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anti-fascism

For an Anti-Fascist, Revolutionary Unionism!

By African People's Caucus - It's Going Down, April 5, 2017

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!

Vermont Labor Council Initiates Social Self-Defense

By Traven Leyshon, president of the Green Mountain Labor Council, AFL-CIO and Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO - Labor Network for Sustainability, January 10, 2017

Following on what was for many of us the surprise election of Trump, and the consolidation of a far-right Republican Congress, our small Vermont Green Mountain Central Labor Council called an Emergency Community Meeting. We knew that things were rapidly going to get really ugly for the labor movement. So we contacted our affiliates and community based allies with the message that, “There is a great need for all of us to come together to understand the attacks that will be coming down on our unions, workers rights, women’s rights, immigrants’ human rights, on black Americans, on climate justice,  on seniors, on the lgbtq community – in other words on the 99%. Going beyond fear and rage, we need to strategize how we’re going to work together to turn things around.”

Given the Holidays, our assumption was that this would not be the mass meeting that we would need to build later – but that we should start while the initial shock of the election was being registered to begin to shape an effective, strategic response to the developing situation. So we reserved a room that would hold up to 45 people, and sent out an email asking our labor, social movement, and community based allies to join in building the meeting. We also asked them to think through strategic responses that we might be able to unite on. We said that, “We don’t need a crystal ball to figure out what a Trump presidency has in store, especially with Republicans controlling the House and the Senate. The extreme right wing, pro-corporate agenda that we will be facing will methodically seek to divide us (as they successfully did in the 2016 election).

As people were just beginning to process the reality that this was not just another conservative Administration, that the Republicans would not be gradualist, we warned that, “priorities listed in the Trump/Ryan hundred day plan include: rolling back all of the recent pro-workers rights National Labor Relations Board decisions, initiating the process to deport over 2 million migrants and imposing a hiring freeze on all federal employees, removing roadblocks to dirty energy projects like Keystone KXL, DAPL and other oil and gas pipelines, and canceling payments to UN climate change programs. The impact of their policies would intensify racial oppression, roll back women’s rights, slash Medicare disability, victimize the lgbtq community, cut Medicaid funding (making the Vermont state budget scream), eliminate the subsidies that make Vermont Health Connect (Obamacare) more affordable, eventually abolish Medicare by replacing it with vouchers, privatize social security, pass national right to work (for less) legislation and defund unions (expect Friedrichs type court made law which would make the public sector open shop), outsource and privatize more public services, ban prevailing-wage laws…”.

Our press release emphasized the we were coming together “to affirm values of tolerance and social, economic and climate justice, while discussing actions we can take to protect our communities, defend democracy, and build a Vermont and country that works for everyone. ..(that) Representatives of labor, Black, immigrant, women’s, senior, gay and lesbian, climate, and racial justice organizations will speak… (that) It is not enough to define ourselves as the resistance. Defense needs to be married to offense.”

Despite the Holidays, our message went viral as our social movement allies answered that this was just what we needed. So we booked a larger venue which  turned out to be necessary as 140 people participated on December 12th (this in a town of 7,855 people!).

Only months before the Vermont Workers Center had organizing a conference around the theme of building one movement for people and the planet. While there was a decent turnout, it had not led to greater collaboration, and the discussion felt forced and artificial to many of the participants. Today that is no longer the case as people are seeking to build a powerful unity.  Thousands have turned out for emergency meetings across the country, concerned about hate crimes, the climate crisis, threats to civil liberties, and rollbacks to progressive gains under a Trump administration. Millions of people are looking for a way to fight back. But mass participation won’t lead to real power without organization and vision.

Our labor council opened the meeting arguing that we needed to develop a coalition of the willing, an alliance of unions and allies willing to fight the whole Trump agenda. That we need to unite our struggles for justice and become a unified front for environmental justice, to make Black Lives Matter, for workers rights, to make Native Lives Matter, for reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, immigrants rights, and peace. We said we need to build an army of resistance and create a vision of the future based on unity not hatred. We need to practice and nurture a culture of solidarity, of taking action not just because we feel empathy with the victims of bad policies, but because we understand that our liberation is bound up with theirs. Especially today, the labor battle cry “An injury to one is an injury to all” takes on new urgency.

Our panel featured speakers from racial justice, migrant, climate justice, senior, lgbtq, women’s, and faith organizations as well as unions.

