Nick Ochs is an actual fascist running for office in Honolulu’s District 22
Nick Ochs, the founder of the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys, is running for a seat in the State House of Representatives in Honolulu’s District 22.
Why does it matter that Ochs is a Proud Boy?
The Proud Boys are a street fighting organization that took part in right wing extremist attacks on US cities over the last four years. They participated in the “Patriot Prayer” and “Unite the Right” rallies that were portrayed as “free speech rallies” but which were organized on extreme right chat sites with specific intent to intimidate and harm leftists.
They organized with and fought alongside groups such as the KKK, Atomwaffen, Hammer Skins, Sons of Odin, Three Percenters, Identity Evropa, Oath Keepers, and other hard right, white nationalist, and openly fascist groups and militias. The goal was intimidating and beating leftists, immigrants, lgbtq, and other vulnerable groups that do not fit in with an essentially fascist ideology.
While the Proud Boys insist they are merely a fraternal drinking organization, their actual function has been high profile street fighting. Their constant mantra that they can’t be fascist because they have people of color and lgbtq members is a red herring. It’s important to remember fascism is not limited to “white” groups. Pinochet in Chile, Imperial Japan, Franco in Spain, and countless other “colored shirt” groups would not qualify as “white” to most racists, yet they were fascists.
Organizing street fighting gangs to attack and silence the left, stir up fear and xenophobia, unite with white nationalists, in alliance with capitalists while espousing virulent nationalism is plain vanilla fascism. All the attempts to dress this up as a “free speech” movement instantly fall flat. A signature t-shirt worn by Proudboys at their wildings featured the message “Pinochet Did Nothing Wrong.” Augusto Pinochet was the fascist dictator of Chile who overthrew the democratically elected Allende government there, murdering Allende and unleashing a reign of death squad terror on leftists, union members, social activists, and opposition party members, killing and or “disappearing” up to 20,000 people. The “Free Helicopter Rides” shirts Proud Boys wear are a reference to Pinochet’s forces throwing civilians out of helicopters to murder them and send a message to any who dared oppose his brutal dictatorship.
The above are some of the things Nick Ochs stands for as a member of the Proud Boys.
University of Hawaii intimidation antics
Ochs was also involved in an incident alleged to involve hate speech, in which he was finally barred from the University of Hawaii Political Science building, resulting in his changing majors from Political Science to Journalism. Incidents around campus had put several professors on edge, and were said to be related to Proud Boy presence on the UH campus.
Ochs Imports Fascist Pals to Hawaii
Ochs organized a Hawaii appearance by Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens of the extreme Right group Turning Point USA. TPUSA is considered an “alt-light” ally to alt-Right and white nationalist groups. They run a McCarthyite “Professor Watchlist” targeting left-wing professors who allegedly “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The group consistently attracts support from fascist and white nationalists. They have also spread conspiracy theories about Covid-19 being a hoax and others about non-existent voter fraud.
Ochs also organized an appearance by alt-Right celebrity Milo Yiannopoulos in Hawaii, which was cancelled due to local protests. Milo is known for his affection for and associations with white nationalists and neonazis and his tireless work to covertly smuggle their messages into Breitbart news when he worked for the then Steve Bannon run online magazine.
While I have no idea if Ochs has a chance in hell of winning, I’m told he’s running in a district with a pattern of low voter turn out. His main opponent on the Democratic side is the apparently popular Tom Brower, who is best known for taking a sledgehammer to the shopping carts used by homeless people and filming himself doing it as a PR stunt. This choice in candidates led one commenter on a thread I was on to ask “Can we just throw this year in the garbage?”