antifa? no, thanks

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Jim
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May 22 2017 12:06
Craftwork wrote:
It seems to me that there's a deeper split within this thread.

When it comes to present-day antifascism, some people here (i.e. the partisans [partigianos] of antifascism) are merely concerned with questions of its being - their approach focuses on how antifascism manifests itself today, in the here-and-now, and how this form of antifascism, at this particular point in time, differs from past forms; what makes it special, hence how it can avoid the degenerations of the past, etc., But the friends of antifascism fail to apprehend that for the critics, it's not a question of what antifascism is today, but a question of its becoming. And in answering this question, we say that from the fact that the latest variant of antifascism in the US/UK hasn't yet collapsed, it doesn't follow that it's a qualitatively different phenomenon from that of the '30s/'40s. We look to the future by looking at the past.

As illustrated by that image of antifascist-Rojavis, the logic of antifascist political reasoning compels its followers along a trajectory that ultimately leads to the abandonment of internationalist positions, because for them the greatest imperative is to stop fascism, even if this entails delaying/selling-out the class struggle, taking sides in imperialist wars, etc.

Just like with the unions, antifascism today might not be a big-enough phenonomenon for its counterrevolutionary function to be plain to see, but that doesn't mean that a counterrevolutionary function isn't there.

This is an incredibly academic position, theory devoid of any connection with practice. Of course there are problems with some anti-fascist's support for the status quo, support for national liberation struggles etc. but that doesn't mean anti-fascism should be dismissed in its entirety.

If you knew anything about anti-fascism beyond some hackneyed left communist critiques you would know that there are active anti-fascists in the UK who are solid internationalists. Anti-fascism as a political ideology is fucked, but anti-fascism as the practice of responding to the activity of far-right groups can be a necessity.

If your political activity is academia and posting online then what is happening on the streets isn't going to matter. But if you're organising in everyday life then there is always a risk of fascist violence. How great that risk is at any given point should define how involved we are in 'anti-fascism', not some abstract political position.

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Zanthorus
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May 22 2017 12:59
Jim wrote:
But if you're organising in everyday life then there is always a risk of fascist violence.

I have, honest to God, never seen a fascist in real life. At my secondary school some years back, there was an incident involving gang violence, which the BNP tried to exploit by running a candidate for the town council. It was discussed for all of two days perhaps and people forgot about it pretty quickly. The first time I saw 'anti-fascism' being discussed online I thought it was some kind of weird 1930's Germany historical re-enactment fetish.

I think this might be a regional thing, it seems a lot of libcom users live in London, whereas I'm all the way over here in the south west.

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Hieronymous
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May 22 2017 13:46

In the U.S., the fascist label seems to only apply to a fraction of the white nationalists. More seem to come out of a home-grown reactionary tradition rooted in the KKK that dates to the end of the Civil War in 1865 (formal white supremacy began centuries before, in reaction to Bacon's Rebellion).

Since Trump became president what seems to unite them -- from the Fox News-watching Trump-supporting grandpas to Identity Evropa fascists (who've been working actively to get permits to set up tables at college campuses across the U.S. to recruit) -- is patriotism, an ideology of white supremacy, and being fanatically anti-immigrant.

And this tradition is clearly based on violence and attacks on their perceived enemies. The number they've murdered is in the tens of thousands (if not more). Klansmen have historically had strong bases in law enforcement agencies and government bureaucracies (Anaheim and Oakland California in the 1920s are typical examples). Frankly, homicidal violence is a greater threat than "vulnerability to democratic ideology" (not to dismiss how dissent and resistance gets recuperated).

Jim
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May 22 2017 15:25

In the past few years, in the UK, the far-right have physically attacked protests, meetings, benefit gigs, squats and football fans. One of them even killed an MP. In addition to those attacks, there have been a number of threats to things like conferences and marches.

If people think we shouldn't be taking those threats seriously then they're naive at best.

el psy congroo
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May 22 2017 17:16

I wonder if Marx had killing MPs in mind when he stated the need to win the battle for democracy

Jim
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May 23 2017 11:03
Zanthorus wrote:
I think this might be a regional thing, it seems a lot of libcom users live in London, whereas I'm all the way over here in the south west.

