AK Press allegations against Michael Schmidt

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Flava O Flav
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Oct 19 2015 12:09
anarchoanarchist wrote:
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Calling Connolly a nationalist is simplistic, but he definitely wasn't an anarchist, that was one of the things I found hard to swallow about Black Flame. Connolly was a socialist, a syndicalist and his 'nationalism' was firmly within the realms of taking your starting position from somewhere the people around you understand.

You're shitting me, right? Connolly wasn't a nationalist? How do you explain his support for reactionary "racial" preservation societies?

"These agencies, whether Irish Language movements, Literary Societies or Commemoration Committees, are undoubtedly doing a work of lasting benefit to this country in helping to save from extinction the precious racial and national history, language and characteristics of our people."
taken from https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1897/01/socnat.htm

Connolly was not only not an anarchist, he was hardly a leftist. The fact Schmidt the shit tried to appropriate the legacy of that racist marxist for anarchist history is just further proof Schmidt has had fascist inclinations for a long time.

I started a new thread to reply to this as it could disrail the discussion.

http://libcom.org/forums/history/james-connolly-nationalism-socialism-syndicalism-19102015

no1
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Oct 19 2015 13:05
Burgers wrote:
Mark. wrote:

What I get from this is that is that Schmidt's stomfront alter ego says he voted for FF+. Is anyone apart from Reid Ross and Stephens saying he actually did vote for them?

Someone claiming they where told by Schmidt if you check all the replies.
https://www.facebook.com/AKPress/posts/10156227769355249

They're also saying that another ZACF member was present, and that LvdW knew about it

Mark.
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Oct 19 2015 13:12
Burgers wrote:
Mark. wrote:

What I get from this is that is that Schmidt's stomfront alter ego says he voted for FF+. Is anyone apart from Reid Ross and Stephens saying he actually did vote for them?

Someone claiming they where told by Schmidt if you check all the replies.
https://www.facebook.com/AKPress/posts/10156227769355249

Thanks, I wouldn't have found that. Someone's saying there that they know someone who was told by Schmidt, but it isn't clear when.

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Oct 19 2015 13:38

As someone mentioned earlier, it's hard to make an assessment because the articles are obscured with trivia (he likes rockabilly!!卐卐卐).

Some charges are anonymous (like voting for Freedom Front Plus), and my reading is that these claims link the crap proposals to a broader charge of white supremacist politics. The writing is below the standard you'd expect from reputable journalism, which isn't a crime, but having editors and fact checkers is what permits anonymous sources while remaining trustworthy, as I read recently. In their absence, sticking to the substantive evidence with citations, a bloody redraft and dropping the serialisation would have been better.

Plus I liked Black Flame and now I'm cringing at having recommended it to others so please, please, please don't be a Nazi.

PS First post in ages.

r-exist
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Oct 19 2015 13:53

Mark.

The second Brandon Gray comment of that AK release post, the one with 30+ answers, has Stéfanie Noire confirming: "@brandon: he personally told me that he voted for ff+. In person. As MS. Also, the recent attacks have absolutely nothing to do with this article, that's ridiculous! It's what ANC thugs have always been doing to dissidents."

https://www.facebook.com/AKPress/posts/10156227769355249

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Oct 19 2015 14:27

Also, I think it's also worth mentioning that there's a hell of a lot more evidence provided here than I've seen in many cases where someone is outed as an informant or undercover, or someone is exposed as a rapist, but you rarely see bourgeois legal standards demanded of those cases.

The claim by MS that he was doing undercover journalist work is pretty much refuted in Pt. 2 and Pt. 3. If you were doing this you wouldn't be putting out so much personal information and pictures, along with really specific critiques of the far left. Unless you were incredibly stupid, which I might believe of an amateur, but not a professional journalist. Both statements by MS have not been convincing at all.

radicalgraffiti
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Oct 19 2015 14:41
Juan Conatz wrote:
Also, I think it's also worth mentioning that there's a hell of a lot more evidence provided here than I've seen in many cases where someone is outed as an informant or undercover, or someone is exposed as a rapist, but you rarely see bourgeois legal standards demanded of those cases.

you clearly haven't read the responses to the outing of many rapists

Mark.
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Oct 19 2015 14:42
r-exist wrote:
Mark.

