Jun. 27th, 2016

ritaxis: (hat)
So suddenly after so many years of people saying that using the word fascism was unjustified hyperbole and divisive hysterical nonsense, we have...unbridled our fascists in one way and another, and we have political assassinations that nobody can pretend are anything but (though the media seem to be trying), we have armed fascists stabbing people in the street, we have xenophobic violence all over the place, and unrepentant fascists making a credible claim for political office.

I want to say something about the scene in Sacramento this weekend. I know for sure a lot of people are going to be sayting the antifascists shouldn't have been there, shouldn't have fought, that this makes them "just like them," and so on. That's nonsense. We are a species with a collective memory. We know very well that fawscists unopposed escalate and carry out more and more violence on the ground and in the political arena. Yes, most anti-fascist work should be political and cultural. But there needs to be a faction of people who are willing to fight in the streets, to protect the rest of us.

Just in case you don't know, the people who brought knives to their permitted demonstration were called things like the "Traditionalist Worker's Party" (about which more in a minute), "Blood and Honor," and oh so surprisingly the "KKK." I belive the first group got the permit. Their name is obscure enough that the clerks who gave them the permit could be excused for not knowing what they were up to. I do hope that the days of pleading First Ammendment protection for groups whose stated goal is to kill and harm other people are over.

More about that name "Traditional Worker's Party:" You know what's a tradition? Stealing a reference to class consciousness to sugar-coat fascism.  "National Socialist" for a major example: the reason they called themselves that is that socialism was very, very popular in Europe at the time. Notice how the media is collaborating with the fascists this time around, in casting right-wing racism, anti-progressivism, attacks on unions even, as "working class" attitudes and behavior. Where they keep talking about the "white working class" as if all the non-white people were somehow elites. Using the word "elite" to characterize positions that put the needs of actual working class people forward. Every time a media person does this, they are building the fascist movement.

"Antifa" has been around at least twenty years--I want to say mored like thirty or more because I think I first heard that word for it when Frank was a young child, but I can't swear to that. This is a movement of mostly younger people who are willing to take on the physical risk of facing the fascists. Confrontation isn't all they do. They also do what we used to call propaganda. One thing I remember from quite a long while back was a sticker that was distributed in France that said "Hands off my brother," meaning don't persecute immigrants.  They were willing to fight to protect people, too.

It's not a cushy position to hold.These right-wing organizations are conceived and organized for the purpose of intimidating, harming, and ultimately killing people they disapprove of. They have no qualms. In addition, the law is not generally on your side. They will protect the fascists before the anti-fascists. And in California, you can go to jail under the lynch law for attempting to protect a person held by the police.

So I guess what I'm saying is be grateful for the antifascists who brawl in the street. That doesn't mean you need to be among them: that's a job for the young, strong and impulsive. And most of the work that needs to be done is political and cultural anyway. But still, you can donate a dollar to the defense fund or something.

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