Dec 21, 2009

Minutemen and Klansmen

from blog Imagine 2050
By Joel Olson

I recently reviewed The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan by Rory McVeigh (University of Minnesota Press 2009) for the academic journal American Studies. The book is a little dry, but there were some notable lessons in it for understanding anti-immigration organizations today.

The Klan originated after the Civil War to restore white supremacy by terrorizing ex-slaves and antislavery whites during Reconstruction. This generation of the Klan ended when Reconstruction did in the 1870s. McVeigh’s book studies the second generation of the KKK, which started in 1915 (coinciding with the release of D.W. Griffith’s famous pro-Klan movie The Birth of a Nation) and exploded in growth from 1920-1924, with a membership of over four million people at its peak.

McVeigh argues that this version of the Klan emerged as a white Protestant response to the rise of large-scale manufacturing and retail, which squeezed small businesses and farms, diminished the political influence of the heartland, and strengthened the power of the cities—and the ethnic communities that lived in them. Klan organizers successfully mobilized White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) by playing on their fears of losing their economic, political, and social power as a result of these economic and political changes.

McVeigh argues that while the 1920s Klan was racist, its focus was not primarily on anti-Black terrorism like the Reconstruction-era KKK. Rather, the 1920s Klan was essentially an anti-immigration social movement. Most social movements, he notes, seek to win power and status for the powerless. But right-wing movements “act to preserve, restore, or expand rights and privileges of a relatively advantaged social group” (38). The 1920s Klan is an example of this. They used a populist rhetoric that attacked industrial elites above them for manipulating labor markets and the “rabble” below them (i.e. ethnic, Catholic working class communities) for flooding these markets and for being culturally alien. The top and bottom of American society, they charged, conspired to squeeze the virtuous, hard-working, upright, white Protestants in the middle.

The KKK argued that “true Americans” were losing ground to immigrants, that immigrants burdened public resources, and that they degraded American culture. The Klan mobilized anxious WASPs by presenting itself as a “one-hundred percent American” organization that promised to restore their status. The fears of these relatively privileged WASPs, combined with effective mobilization techniques by the Klan, led farmers and middle class white Protestants to join the KKK in droves.

These arguments—and many of the quotes McVeigh provides from Klan papers—could have come from the Minutemen today.

What this suggests is that the key to understanding today’s anti-immigration movement—as well as anti-Obama organizing such as the “tea parties”—is to see it as a “virtuous middle” movement. In other words, these are movements whose members see themselves as a virtuous middle—religious, moral, hardworking, patriotic and truly American—who face the threat of losing their relatively privileged social status. They fear that they are under attack by a bewildering global economy and unscrupulous corporations that are moving their jobs overseas. Even more, they feel they are being attacked by cultural elites—Harvard and Hollywood, the universities and pop culture—who undermine the moral values of this virtuous middle with moral relativism and sexual permissiveness. They also fear that they are under attack by the rabble below them—lazy people who live off public benefits paid for by the virtuous middle’s tax dollars (these folks are often secretly coded as black) and illegal aliens who are flooding the country, stealing jobs and degrading American culture (these folks are often coded as brown). The virtuous middle fears that cultural elites from above and the black and brown rabble from below are conspiring —now with the help of a black president!—to undermine their social status and by extension the moral, political, and economic foundations of America. The fall into Sodom is right behind.

This fearful “virtuous middle” (or the “silent majority,” to use Nixon’s term in the 1970s) is a commonplace in American history. Jacksonian Democrats used it in the 1830s to attack corporate elites and slaves (but not masters), populists used it in the 1890s to attack corporate elites and defend segregation, the Klan used it in the 1920s to attack economic elites and Catholics and immigrants, Nixon used it in the 1970s to attack cultural elites and Black and student protestors, and now the anti-immigrant right is using it today.

From the perspective of participants in the anti-immigration movement, this is an effective strategy that should be continued, for it has often worked in U.S. history. From the perspective of those who support immigrant rights, it seems to me that the task is to convince this middle that their true interests lie in a united front with the black and brown “rabble” below them against the capitalist elites above. That would be hard, but it would also make for interesting times.

