Over at ItsGoingDown.org, a communist or anarchist has shared his experience in Pikeville:
“After weeks of indecision, I finally decided to make the five hour drive from Evansville to Pikeville, Kentucky, last weekend to attend a neo-Nazi rally. To be real, I didn’t totally feel like going. I mean, who wants to spend their weekend listening to arguments in favor of sending gay people and people in mixed race relationships off to re-education camps? It sounded super annoying and it would have been easier to just avoid the whole thing.
But I’ve been getting more and more concerned lately about the growth of white nationalist movements, all these racist attacks on marginalized groups, and the way the white working class is hitting the streets in support of a billionaire and his fascist policies. Like anybody who’s read a few history books, particularly about the growth of fascist movements in Europe in the 1930s, I don’t like the way the winds are blowing. …”
I wasn’t inclined to go either.
It was an 8 and 1/2 hour drive for me. It came a little over a week after the ordeal in Auburn when the Atlanta Antifa were bused into my alma mater to threaten and attack Alt-Right supporters at Richard Spencer’s event there. The fact that a violent communist and anarchist street gang had made an appearance in Alabama changed my mind about going to Pikeville.
I went to Pikeville and encouraged other people to go solely because “antifas” were going to be there. They call themselves “anti-fascists,” but if you read and follow their websites like “Itsgoingdown.org” you will find that these people have a worldview of their own. They are anarchists and communists. Either way, they are united by their shared belief in using violence and intimidation as tactics in order to attack the constitutional rights of their opponents on the Right.
“Antifa” means Anti-First Amendment. They do not believe others have the right to speak and assemble in public. In response to such provocations, what they do is dress in all black, wear masks, carry weapons, organize themselves online as a “Black Bloc” gang and show up at our events to use violence and intimidation to “no platform” their opposition. They try to deny speakers and groups on the Right their civil rights to book public accommodations like hotel rooms. They foment mobs to oppose and shut down speakers from the Right on college campuses which challenge their orthodoxy. They also believe in “punching Nazis” and in their rabid worldview pretty much anyone these days on the Right qualifies as “a Nazi.” Many of them will say that the act of people they disagree with having the audacity to appear and speak in public is “violence” and that physically assaulting them is “self defense.”
In spite of the meme, this isn’t a case of “two sides of the same coin”:
– There are no comparable mobs of rightwing students using violence and intimidation to shut down leftwing speakers on college campuses. In Auburn, Maxine Waters spoke at Foy Hall a few days after Richard Spencer and no one showed up to challenge her constitutional rights.
– There are no comparable cases of rightwing mobs using social media and violent threats to do things like pressure hotels to breach their contracts with leftwing groups and speakers.
– There hasn’t been any rightwing equivalent of the “Black Bloc” showing up at leftwing events in order to use violence and intimidation to break up their meetings.
– There are no rightwing groups engaging in anything like the serial vandalism and destruction of property that we see from anarchists and communists who reject the concept of private property. They might be even engaging in a criminal conspiracy to commit arson now.
– There are no rightwing groups equivalent to the “antifas” who are physically attacking the police in the streets with Molotov Cocktails.
– There are no rightwing groups rioting in the streets like antifas on May Day.
– There are no rightwing groups who are anywhere close to being bold or violent enough to cause the Democratic Party to cancel parades.
What is the worst that can be said of the NSM?
The NSM (National Socialist Movement) showed up in Pikeville, KY, participated in a conference on private property, held a public rally, gave a few speeches and left town. That’s pretty much what they have always done too. No one is ever harmed. So what? Why is that a big deal?
There is no equivalence between the two sides: one side is exercising its constitutional rights to free speech and free assembly in public places, while the other side is showing up at their events in order to use violence and intimidation to violate their constitutional rights. In this case, the “antifas” are the aggressors while the Traditionalist Worker’s Party, the NSM and Nationalist Front were defending themselves. They are driven by their ideology to “bash the fash” and “no platform” their opposition.
I’m glad I went to Auburn and Pikeville. My experience there and subsequent events have proven me right. While we were in Pikeville, KY, the antifas in New Orleans, LA were physically assaulting and intimidating black Confederate heritage activists who were defending the Confederate monuments there. They vandalized the General P.G.T. Beauregard monument. No one could plausibly claim that the likes of Black Rebel is “a Nazi” but that’s where we are at with the antifas.
So, we get home from Pikeville, KY where the Traditionalist Worker’s Party held their rally on April 29th, and we are taking some flak about the optics of standing with the NSM.
By Monday night, antifas have rioted and attacked police officers in Paris with Molotov Cocktails, they have rioted in Portland, OR and Olympia, WA, they have caused over $100,000 in property damage in Philadelphia and possibly engaged in serial arson there and they have laid siege to Black Rebel and other Confederate heritage activists in New Orleans. Isn’t it interesting how this all managed to take place with just “antifas” and without the Traditionalist Worker’s Party or NSM?
Apparently, “Punch a Nazi” is now broad enough to cover everyone from Richard Spencer to Gavin McInnes to Black Rebel and even beyond to Ann Coulter and Charles Murray. It included everyone who was at the Atlanta Forum in January. It includes Donald Trump supporters. These people rioted over Milo Yiannopoulos who dresses in drag and gives speeches about having gay sex with black men. Is it fair now to say that “antifas” aren’t concerned with our divisions and we are all the same to them?
I keep saying that these people are a common threat. I clearly see the common threat. They keep proving me right. I will stand with anybody who is willing to oppose these people. They are communists and anarchists and all anti-communists and anti-anarchists should oppose them.