival had included a parade down 82nd Avenue. Since 2013, the Republican Party of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, had taken part. This April, all of that changed.
In keeping with Communist tradition, the antifa battle the actual proletariat on May Day.
Though to many they may seem to be revolutionaries, primed to take the fight against whatever variety of perceived fascism, the self-proclaimed anti-fascists of “Antifa” are a millstone around the neck of the political left and possibly a greater danger to progressive and liberal values than even Donald Trump himself.
Antifa has no place in Oakland because it is a racist, reactionary, reductive, counter-revolutionary, and nihilistic organization that has attacked workers and community members as well as engaged in intimidation increasing police repression against marginalized communities.
I am writing this open letter to demand that Antifa in Oakland disband and to denounce their recent efforts which caused the Oakland Police Department to force the Oakland Metro Operahouse to cancel a recent concert and face increased repression while resisting displacement and gentrification.
Some Background About the Situation
Recently individuals identifying as Anti-Fascist Action Bay Area (aka Antifa, see: https://www.facebook.com/antifabayarea/) circulated a post on social media demanding that the Oakland Metro Operahouse cancel a concert with the band Marduk from Sweden. This and all related posts have since been removed from social media.
I contacted my friends in Sweden who are part of the punk and metal scenes as well as anti-authoritarian organizing. I was informed that Marduk were not Nazis, and that Antifa was misinformed. I shared this information with Antifa and asked them to discontinue their campaign. I received no response.
|Antifa member gloats about police cancellation|
In their post Antifa made a call to action threatening to shut down the show by force if the Oakland Metro Operahouse refused to comply with Antifa’s demands.
Members of Antifa were aware that law enforcement was monitoring social media. Prior to Antifa’s actions The Oakland Metro Operahouse had been subject to harassment by city officials looking for an excuse to shut down the venue as part of an effort to gentrify the Jack London Warehouse district.
The Oakland Police Department denied the permit for the concert citing the threat of violence in light of the recent protests at U.C. Berkeley against Milo Yiannopoulis.
I am Lebanese-American, a social justice organizer, and a musician in the punk and heavy metal scenes. In the late 80s the Nazi-skin/neo-Nazi scene was growing and increasing numbers of Nazis came out to punk shows. My friends and I were attacked by Nazis during this time, and the relative safety we found in the punk scene was disappearing.
A Review of Alexander Reid-Ross’ “Against the Fascist Creep”
by Keith Preston
Academic Gloss for the Antifa
For decades, a minor cottage industry of professional “anti-racists” and “anti-fascists” has existed for the purpose of perpetually sounding the alarm about the imminent threat posed by supposed “far right extremists.” The most well-known and influential of these is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has raked in millions of dollars largely by frightening elderly liberals and Jews old enough to remember the Holocaust with hobgoblin tales about the supposedly persistent rise of neo-Nazism in America. The fundraising tactics of the SPLC are nearly identical to those of televangelists soliciting funds from elderly Christians by spinning tales about the supposed infiltration of the public schools by gay pedophiles. If one reads the literature of the SPLC and, for example, the publications of religious right organizations such as Focus on the Family and Coral Ridge Ministries, parallel themes will soon become noticeable. While the SPLC and a similar organization, the Anti-Defamation League, are the major league players in the “anti-fascism” industry, there are a number of minor league players as well ranging from the Ford Foundation-funded (how is that for irony?) Political Research Associates to AK Press, a small publisher oriented towards the “antifa” sector of the wider “anarchist” milieu.
I’ve decided to submit this article anonymously to protect against any potential retaliation.
I like to start off by saying that, although I now disavow Antifa, I will always be Anti-Fascist, against racism and against hatred.
In order to understand Antifa and how they operate and “recruit”, I will start by telling how I became involved with Antifa.