In the south west you've got a far-right which includes former EDL supporters, neo-Nazis and remnants of the BNP. There are often street protests in Bristol and the former BNP branch has turned into a regular meeting called the 'South West Forum'.

A South West Forum meeting was attacked by anti-fascists in January:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/anti-fascist-gang-dressed-balaclava...

There was also a far-right protest in Bristol earlier this year:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/far-right-protesters-anti-fascists-...

So there are fascists in the south west, but they're not that large or well organised that you'll necessarily have come across them. The question for us is do we support "antifa" in keeping them disorganised and small, or do we wait until they're a larger threat. Tbh, I think at the moment their is an argument in the UK for people to be scaling back anti-fascist organising. But this is a slightly different question to the one this thread is posing.

S. Artesian
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Jul 15 2017 03:26

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

el psy congroo
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May 24 2017 14:30

How would you distinguish the 'liberalism' of IP's with your own, Artesian? You've got me curious now.

S. Artesian
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Jul 15 2017 03:27

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

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Hieronymous
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May 29 2017 14:10
Hieronymous wrote:
Frankly, homicidal violence is a greater threat than "vulnerability to democratic ideology".

The killing of Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, and near fatal stabbing of Micah David-Cole, in Portland on Friday bear this out.

As do:

Arjun Singh Sethi wrote:
In February, a white American allegedly killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian American in Kansas whom he had mistaken for Iranian. The attacker yelled “get out of my country” before firing. In March, a known white supremacist allegedly killed James Jackson, an elderly black man in New York City, apparently because Jackson was black. Last week, a white American allegedly killed Richard W. Collins III, a young black man, on the campus of the University of Maryland. The suspect was a member of a Facebook group called Alt-Reich: Nation. And now there’s Portland. These are just a sample. Threats, assault, vandalism, nooses and murder make the headlines almost every day.

Last Thursday (25 May 2017), 100 longshore workers in ILWU at the Port of Oakland, 60% of whom are African American, walked off the job for half a day after finding a noose inside a dockside truck, as well as seeing the n-word scrawled on port equipment inside the customs-secured area of an intermodal container terminal. This shopfloor strike should be a model for working class resistance to the increasing number of attacks executed by white nationalists emboldened by the election of Trump.

Comrades, abstract musings and ahistorical prescriptions do fuck all to prepare us for these attacks. Stop the academic polemics and pull your heads out of the sand!

Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, Rest In Peace.

petey
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May 30 2017 14:05

how to take the recent killings and turn them 180 degrees around

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/29/portland-attack-republic...

Quote:
Asked if this meant Republicans making their own security arrangements rather than relying on city or state police, Buchal said: “Yeah. And there are these people arising, like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.”

Asked if he was considering such groups as security providers, Buchal said: “Yeah. We’re thinking about that. Because there are now belligerent, unstable people who are convinced that Republicans are like Nazis.”

the irony, like

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Joseph Kay
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May 30 2017 17:27

Are they trolling, or does 'I want to show I'm 100% not a Nazi, so I'm considering deputising a right-wing paramilitary force to answer to me personally' seem like a reasonable thing to that dude?

petey
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May 30 2017 19:49

i'm as sure as i can be that he said that seriously. it's just assumed that anti-fascists are the real fascists, and that rightists are liberty-lovers.

what seems to be going on rhetorically here is the same thing that happened a few years ago when the BLM were cast as the aggressors and the cops were the victims.

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Sike
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May 31 2017 10:14
Joseph Kay wrote:
Are they trolling, or does 'I want to show I'm 100% not a Nazi, so I'm considering deputising a right-wing paramilitary force to answer to me personally' seem like a reasonable thing to that dude?

Buchal's proposal appears to have been made without any sense of irony. The oath keepers and three percenters don't brandish nazi flags so perhaps Buchal fails to perceive any association between his proposal and fascism in spite of the fact that he is a right wing politician proposing to recruit a police force consisting of right wing paramilitaries to assume security functions at political protests. However, most probably Buchal understands exactly the duplicity involved in his proposal and just doesn't care.

petey
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Jun 1 2017 14:22

more of it

Quote:
Organizers of an anti-Muslim demonstration planned for June 10 announced Wednesday that they've canceled the event.

Organizer Scott Presler cited Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's "inflammatory" requests to cancel other protests, which he said endangered people who might attend them.