There seemed to be broad agreement with the view that Trumpism is a symptom of the disease. Many people voted their cynicism about a system that left us behind, that wrought forty years of devastation on working-class communities, that privileges the rich and well connected while treating most of us as patsies. But whatever motivations may have led people to vote for Trump, there can be no doubt that their votes gave racism and sexism a pass. Still we have to find a way to appeal to alienated Trump voters that not only gives lip service to their interests, but actually wins them over.

The current economic/political system is failing for increasing numbers of people around the world – and the Far Right has been successful at seizing on the growing discontent as evidenced by Brexit, the rise of the Marine Le Pen in France, the radical right throughout Europe, and the coup in Brazil.

But it is also a consequence of the failure of the labor and social movements to formulate a credible transformative strategy, and to organize a concrete alternative to the failed policies that paved the way to Clinton’s defeat. We must know what we want, not just what we’re against.  We need to act morally, courageously, and strategically in pursuit of a clear progressive vision.

The agenda we are facing is methodically seeking to divide us. Established residents against immigrants. Tax payers against public sector workers.  The building trades against environmentalists, and so on. Trump will seek to inflict severe and demoralizing defeats by picking off one target at a time. We know that Nazi-era bromide about “First they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew…” In this case, there’s no mystery: First they’re coming for the undocumented. It will be a real fight for the soul of our nation.  We have to live by the imperative that If they come for one of us they come for all of us!

Black Awakening, Class Rebellion

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor interviewed by George Ciccariello-Maher - ROAR Mag, December 2016

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has written the most important book of 2016. Published by Haymarket, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation has struck a chord nationwide, garnering major awards but more importantly sparking necessary debates. Like all militant texts, it walks the fine line between Marx’s “ruthless critique of everything existing” — in this case, not only the white supremacist power structure, but also the abject failure of Black elites and the Obama “illusion” — and the revolutionary optimism coalescing in the streets from Ferguson to Baltimore and beyond. By showing us how we got here, to a society in which “colorblind” rhetoric provides cover for not only racist continuity but also the dispossession of the poor as a whole, Taylor’s book is a compass for charting a different course altogether. George Ciccariello-Maher interviews her for ROAR Magazine.

The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story

By Charles Eisenstein - Charles Eisenstein, November 10, 2016

Normal is coming unhinged. For the last eight years it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything from ecology to economy is a temporary deviation from the evolutionary imperative of progress.

A Clinton Presidency would have offered four more years of that pretense. A woman President following a black President would have meant to many that things are getting better. It would have obscured the reality of continued neoliberal economics, imperial wars, and resource extraction behind a veil of faux-progressive feminism. Now that we have, in the words of my friend Kelly Brogan, rejected a wolf in sheep’s clothing in favor of a wolf in wolf’s clothing, that illusion will be impossible to maintain.

The wolf, Donald Trump (and I’m not sure he’d be offended by that moniker) will not provide the usual sugarcoating on the poison pills the policy elites have foisted on us for the last forty years. The prison-industrial complex, the endless wars, the surveillance state, the pipelines, the nuclear weapons expansion were easier for liberals to swallow when they came with a dose, albeit grudging, of LGBTQ rights under an African-American President.

I am willing to suspend my judgement of Trump and (very skeptically) hold the possibility that he will disrupt the elite policy consensus of free trade and military confrontation – major themes of his campaign. One might always hope for miracles. However, because he apparently lacks any robust political ideology of his own, it is more likely that he will fill his cabinet with neocon war hawks, Wall Street insiders, and corporate reavers, trampling the wellbeing of the working class whites who elected him while providing them their own sugar-coating of social conservatism.

The social and environmental horrors likely to be committed under President Trump are likely to incite massive civil disobedience and possibly disorder. For Clinton supporters, many of whom were halfhearted to begin with, the Trump administration could mark the end of their loyalty to our present institutions of government. For Trump supporters, the initial celebration will collide with gritty reality when Trump proves as unable or unwilling as his predecessors to challenge the entrenched systems that continually degrade their lives: global finance capital, the deep state, and their programming ideologies. Add to this the likelihood of a major economic crisis, and the public’s frayed loyalty to the existing system could snap.

We are entering a time of great uncertainty. Institutions so enduring as to seem identical to reality itself may lose their legitimacy and dissolve. It may seem that the world is falling apart. For many, that process started on election night, when Trump’s victory provoked incredulity, shock, even vertigo. “I can’t believe this is happening!”

At such moments, it is a normal response to find someone to blame, as if identifying fault could restore the lost normality, and to lash out in anger. Hate and blame are convenient ways of making meaning out of a bewildering situation. Anyone who disputes the blame narrative may receive more hostility than the opponents themselves, as in wartime when pacifists are more reviled than the enemy.

