For an anti-fascist, revolutionary unionism

For an anti-fascist, revolutionary unionism.

A statement by the African Peoples Caucus of the Twin Cities Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) about revolutionary unionism's responsibility to be anti-fascist.

Fascism is a concept that has grown a lot of particular interest since the election of Donald Trump and the failure of neoliberalism. While we don’t consider Trump himself to be a fascist but a right wing populist, we do recognize that he has mobilized a broad coalition of the right, which includes some fascists. However, reactionary violence is nothing new to black and African people living in the United States. Our communities have seen first-hand the terror campaigns of proto-fascist groups such as the KKK, and other kinds of organized white supremacist violence. Our oppression and exploitation have been central to the establishment of modern capitalism in the Americas. This also means we have been fighting back since we were brought here. Our stake in anti-fascism is not an academic question.

Fascism needs to be defined for our context: right now this is a smaller element participating within a popular front of the right wing. Most notable of this multi-tendency white nationalist milieu is the alt-right, who believe in atrocities such as "white" ethnic cleansing, misogyny, violence against a perceived "other" (minorities, refugees, Muslims, women, lgbtqia, Jews), and overwhelming worship of authority and class-based hierarchies. What allows this to spread is that neoliberal economic policies under capitalism cause the working class to suffer, and they are given scapegoats and offered false and authoritarian solutions. The reactionaries’ influence within the State will be strengthened, which will increase the suffering of black and African people at the hands of the police, prison, and poverty.

While fascism sometimes spreads using political opportunists like the electoral right wing, it is also an independent movement of the insurgent right wing and has an agenda separate from and opposed to the current state. Fascists also recruit through entryism into popular cultures and subcultures (music, arts, internet groups, faith-based, etc). Today’s fascists have improved the ability to hide within “legitimate” conservative political and social groups. Its spread is international and evident in the western turn away from neoliberalism towards economic nationalism, Islamophobic motives surrounding Brexit, and the State literally assassinating drug users in the Philippines. Trump is a big piece of this, but definitely not the only one. In addition to being aware of fascists attempting to turn the repressive state apparatus against us, we also have
to prepare to defend ourselves against reactionaries like George Zimmerman and Dylann Roof, who have terrorized us with direct extralegal violence since we got here.

It's important that we not let our history of struggle be claimed by the liberal narrative that the civil rights era was built on a dogmatic commitment to "nonviolence". Black and African people have had to physically, mentally, and emotionally defend their communities from State and white supremacist terror, and it was organized. Groups like the Deacons for Defense, Black Liberation Army, and Black Panther Party understood why a self-defense approach in the face of police and reactionaries was necessary. If a person knows the bloodshed that occurred at the height of the labor movement, one must also acknowledge there has been consistent violence against black and African people for centuries. Labor organizers and specifically the IWW have long-opposed class traitors like the Ku Klux Klan. White supremacists despise the radical left because of their commitment to solidarity with all oppressed people. The IWW will remain a target of the State and the far right, especially as our activity gains momentum and size. The General Defense Committee has been and can continue to be an excellent vehicle to grow the anti-fascist movement. Anti-fascism needs to grow into an extremely popular movement in order to win. Communities that build their capacity for organized defense against the State and organized hate will be major contributors in the fight against capitalism.

We black and African workers face this threat in many places within and beyond our workplaces, and a fascist threat to any of the working class is a threat to the entire class. We have no choice but to confront organized white supremacists, just as we have no choice but to struggle against the bosses in our workplaces. We are calling on our comrades in the IWW and elsewhere, to join us in confronting white nationalists organizing to direct further violence against our people. We are calling on the General Administration to give our rank and file militants the support we need to organize in defense of ourselves and
our class on the ground. We believe that the slogan “an injury to one is an injury to all” should also be demonstrated by our white comrades who feel as though confronting fascism is optional or of little importance.

For an anti-fascist, revolutionary unionism!
Twin Cities IWW African Peoples Caucus

Originally posted: April 2, 2017 on Facebook

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Posted By

Juan Conatz
Apr 22 2017 00:00

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bastarx
May 9 2017 07:40

Speaking of showing up to demonstrations with guns, here's an article from some Maoists in Austin Texas about their May Day misadventures:

https://redguardsaustin.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/fight-fail-fight-again-...

EDIT - An account of the same events from an insurrectionist site: https://itsgoingdown.org/unpacking-fascist-rampage-may-day-austin-happen...

RadBlackLove
May 15 2017 03:40

RGA are a hot-ass vanguardist mess without a good strategy and way too many cult-like qualities. It's so much hype and no analysis imo.....That's all I'm gonna say for now

RadBlackLove
May 15 2017 04:29

Since this became a tactical conversation, here's where we had a recent small anti-fascist victory. In some ways we got lucky, but a LOT went into this event, lots of intel gathering, strategizing, inviting errrrrybody, having conversations with students in the streets, flyering, wheatpasting, a lil'nazi doxxing beforehand..... I like to think it was worth it for the bit of embarrassment we caused especially since we drove a wedge between local Trump supporters and the alt-right traveling jackasses. Sure we cringed a bit with some of the "patriotism" rhetoric thrown around by moderates on our side but shit.......we HAVE to get out of our leftist bubbles on this shit and come at this from a class position imo

http://www.unicornriot.ninja/?p=15284

Khawaga
May 15 2017 16:06

Thanks for posting that, though I wish the piece spent just a bit of time on how you prepared (so we can learn from that).