...

"Due to Mayor Wheeler's inflammatory comments and what we feel is an incitement of violence, he has shamefully endangered every scheduled participant," Presler wrote. "Consequently, in order to ensure the safety of those who had planned on attending, we have taken the decision to cancel the Portland March Against Sharia."

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/organizers_cite_may...

this bunch, unlike the guy above, are surely self-aware.

mn8
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Jun 3 2017 10:49
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I have, honest to God, never seen a fascist in real life. At my secondary school some years back, there was an incident involving gang violence, which the BNP tried to exploit by running a candidate for the town council. It was discussed for all of two days perhaps and people forgot about it pretty quickly. The first time I saw 'anti-fascism' being discussed online I thought it was some kind of weird 1930's Germany historical re-enactment fetish.

I think this might be a regional thing, it seems a lot of libcom users live in London, whereas I'm all the way over here in the south west.

Fascists are a perennial danger, perhaps you have just overlooked them. They can be covert or nonobvious ordinarily.

Mike Harman
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Jun 5 2017 14:01

This looks like either an undercover cop or an 'oathkeeper' at the Portland demo/counter-demo, assisting the police with an arrest: https://twitter.com/libcomorg/status/871607954277109761

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Hieronymous
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Jun 6 2017 04:45

This is the best account of that white nationalist demo, written by a black counter-protestor who's from Portland (thanks to Huli for the link):

But ignore the last 2 paragraphs with their reformist appeals and demands to hold the mayor responsible.

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shug
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Jul 8 2017 14:26

IP have referred to this thread here: https://internationalistperspective.org/antifa-no-thanks/

S. Artesian
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Jul 15 2017 03:27

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

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Hieronymous
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Jul 9 2017 16:51

In Charlottesville, Virginia 50 members of the KKK came to protest the now-tentative removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. They were outnumbered at least 30 to 1 and had to be protected by the pigs.

Here's a New York Times story that has a photo showing the cops protecting the Klan as they were being evacuated: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/us/kkk-rally-charlottesville-robert-e...

I return the question to the doubters: if you lived in Charlottesville, which side would you be on when these white supremacists from North Carolina came to town? Would you ignore them and go to one of the city sponsored concerts?

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OliverTwister
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Jul 10 2017 12:08
Hieronymous wrote:
In Charlottesville, Virginia 50 members of the KKK came to protest the now-tentative removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. They were outnumbered at least 30 to 1 and had to be protected by the pigs.

Here's a New York Times story that has a photo showing the cops protecting the Klan as they were being evacuated: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/us/kkk-rally-charlottesville-robert-e...

I return the question to the doubters: if you lived in Charlottesville, which side would you be on when these white supremacists from North Carolina came to town? Would you ignore them and go to one of the city sponsored concerts?

They wouldn't live in Charlottesville. They would move to New York or California.

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Craftwork
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Jul 18 2017 22:09
Comrade Motopu wrote:
The video of the IWW General Defense Committee separating out fascists from Trump supporters until they just left. "Nazis got called Nazis in Minnesota and weren't allowed a platform"
https://vimeo.com/216810119

Has anyone else watched this?! This pretty much encapsulates what kind of an ideological hole revolutionaries get themselves into in the name of antifascism.

What we see here is IWW uniting with Trump supporters in the name of antifascism to defend the existing political system against fascists.

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Comrade Motopu
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Jul 18 2017 23:18

I can see what you're saying. Other things to consider are that part of what's happening at white nationalist rallies is the attempt by communities to defuse them and prevent them recruiting. In the "Tiger Town Beats Nazis Down" article, the author noticed fascists working the crowd in plain clothes and getting some possible traction while black bloc protesters seemed like aliens. You can say the IWW defended the bourgeois state, or you can say it peeled off a layer of the Right from itself, and helped define the fault lines between the groups.

Clintonite neoliberals use rhetoric about all Trump supporters being racist sexists who are in the thrall of some amorphous eternal self-replecating monster called "racism" which is apparently part of their very essence now, part of their genetic code as poor whites. The problem is that racism is formed in specific historical circumstances. It was created intentionally by the ruling class as a tool of labor control. One identifiable "moment" in the US where that happened was Bacon's Rebellion (a complex mix of anti-Indian forces uniting along class lines to unite black slaves and white frontier settlers in Virginia against elites. The result was the strengthening of race laws to seperate black and white workers/indentured servants/slaves.) Complex as it is, the clear aspect is that racism is not inherent, and had to be intentionally created by the ruling class.