The second Brandon Gray comment of that AK release post, the one with 30+ answers, has Stéfanie Noire confirming: "@brandon: he personally told me that he voted for ff+. In person. As MS. Also, the recent attacks have absolutely nothing to do with this article, that's ridiculous! It's what ANC thugs have always been doing to dissidents."

https://www.facebook.com/AKPress/posts/10156227769355249

Thanks.

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Oct 19 2015 15:06
Juan Conatz wrote:
Also, I think it's also worth mentioning that there's a hell of a lot more evidence provided here than I've seen in many cases where someone is outed as an informant or undercover, or someone is exposed as a rapist, but you rarely see bourgeois legal standards demanded of those cases.

Really?

That's entirely at odds with my experiences and (more importantly) the experiences of pretty much every woman I've discussed issues of sexual assault within radical scenes with.

And that aside, I don't think it's a correct comparison. There are really specific reasons in cases of sexual assault that believing a survivor is the default. Issues such as re-traumatisation, rape culture, the specific difficulties of "proving" a sexual assault, patriarchal power structures etc etc just don't exist here. It's not like we have a specific hostility to due process per se.

Fuck, we're not even talking about someone here who has said Schmidt was racist to them - it's a white dude on another continent.

That said, I think at this point enough evidence has been presented that the accusations need be treated deadly seriously, and that Schmidt should be disassociated from and excluded as a minimum. However, I think just as much as we can't let the fuck ups in process distract from the real danger and issues at stake here from Schmidt's politics (and potentially actions), we just as importantly can't let the fact he's a racist shit absolve or hide the fact that the way AK dealt with this was irresponsible, potentially dangerous and shouldn't be allowed to be repeated.

Jim
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Oct 19 2015 15:56
Juan Conatz wrote:
Also, I think it's also worth mentioning that there's a hell of a lot more evidence provided here than I've seen in many cases where someone is outed as an informant or undercover, or someone is exposed as a rapist, but you rarely see bourgeois legal standards demanded of those cases.

The claim by MS that he was doing undercover journalist work is pretty much refuted in Pt. 2 and Pt. 3. If you were doing this you wouldn't be putting out so much personal information and pictures, along with really specific critiques of the far left. Unless you were incredibly stupid, which I might believe of an amateur, but not a professional journalist. Both statements by MS have not been convincing at all.

Evidence of what? From looking through it all there's a lot of evidence Schmidt has some racist views, but not a lot that he's a fascist or white nationalist if you accept his claims about the undercover work. I don't think Reid-Ross and Stephens have made a solid enough case that the output of the fake accounts are Schmidt's genuinely held beliefs.

I know a lot of incredibly stupid professional journalists.

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Oct 19 2015 16:37

Fall Back, I guess my point is that there is no judge, there is no jury, so in those cases, we have to just trust the likelihood that they are true and rely on the credibility of the groups putting their rep on the line rather than expecting a presentation of public evidence. I see your point about sexual assualt, and I think I was thinking specifically of public statements about people that have appeared on libcom, I don't recall posters demanding the type of standards that would be expected in a court of law. You're correct that in many cases, people do demand this, unfortunately.

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Oct 19 2015 16:40
Jim wrote:
Juan Conatz wrote:
Also, I think it's also worth mentioning that there's a hell of a lot more evidence provided here than I've seen in many cases where someone is outed as an informant or undercover, or someone is exposed as a rapist, but you rarely see bourgeois legal standards demanded of those cases.

The claim by MS that he was doing undercover journalist work is pretty much refuted in Pt. 2 and Pt. 3. If you were doing this you wouldn't be putting out so much personal information and pictures, along with really specific critiques of the far left. Unless you were incredibly stupid, which I might believe of an amateur, but not a professional journalist. Both statements by MS have not been convincing at all.

Evidence of what? From looking through it all there's a lot of evidence Schmidt has some racist views, but not a lot that he's a fascist or white nationalist if you accept his claims about the undercover work. I don't think Reid-Ross and Stephens have made a solid enough case that the output of the fake accounts are Schmidt's genuinely held beliefs.

I know a lot of incredibly stupid professional journalists.

A lot of the evidence can be refuted by accepting he had medically induced amnesia, as well, but why should this explanation be accepted?