Racism and misogyny are devastatingly real in this country, but to blame bigotry and sexism for voters’ repudiation of the Establishment is to deny the validity of their deep sense of betrayal and alienation. The vast majority of Trump voters were expressing extreme dissatisfaction with the system in the way most readily available to them. (See here, here, here, here) Millions of Obama voters voted for Trump (six states who went for Obama twice switched to Trump). Did they suddenly become racists in the last four years? The blame-the-racists (the fools, the yokels…) narrative generates a clear demarcation between good (us) and evil (them), but it does violence to the truth. It also obscures an important root of racism – anger displaced away from an oppressive system and its elites and onto other victims of that system. Finally, it employs the same dehumanization of the other that is the essence of racism and the precondition for war. Such is the cost of preserving a dying story. That is one reason why paroxysms of violence so often accompany a culture-defining story’s demise.

The dissolution of the old order that is now officially in progress is going to intensify. That presents a tremendous opportunity and danger, because when normal falls apart the ensuing vacuum draws in formerly unthinkable ideas from the margins. Unthinkable ideas range from rounding up the Muslims in concentration camps, to dismantling the military-industrial complex and closing down overseas military bases. They range from nationwide stop-and-frisk to replacing criminal punishment with restorative justice. Anything becomes possible with the collapse of dominant institutions. When the animating force behind these new ideas is hate or fear, all manner of fascistic and totalitarian nightmares can ensue, whether enacted by existing powers or those that arise in revolution against them.

Winter of Dissent

By x356039 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 14, 2016

The Establishment is at war with itself. On one side you have two national security agencies, the CIA and NSA, who are claiming the Russian government used hackers to rig the outcome of the election in Trump’s favor. On the other you have the FBI who, ten days before the election, put their thumb on the scale in Trump’s favor. Tying them all together are claims FBI Director James Comey was in contact with Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani, who has recently withdrawn from consideration for a Cabinet position, and NSA leaks alleging the Trump campaign was in contact with Russian government well before Election Day but that’s not all. The cherry on this fascist sundae is Senator Mitch McConnell’s von Papen-esque decision to halt any sort of bipartisan Congressional statement on the matter. His wife has since been nominated as Secretary of Transportation, a move that is most surely just a coincidence as is naming of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who recently lost half a trillion dollars in potential oil drilling rights to anti-Russian sanctions, as Secretary of State. All around this chaos and corruption the pattern of racist, classist vote suppression operations and electoral fraud is coming into sharp, clear focus.

There’s been a mixed response to this news from radicals of all stripes. Many, quite understandably, are wary of all the agencies involved feeling none of these actors are credible or trustworthy. Others are busy processing the sudden lurch of political conditions from House of Cards to Game of Thrones. None of what is being said by the CIA, the FBI, or the NSA needs to be true for it to be clear as glass they are slugging it out. Never before in American history have agencies of the national security establishment so openly gone to war over any presidential election. By the standards of American history this is a constitutional crisis in a state already suffering from a serious crisis of legitimacy.

Bite the Hand That Holds the Leash

By Patrick O’Donoghue - First of May Anarchist Alliance, November 18, 2016

“The thing to remember about people like Trump is that they offer false solutions and scapegoats to real problems- like the Klan did and still does, like the Commission on Public Safety did here in Minnesota during World War One, like the anti-refugee/anti-immigrant crowd does in stirring up hate against Somalis and Hispanic people in St Cloud and around the Twin Cities. The solutions Trump peddles don’t work. Deporting Mexicans can’t bring back jobs that got replaced by machines. Profiling Muslims can’t bring us security when the main domestic terror threat is white supremacists. You can’t reverse the stagnation of wages by busting unions. You can’t stop outsourcing by trying to stop other countries from developing.”

The night Trump got elected, I did a lot of soul searching, because the work I do as a revolutionary and an organizer involves, a lot of the time, trying to help and support people who… probably voted for Trump.

The place I work is mostly white, with coworkers that, like me, come from rural and blue collar backgrounds. It’s a place of contradictions, where rants about the boss getting rich off your labor comes as easily off of people’s lips as rants about ‘welfare queens’ coded in the tired language of black bashing, where nobody likes a cop until the issue of protesters and ‘thugs’ comes up. It’s a place where machismo is key and being “not PC” is part of being a man. A number of my coworkers are in that strange, almost fabled breed of voters who were excited about Sanders, then after he lost the primaries drifted towards Trump- more didn’t bother voting at all. It’s a racially divided workplace, and the black section, which has a union, is under attack from the company. Our section, mostly white, is non-union, and so far hasn’t gotten involved. Most aren’t even aware of the contract disputes; the two sections don’t talk much.