Soapy
Oct 16 2017 13:50

haven't posted in a while but I did remember this little nugget of wisdom from Juan Conatz

Quote:
Ask the average working class black or Latino whether they think a neo-nazi group trying to organize in their neighborhood should have their meetings physically disrupted and I think you'll find a different narrative.

which I thought I was funny because

Anyway in time I've only seen how ridiculous all these arguments in favor of militant anti-fascism have been. Not noted on this site is that Milo recently spoke unimpeded at Berkeley. Nobody turned out to disrupt the speech and he simply spoke to a pathetically small audience. There was no violence afterwards and the whole thing which was intended to be a massive press stunt turned out to be a disaster for him. Big ups for the approaches of the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center

Edit to add: Amazing how we have all ignored en masse the evidence including numerous statements from all sectors of the alt-right that antifa actions are only serving to unify disparate groups and giving them a purpose to unify.

OliverTwister
Oct 16 2017 13:49

Why are you even on this site?

Soapy
Oct 16 2017 13:56
OliverTwister wrote:
Why are you even on this site?

Couldnt resist wink, peace yall!

Juan Conatz
Oct 16 2017 16:21

I don't know where you grabbed that screenshot, Soapy, but it doesn't seem to say anything about what the "average working class black or Latino" thinks about whether "a neo-nazi group trying to organize in their neighborhood should have their meetings physically disrupted". That looks like it just asked any black or Latino the completely out of context question about whether Nazis should be punched hypothetically for being Nazis. That's a different question.

I don't think the recent Milo event proves anything. His time is more or less over now. One could argue about whether the conservative group responsible for exposing his remarks on sex with young boys would have happened without the violent protests (I don't think it would have), but you can't compare the recent event with the previous event.

There's something there about antifa causing the alt-right to unify. Post-Charlottesville I do believe this is a possibility. But as a general argument, it doesn't hold water. The killing of an anti-fascist protester in Charlottesville has caused the alt-right to splinter and fracture. Arguments about the validity of the killing, respectability politics, public opinion and media coverage enveloped the alt-right after this. Also, some leading figures of the alt-right have received death threats and gone into a form of hiding. It is not the alt-right it once was. Combined with the Trump Administration mostly severing the weak links it had to the alt-right, as of now it is starting to look like it may became a spent force.

DevastateTheAvenues
Oct 16 2017 23:47
Soapy wrote:
haven't posted in a while but I did remember this little nugget of wisdom from Juan Conatz

Quote:
Ask the average working class black or Latino whether they think a neo-nazi group trying to organize in their neighborhood should have their meetings physically disrupted and I think you'll find a different narrative.

which I thought I was funny because

Anyway in time I've only seen how ridiculous all these arguments in favor of militant anti-fascism have been. Not noted on this site is that Milo recently spoke unimpeded at Berkeley. Nobody turned out to disrupt the speech and he simply spoke to a pathetically small audience. There was no violence afterwards and the whole thing which was intended to be a massive press stunt turned out to be a disaster for him. Big ups for the approaches of the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center

Edit to add: Amazing how we have all ignored en masse the evidence including numerous statements from all sectors of the alt-right that antifa actions are only serving to unify disparate groups and giving them a purpose to unify.

And the fact that Yianno-whoever-the-fuck had a score of his meetings fizzle out and cancelled because of militant resistance had literally nothing to do with this whatsoever, right? No, of course not, it's all the work of liberal defenders of Nazi speech and talking heads like Bill fucking Maher. You know, I seem to recall that the usual argument of you anti-antifa types is that antifascism makes the forbidden alluring and merely encourages the fash to hold bigger and bigger events. So, then, after all the oh so appalling actions of antifascists in repressing the fascists' sacrosanct free speech, the presumably riled-up mob finally gets another chance to rally and--what happens? Fucking nothing. Sounds like antifascism is doing its job.

Besides that, if the right is saying that they're organizing, why in the hell is your suggestion for the working class to de-organize? We saw at Charlottesville and other alt-right rallies that they have no qualms about pulling together national and even international organization against local communities, and against this you advise these local communities that it's tough luck, they should sort it out themselves. Or better yet, don't. Let the fascists bring torches around to your homes and neighborhoods, guns to your synagogues and churches and mosques, and baseball bats and knives to your bodies, and don't do a single thing about it. There are more important things to worry about, after all, like how to pen another Russia Today-sourced article on Hillary Clinton or something, because that's what the working class really needs.