S. Artesian
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Oct 19 2015 16:57
Jim wrote:
Evidence of what? From looking through it all there's a lot of evidence Schmidt has some racist views, but not a lot that he's a fascist or white nationalist if you accept his claims about the undercover work. I don't think Reid-Ross and Stephens have made a solid enough case that the output of the fake accounts are Schmidt's genuinely held beliefs.

I know a lot of incredibly stupid professional journalists.

Right, undercover work as a journalist; with no notification to his editor. Sure thing.

And now that his cover's been blown, wouldn't it make sense to publish what he learned about the racist, fascist groups he supposedly penetrated?

Do I look like I just fell off a truckload of pumpkins being brought to the city for Halloween?

admin: off topic comment removed. Don't derail the discussion into topics there are already other threads about

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Oct 19 2015 16:56
Jim wrote:
Evidence of what? From looking through it all there's a lot of evidence Schmidt has some racist views, but not a lot that he's a fascist or white nationalist if you accept his claims about the undercover work.

Well him voting for a quasi-fascist party doesn't really help him with that. As for his claims about undercover work, I think his editor whom he cited as the person who could corroborate his story, saying he knew nothing about it and wouldn't have even supported it pretty much kills that (in addition to the lack of actual journalistic exposés of the far right: if he was just infiltrating for stories, where are the stories?)

autonegation
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Oct 19 2015 18:37
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"One dude managed, in a meeting, to argue that women should not be the only ones to decide whether to have an abortion or not because that would be individualistic. Rather it should be up to the community! The only person challenging him? A non-member (room mate of a member) whose apartment the meeting was held."

That is a very serious, and knowing Common Cause's politics, almost certainly false claim to just make in passing. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to where this alleged comment took place? Were you there? If so, why did it fall on someone's roommate to point out the inherent misogyny in the statement? And if you weren't there, then why should anyone trust you, since you clearly have an axe to grind?

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Oct 19 2015 18:47
S. Artesian wrote:
And now that his cover's been blown, wouldn't it make sense to publish what he learned about the racist, fascist groups he supposedly penetrated?

Maybe he's serialising it.

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Oct 19 2015 19:14
Quote:
That is a very serious, and knowing Common Cause's politics, almost certainly false claim to just make in passing. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to where this alleged comment took place? Were you there? If so, why did it fall on someone's roommate to point out the inherent misogyny in the statement? And if you weren't there, then why should anyone trust you, since you clearly have an axe to grind?

No, I wasn't there, but I was told by the room mate. And yes, I have an axe to grind with Common Cause (more specifically the Toronto branch) because of how they have treated a rape survivor, and in general for being sexist pieces of shit. There are many similar stories to that.

And sorry, knowing the politics of Common Cause doesn't mean you know the conduct of their members. What they write sounds pretty good, but in practice it is not that great. Granted, I am mainly referring to the Toronto branch and I still think there are several great people in the other branches (but I am disappointed that none of them, but for a few, bothered to take the sexism of the Toronto branch seriously.

And why the fuck should anyone trust you considering you clearly made your account today to just post this.

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Oct 19 2015 19:18

Sorry guys, admin note here if you want to continue to discuss the Common Cause stuff please start a new thread. Any more comments on this will be deleted.

Battlescarred
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Oct 19 2015 20:54

"As someone mentioned earlier, it's hard to make an assessment because the articles are obscured with trivia (he likes rockabilly!!卐卐卐)."
Oh dear, I'm a big fan of rockabilly. Looks like I'll have to denounce myself.

S. Artesian
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Oct 19 2015 22:43

I don't give a fuck about rockabilly, or any other music derived from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas, Australia, or any island anywhere. Play it all, sing it all, so what? But if you're singing the Horst Wessel song, it's not the melody that's of concern, it's the lyrics... i.e. the historical context.

r-exist
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Oct 20 2015 02:01

Anybody know if there will still be, as announced, more parts to be published? If so, when?

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Oct 20 2015 12:23
Juan Conatz wrote:
Also, I think it's also worth mentioning that there's a hell of a lot more evidence provided here than I've seen in many cases where someone is outed as an informant or undercover, or someone is exposed as a rapist, but you rarely see bourgeois legal standards demanded of those cases.

It seems reasonable to measure the worth of the articles against a standard for the presentation of evidence and arguments.