I was sitting on leave, thinking about my work, and wondering how the hell I could bring myself to go into work again and keep trying to talk to, and listen to, and support people who were fine with throwing my Muslim and queer family members and friends, and our immigrant and black coworkers, under the bus for a guy who made a lot of promises he can’t keep about making America great again. I knew, intellectually, why I had to- because after decades of neoliberal policies by a Democratic Party that abandoned the Great Society vision, of mechanization and outsourcing, of the Farm Crisis, and of the weakening of unions and the left, has left a lot of rural and working class white people searching for answers. I knew, intellectually, that if those answers don’t come in the form of standing with other exploited and marginalized people, they were going to come in the form of blaming even more exploited and marginalized people, of buying into the far right. I knew, from experience, that trying to approach anti-racism solely from a stance of guilt and blame is usually counterproductive and feeds the same processes that drive people to retreat into racism in the first place. I knew that I had to keep trying- but deep down in my gut, I felt like I was betraying my friends who are facing worse dangers under a Trump administration than I’m going to.

Then, the day after the election, a coworker of mine did something I hoped would happen for a long time. The man is a classic Rust Belt populist. A laid off union ironworker turned mariner, raised in a trailer park worrying about whether they’d have electricity that month. He harbors a lot of racial resentment over what he feels like are his problems not being acknowledged, being written off because of his relative white privilege. He resents being blamed or made to feel guilty for racism- and in a process familiar to anyone from my hometown, that defensiveness slowly turns into a defense of racism itself, a way to way to reject the blame by rejecting the idea that anything was wrong in the first place. This guy approached a queer coworker and an amazing organizer, and asked to meet with him, a Mexican, and a known Black Lives Matter arrestee to talk about forming a union. He insisted. He started talking organizing strategy. I got the news after work, in a pho shop near the waterfront. I almost broke down. It was the best news I could have hoped for. It gave me the strength to come into work ready to keep organizing.

Don’t Mourn, Organize!

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director - Global Justice Ecology Project, November 9, 2016

Dear GJEP Friends and Family,

While surprised by the turn of the election last night, I was not shocked.  Horrified, but not shocked.

The pundits had all but declared Hillary the winner in the days leading up to the election, but a lot of people who have been crushed by the system over the years stood up to be counted. They fell for the hateful, booming rhetoric of a billionaire businessman and TV star with no political experience-because he promised to stand up for them. He promised “change.”

According to exit polls by CNN, however, more than half of people polled are worried about what will happen in the coming years under a Trump Presidency. Over a third are more than worried, they are scared. The atmosphere is thick with sadness, rage, disbelief, fear.

After the filth of this election campaign, many will want to circle the wagons. To wait for the worst to blow over.

But that is not an option. And the fact is, no matter who won the election, we were on a collective course toward the edge of a cliff. Under Obama-the supposed face of progressive “change”-there has been no real action to address climate change. Activists at Standing Rock are being brutalized by the police for trying to stop a pipeline and protect their sacred water and land. Unarmed black people are being killed by police. Drones are dropping bombs on children in far away lands.

The system is broken, no matter who is at the helm.

Donald Trump and the new Republican held Congress will be nasty. There is no question about that.

But the one possible positive outcome of this spectacular disaster is that there is no such thing as complacency any more. You either organize or you let Trump’s agenda of hate run rampant. There have been galvanizing moments in United States history when injustice was so potent, so undeniable that people came out in droves to be part of the force for change. I believe this can become one of those moments.

There is no political party that will do this for us. It is up to us. It is time to acknowledge that the system doesn’t work and start talking about what we do next. Time to mobilize. Time to take action for real systemic change.

That is our commitment here at Global Justice Ecology Project.  GJEP was founded to address the intertwined root causes of social injustice, economic domination and ecological destruction.  That is our mission. And we will keep organizing and building to strengthen the global movement toward the fundamental, transformational, bottom up change necessary to achieve a sane future on this planet.

I hope you will join us.

Onward!

Fascist Entryism: AdBusters and the Problem of Hazy Politics

By Antifascist Front - Antifascist News, March 4, 2016

Authors' Note: Before we get started, we want to unequivacably say that we do not think that AdBusters is a fascist or fascist allied publication.  We enjoy a great deal of what they publish, support their project, and will continue to re-post articles, videos, and art from them.  Instead, AdBusters is just an example where the left creates open points that fascists can infiltrate.