Christ, this is even worse than when, after that Bannon interview with the Prospect and that line about how if the left keeps talking about race and identity that he's "got" us, so many so-called revolutionaries started saying we need to deemphasize or abandon those politics. They did so not realizing that they were ringing the death knell of actual revolutionary working class politics because they were willing to cut off whole sections of the working class and leave them to die. The fascists say one thing and so-called revolutionaries fall over themselves to abandon their principles and comrades, because they've already accepted the fascists' terms and have let them define the political reality. They think they're constantly being outmaneuvered because they put themselves right in the middle of the fascists' ideological territory. So when the fascists say they are gearing up, these counter-revolutionary fatalists--already and always resigned to defeat just around the corner--say we have to gear down, or face something even worse. That's hardly a politics that leads to victory.

But even then, Juan Conatz is right. The alt-right is falling apart and it's because of the actions of anti-fascists. For example, IGD recently published a piece detailing the endless splits and rebrandings of the alt-right, caused because anti-fascists have hemmed the the fascists in and made spewing their shit increasingly untenable without some sort of ideological disguise. Combine that with the slew of cancelled rallies, non-starters, and fizzled organizations. If you read this as a vindication of your anti-antifa rhetoric, then you're not looking at the reality, you're letting the fascists filter reality for you.

EDIT: mentioned the Buzzfeed expose as a contributing factor to why the Berkeley thing fizzled out, but I had my dates mixed up; the expose happened after that event. Of course, that just means all the credit for it being a load of nothing goes to the antifascist opposition.

Hieronymous
Oct 17 2017 00:49
OliverTwister wrote:
Why are you even on this site?

Good question.

Where is this troll Soapy getting his fake news/alternative facts? Breitbart News?

Juan Conatz
Oct 17 2017 02:43

I don't really see the point of pushing Soapy off this site. I disagree with him on some of these issues, but think he deserves respect.

Hieronymous
Oct 17 2017 12:18
Juan Conatz wrote:
I don't really see the point of pushing Soapy off this site. I disagree with him on some of these issues, but think he deserves respect.

What he writes about Berkeley is fiction. Do we need more bullshit artists?

Soapy wrote:
Not noted on this site is that Milo recently spoke unimpeded at Berkeley. Nobody turned out to disrupt the speech and he simply spoke to a pathetically small audience.

Unimpeded by whom? The UC administration spent nearly a million dollars and had mutual aid cops from at least a dozen surrounding forces (and other pigs from the opposite side of the state). Every entrance to Sproul Plaza was sequestered with barricades and to enter one had to be subjected to a body search, pass through a metal detector, and almost nothing could be brought in. Who would put up with that? So the antifa rally was outside the blockaded space, occupying the corner of Bancroft and Telegraph. Some of my comrades got arrested, so it’s a boldfaced lie to say “Nobody turned out to disrupt the speech.”

So yeah, only a very small contingent of white nationalists — and an equally tiny amount of counter protestors — humiliated themselves to go through the police gauntlet to “attempt” to hear him speak, because it was such a flop he didn’t really say anything and left UC Berkeley just shy of 15 minutes later.

Soapy wrote:
Big ups for the approaches of the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center

Surely you’re just being a troll and saying this tongue-in-cheek. Unless you’re so much an anti-antifa reactionary that you support the ACLU’s legal defense of fascists’ free speech right to march and rally in Charlottesville. And as for SPLC, you must be referring to their core position of “responsible” activists working closely with local police departments and elected officials.

EDIT:

Soapy wrote:
Quote:
Ask the average working class black or Latino whether they think a neo-nazi group trying to organize in their neighborhood should have their meetings physically disrupted and I think you'll find a different narrative.

which I thought I was funny because . . .

Since Trump’s election, I have asked my co-workers about the punching of Richard Spencer. 100% approved, even the pacifists. And we’re at the heart of the non-organized precarious working class, including Latinas and Latinos, Asians and gay fellow workers. Some live in Berkeley and have been politicized by seeing all the events there unfold in their front yards.

On October 7th, a friend-of-friend posted this on Facebook:

Quote:
For those who might still think San Francisco is a bubble, Proud Boys meetup happening right now at Southern Pacific Brewing Company in the Mission. Approximately 20 of them, many wearing the black/yellow Perrys. These are violent sociopaths, so I don't recommend mobilizing unless you have a good network with numbers. But it might be good to think about who that network might consist of, because they'll be back.

Everyone, and I’ll repeat that again for emphasis, EVERYONE I come across in my daily life thinks these creeps should be shut down. Even liberals aren’t naive enough to believe the pigs or the state will stop them. The smarter ones know the white nationalists and the pigs are allies. The tide is turning and not everyone is jumping on the mainstream anti-antifa bandwagon. One of my 1960s generation co-workers who’s the most dyed-in-the-wool liberal Hillary supporter heard Mark Bray talking on NPR about his antifa book. He’s now a sympathizer, although still a very critical one.