The authors lack a coherent framework to talk about fascism and racism. This has lead to confusing writing that gives equal weight to ephemera and documentary evidence. Overwhelming people with information, without sorting into a logical structure, will cause division or disinterest.

A lot of it is a no-true-Scotsman argument to call him a fascist, because he's probably a very bad anarchist. Others in this thread pointed out that a better explanation for his conduct going unquestioned is a macho culture and vanguardism. That's a scarier problem than an undercover fascist, I reckon.

Hopefully this doesn't come across as being an apologist for MS. I'm saying that the articles have done us a disservice by adding significantly to confusion. If more rigour was applied, we would not need to dig into obscure Facebook comments for the evidence and the nature of the problem would be clear.

Burgers
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Oct 20 2015 07:24
r-exist wrote:
Anybody know if there will still be, as announced, more parts to be published? If so, when?

Well there are still two more chapter to be published and they hoped to get the 4th one out lastnight, but "A pretty big evidentiary bombshell went off this morning, and we're doing our diligence in following up." so maybe this has delayed it till today?

On another note while some will want to use this to bash "platformists" others will use it to bash class struggle anarchists in general.

Quote:
Syndicalism is only one very, very short step away from fascism

https://roblosricos.wordpress.com/about/black-flame-burns-the-anarchists-enchanted-by-its-drivel/

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Oct 20 2015 08:39

Yes, I agree with Burgers. This will be used by all sorts of liberal anarchists to launch an attack on anarchists who see class as central, and in particular anarcho-syndicalists.

Devrim

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Oct 20 2015 08:50
Burgers wrote:

On another note while some will want to use this to bash "platformists" others will use it to bash class struggle anarchists in general.

Quote:
Syndicalism is only one very, very short step away from fascism

https://roblosricos.wordpress.com/about/black-flame-burns-the-anarchists-enchanted-by-its-drivel/

yeah, but who cares what those idiots say?

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Oct 20 2015 09:27

I think, Steven, that it will end up a lot wider than "those idiots".

Devrim

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Oct 20 2015 09:38
Steven. wrote:
Burgers wrote:

On another note while some will want to use this to bash "platformists" others will use it to bash class struggle anarchists in general.

Quote:
Syndicalism is only one very, very short step away from fascism

https://roblosricos.wordpress.com/about/black-flame-burns-the-anarchists-enchanted-by-its-drivel/

yeah, but who cares what those idiots say?

True perhaps. but then they come up with gems like:

Quote:
Turns out that at least one of the authors of Black Flame is a white supremacist, and has been using his influence within the Syndicalist movement to keep Anarchism firmly rooted in an exclusively Euro-centric worldview.

You can make many criticisms of Black Flame but the idea that as a work it is a project to "keep Anarchism firmly rooted in an exclusively Euro-centric worldview" really is the world turned upside down.

On the other hand, if AK succeed in pulping the remaining print run, who's to say such nonsense won't become the received wisdom in ten years time?

Jim
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Oct 20 2015 09:57

While I can see why people would expect Schmidt to have a number of exposes on the far-right published, that isn't the only type of journalism which undercover accounts would aid. Schmidt has written a number of articles and books which feature information about the far-right so I think that defence of his is conceivable. But yeah, still leaves questions about the voting etc.

akai
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Oct 20 2015 18:29

About the class anarchist bashing, my opinion is that only anti-nationalist and anti-hierarchical class anarchism is worth a damn. Where criticism is unjustified, it is not a problem to counter any of these people's criticism. lt is only a problem if they have points. So l think that where class anarchist have taken problematic positions, we have to clearly disassociate ourselves and movements from them.

lf l had time, l would answer to the fascism and syndicalism thing. l actually do thing there can be dangers of fascists integrating with syndicalists (who have bad national politics). The proof is that in Poland their all self-styled anarcho-syndicalists who run in elections with fascists. (But l don't consider them anarcho-syndicalists ...)

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Oct 20 2015 18:57
klas batalo wrote:
they are apparently sitting on another like 3 parts, fucking losers not being responsible and just releasing it to protect the movement and put this issue to a rest.

I've been mulling this over, trying to think it through, in agreement with your point and maybe it's a stupid question but if he actually is a fascist infiltrator, isn't this a really shitty way of releasing info in terms of security and counter measures for groups, organisations and movements? I'm sure some of this is already taking place, but the means in which it's being done just seems very unhelpful in that regard.