The conventional political spectrum often betrays the actual process for radicalization that takes places on what we call the “far-right.”  The term far-right is often negated by comparative fascist studies scholars because it lacks clear boundaries.  Is it right populism?  Was Hitler on the far-right, or Ron Paul?  What we generally mean is anything that is within the fascism spectrum, from racialist to masculanist to other forms of militant right-wing politics.  The defining feature of fascism is that it adopts many aspects of the left, while maintaining the values of the far-right.  This means it may critique capitalism, argue for protection of the environment, and be anti-war, yet do it for reasons that are racialized, based on hierarchy, and opposed to democracy and equality.  It is because of this that they have found easy entry points into the left, often using a lack of ideological coherence or the willingness to be open to conflicting views if they share some political affinity.

Fascist infiltration in left spaces is reported reasonably often, from participation in Palestinian support work inspired by their anti-Semitism to points when the American Freedom Party or National Socialist Movement will join actions against the TPP.  When we get to vaguer left spaces, where analysis is growing and reshaping, this can be the perfect place to slide in and create doubt and complicate the analysis.

AdBusters has been a left institution for a couple of decades now.  Coming out of the “Culture Jamming” period of the 1990s, it was really founded on anti-globalization principles that were critical of global capitalism because of the way it destroys human interactions, replaces consciousness with vapid branding, and generally destroys the earth, communities, and free thinking through compulsive consumerism.  This type of analysis has become less and less popular since the 2008 financial crisis, largely because it is a critique of the excesses of capitalism.  Today, many people would love to have access to that kind of suburban wasteland, but as poverty and the inability to join the working middle class grows, the focus on capitalism’s effects at creating “boredom” and general affluence is less central.  That being said, they have continued to be an incredibly relevant publication, and they were the rhetorical beginning of Occupy Wallstreet, even if they did not do any real organizing work.

While they are often criticized for using the same flashy style as the media organizations they critique, they have used a beautiful design model to subvert conventional communication.  They also attempt to go beyond the analysis of the left at many points and forgo conventional political essays in favor of appeals that are often more emotional, narrative, and experimental.

Within this model, a clear political line is lacking, and they likely support having a diversity of voices.  Inside of that model, however, there has been a lacking of discernment for how some voices have become present.  Part of this comes from the willingness to include voices that would be controversial, even on the radical left, and part of it comes from a lack of understanding among the editors of what fascist crossover politics actually look like.

Patriot Movement Paramilitaries in Oregon

By Spencer Sunshine - Rural Organizing Project, June 13, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

This is an expanded version of a talk given at the Rural Organizing Project’s Rural Caucus and Strategy Session in Woodburn, Oregon on June 13, 2015.

The Patriot Movement: From Posse Comitatus to the Oath Keepers

In April 2015, armed right-wing paramilitaries converged on a mining claim in the Galice Mining District near Grants Pass in Josephine County, Oregon. Organizationally, it was a combination of different parts of what is called the Patriot movement: militias, 3%ers, Sovereign Citizens, and the Oath Keepers.

The Patriot movement is a form of extreme right politics that exists between the Tea Party end of the Republican Party and the white supremacist movement.* Generally those in the Patriot movement view the current U.S. federal government as an illegitimate, totalitarian state. They see the militias that they are building—and allied county sheriffs—as political-military formations that will eventually replace the current federal government.

Many of their movement’s tactics originate in white supremacist politics, mixed with ideas derived from anti-Communist conspiracy theories of the John Birch Society. According to Daniel Levitas, the group that first espoused many of the basic Patriot concepts was Posse Comitatus, whose founder, William Potter Gale, was a member of the racist Christian Identity religion. In the 1960s, he started to advocate Posse Comitatus (power of the county), based on the idea that the county sheriff is the highest political authority of the land. Gale thought that, in the post-Civil Rights era, the federal government was a totalitarian state run by a cabal of Jews. “County power” would allow people to ignore Supreme Court decisions and federal laws about civil rights and income tax, and allow a return to white supremacy and unfettered capitalism, free from federal regulations. Posse Comitatus also advocated for armed citizens’ militias and crank legal filings, which set the foundation for the formation of militias and Sovereign Citizen ideas, respectively. In 1976, the FBI estimated there were 12,000­–50,000 Posse members.

Anarchist Anti-Fascists Join London People's Climate March

By Urban Pictures UK - YouTube, March 7, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Anti-Fascist & anti-capitalist anarchist protesters - with face masks, dressed in black and waving black & red flags - joined 20,000 people marching through Central London. It was part of a climate rally, an annual demo to highlight the issue of global climate change. They then invaded Parliament Square in defiance of local by-laws.

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