The IWW action defeated the white nationalists on that day, while showing people duped over to the far Right capitalist party their own humanity. This leaves open the possibility of modelling anti-racist action and leaving the door open to people to leave the Trump camp. Maybe it just means they vote for the "left wing of capital" Democrats, or maybe they become active in some kind of class based action. I don't think that one action that appears purely reformist out of context means that this action was done in support of the bourgeois state. I don't know the politics of these particular IWW members, and maybe some of you have more critical things to say about them.

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Jul 19 2017 19:38
Comrade Motopu wrote:
I don't know the politics of these particular IWW members, and maybe some of you have more critical things to say about them.

I've met some of them. Can't say I know them, but when we met I realized they are solid class struggle militants with tons of shopfloor experience.

Crafty, you gotta watch the video again -- and give some supporting details. Otherwise your account is completely unsubstantiated. How are they defending the existing political system? It's not just true because you say so. We've seen before how you kinda do this shorthand in lieu of thinking. And to be blunt Crafty, your dismissive, contentless clipart is sophomoric. One of the guys killed in Portland was an acquaintance of a friend, so I don't look as this threat so abstractly -- or flippantly and callously.

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Jul 19 2017 16:33
Quote:
In the "Tiger Town Beats Nazis Down" article, the author noticed fascists working the crowd in plain clothes and getting some possible traction while black bloc protesters seemed like aliens.

Worth noting that that article was co-written by three GDC members.

Also there was the confrontation between Auburn students and white supremacists at the end of that action. Presumably some of those Auburn students were conservative. Is that a "defense of the bourgeois state"?

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Aug 20 2017 02:26

Boston was pretty massive today. I talked with a comrade there who said at least 15,000 protestors showed up to confront 30 white nationalists. The latter had to be protected and escorted out by the pigs.

el psy congroo
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Aug 20 2017 04:23

By every account I've seen, there's less than 10k militant white nationalists in the US. Where's the great fascist threat? It's not real. And the popular talking point right now is "Hitler had like 20 supporters only in 1922".

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Hieronymous
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Aug 20 2017 13:21
el psy congroo wrote:
By every account I've seen . . .

Comrade, in all due respect, you can see better with your eyes open.

Clay Claiborne wrote:
6 days before going to Charlottesville these Nazis declared "race war" on Santa Monica [California]

Friends and comrades,

When I started putting together a video report on the much enlarged white supremacist attack on the Santa Monica Committee for Racial Justice that took place Sunday a week ago, I didn't even know the US neo-fascist movement was planning a huge "United the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA. I soon found out about it from listening to their livestream chatter. Not only did I find out about this planned racist rally ahead of time, I learned that three of the leaders of their self-declared "race war" on Santa Monica were going to Charlottesville, and two of them were scheduled to speak before the assembled fascists.

Since that meeting 9 days ago, I have been working almost non-stop to put together a documentary report about the latest battle in this struggle. After the events in Charlottesville over the weekend, I realized that my little local activist project had much greater significance. In addition to the footage I personally shot from inside the meeting, I was able to gather about 15 hrs of video and live stream from the other side. In some of that they were bragging about their activities and outlook until the wee hours of Monday morning. What I have been able to produce is now much more than a report on what they are calling "round two" in their fight to take down the Committee for Racial Justice [because they see it as anti-white], it is a rare inside look at the people that make up this movement, what they really believe, and how they are organized.

Although I threw it together in less than 10 days, I believe it is my most important documentary effort since Vietnam: American Holocaust.

Please watch and circulate widely.

Before Charlottesville:
6 August 2017 - From the livestream chatter among white supremacist "red elephants" after they just spent the evening harassing a social justice group in Santa Monica.

el psy congroo
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Aug 20 2017 13:51

H: your politics suck and I'm not your comrade. You've been caught up in this leftist activism since before the election. Wanted to get that out of the way first.

Quote:
“It’s a small group of real bad people,” Simon (of the SPLC) writes.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/how-many-nazis-are-there-in-america-really