Joel Olson is the author of The Abolition of White Democracy (University of Minnesota 2004). He is a member of the Repeal Coalition, a grassroots organization that seeks the repeal of all anti-immigrant laws in Arizona.

new antifa blog: Nomattimen

Nomattimen is a new blog. Lots of news and has an international perspective.

However, while its cool to give a nod to the Indigenous/First Nations, it's puzzling to see the antifas at nomattimen calling out for an anti-fascist "brotherhood".

Assuming that the comrades at nomattimen agree that the struggle against fascism is a struggle premised on a joint work that is not limited to and infact seeks to undermine "brotherhood", then why the emphasis?

The history of antifascist struggle is rich in cross gender, gender bending, and non-male idetified partisans and militants.

An element of fascism is determining strict gender roles. The revolutionary and anti-capitalist antifascism that our side advocates is about identifying and promotring opposition to the current values of this class-patriarchical society and developing new human relations and expressions, both individual and collective. Brotherhood aint what this struggle is about.

With that said, we welcome
nomattimen and look forward to engagement with 'em.

Nomattimen is a word in the ancient Native American Algonquian language. It means "we are brothers".

In this blog we support the anti-fascist brotherhood.

http://nomattimen. wordpress. com

RIP Ivan “Kostolom” Hutorskoy!

November 17, 2009...05:20

RIP Ivan “Kostolom” Hutorskoy! Moscow Antifascist murdered by Nazis

Yesterday, on November 16 we lost our friend.

Ivan Hutorskoy, also known as “Kostolom”, was an Antifascist and he died for his beliefs.

Ivan was one of the founders of Russian militant Antifascist movement.

He was one of those few kids who stood up against the Neo-Nazi hordes, dominating the Russian punk/hardcore scene in the 90-s and early 00-s.

While the majority of the scene was compromising with Nazi assholes, Kostolom and his closest friends started to kick the fascists out of the gigs. Soon Ivan became the founder and respected leader of Moscow RASH (Red And Anarchist Skinheads).

Throughout the years he was fighting Nazis on the streets, organizing the security of punk/hardcore gigs, taking part in countless demos, training kids in martial arts.

Neo-Nazis hated Ivan, always scared of him as one of their most dangerous enemies. His photos, address and death threats to him were posted on countless Neo-Nazis web-sites.

He had been attacked many times, ambushed near his house, always jumped by numerous opponents packed with knifes, bats and screwdrivers. He used to spend weeks in hospitals, often balancing on the edge between life and death. But he always stayed true to his beliefs and ideals.

Always on the front line. Always ready to fight any enemy, even when outnumbered. His nickname – Kostolom (“Bonecrusher” in Russian ) spoke for itself.

Ivan was ambushed near his apartment. The cowards shot him twice in the back of his head, too scared to face him even with a gun in their hands.

He lived his life like a warrior and died like a true hero.

Rest in peace, uncle Vanya! You are in our hearts forever! Never forget!

November 17th, 2009: 26-year-old antifascist skinhead Ivan Khutorskoy murdered

Anti-Fascist Youth Activist Killed In Moscow

A member of an anti-fascist youth group in Russia has been shot dead in Moscow, according to investigators.

Violent clashes between activists have become more common in Russia's capital
The young man died from head wounds after being shot during a clash with ultra-nationalists in eastern Moscow on Monday evening.

It is reported that he was the informal leader of a committee called Collective Action and is the sixth anti-fascist to be killed in the capital since 2006.

A spokeswoman from the committee identified the victim as 26-year-old Ivan Khutorskoy during an interview with a Moscow-based radio station.

Mr Khutorskoy's role in the group included organising security at anti-fascist rock concerts and he also ran free-style fighting tournaments.

He was nicknamed "Bonebreaker" and had reportedly taken part in street battles with Russian nationalists.

This was not the first time Mr Khutorskoy had been attacked by nationalists.

It is thought he had survived attacks involving a knife, a baseball bat and a screwdriver on three previous occasions.

Fascist gangs have become a growing problem in Russia in recent years and as a result anti-fascist youth groups have raised their profiles.

The fascist gangs typically target non-Slavic migrants and people they perceive as anti-Russian.

Confrontations in Moscow have become increasingly common and violent.
Experts have linked the killing to the arrests earlier this month of two nationalists suspected of the high-profile shooting of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova in January.

Russian anti-fascist activist shot dead in Moscow

* Death follows arrests of ultra-nationalists

* 26-year-old campaigner died on spot

MOSCOW, Nov 17 (Reuters) - An anti-fascist campaigner was shot dead in Moscow, investigators said on Tuesday, in what a fellow activist said may have been revenge for the arrests of ultra-nationalists earlier this month.

A man opened fire on an "active member of the anti-fascist movement" on Monday evening in the Russian capital, state investigators said in a statement. He died on the spot.

Local media reports identified him as 26-year-old Ivan Khutorskoy.

"Various motives are being explored, including that he was murdered for his involvement in the anti-fascist movement," the investigative branch of the Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement posted on their website,

Earlier in November, two ultra-nationalists were arrested for the murder of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and opposition reporter Anastasia Baburova, who were gunned down in broad daylight near the Kremlin in January.

In 2006, Markelov represented the mother of an anti-fascist campaigner who he said was killed by neo-Nazis.

A fellow anti-fascist campaigner, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters Monday's murder could be out of spite: "Ivan (Khutorskoy) knew Markelov. His murder was either revenge, or a challenge to the authorities following the arrests."

Leftist political website wrote: "For the majority of Ivan's friends, it's clear that his murder was carried out by Russian Nazis."

Russia suffers from a high number of street attacks on its migrant workers, mostly dark-skinned Muslims who come from former Soviet countries, that are widely blamed on neo-Nazis. (Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Charles Dick)

Leader of Russian anti-fascist skinheads killed in Moscow

Ivan Khutorskoy, one of the leaders of the Russian left-wing skinhead movement was shot dead in Moscow on Monday evening. The victim’s friends and relatives see political motives behind the murder.

Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda reports that 26-year-old Khutorskoy was killed with two pistol shots in the back of the head in the stairwell of the apartment building where he lived.

According to several Russian leftist skinhead websites, Ivan Khutorskoy was one of the leaders of the movement in Russia. His activities included providing security at concerts and organizing mixed fights among young leftists and anarchists. Khutorskoy survived three attempts on his life over the past four years. In 2005, several attackers slashed his head with a razor. Later he was repeatedly stabbed in the neck with a screwdriver and beaten with a baseball bat, and he was stabbed in the stomach with a knife in January this year.

The “Collective Action” website wrote on Tuesday that all Khutorskoy’s friends and comrades blamed the murder on Russian neo-Nazi groups.

The website also reminded that this was the sixth time an anti-fascist activist has been killed in Moscow over the past 5 years. Police have solved one such case, after which several activists of right-wing skinhead groups were sentenced to prison terms.

Antiracists and far-right youths battle in Moscow

November 18, 2009


MOSCOW — A simmering confrontation between far-right youths and ant-racist activists has erupted into Moscow's streets after the fatal shooting of an anti-racist activist known as the Bonebreaker.

The violence stems from deep animus between two aggressive camps with starkly different visions of Russia's future — neo-Nazi skinheads who rank in the tens of thousands and militant anti-racist groups that call themselves Antifa, short for anti-fascist.

Former punk rocker Ivan Khutorskoi, 26, provided security for meetings of antifascists. He also was known for organizing underground bare-knuckle boxing matches among them, and taking part in violent attacks on ultranationalists.

Khutorskoi was gunned down in his apartment building on the city's outskirts Monday night. A day later, dozens of masked men pelted the headquarters of the pro-Kremlin youth group Young Russia with stones, trash and steel rods, Young Russia's leader said.

Kremlin critics say Russia's leadership created Young Russia and similar youth organizations to keep its political opponents in check and provide support, and sometimes muscle, on the streets. Anti-racist groups claim they have close ties with the ultranationalists they call fascists or Nazis.

Nobody was hurt in the attack late Tuesday on the office of Young Russia. But its message, delivered first with projectiles and then over the Internet, seemed clear.

"If no one but us tries to stop Nazis and those who provide cover for them, we will act by all means necessary," blogger Anarcho Punk wrote Wednesday. Other anti-racist bloggers said the attack was retaliation for what they claimed were the group's links to Russian neo-Nazis. They "dedicated" the assault to their leader, Khutorskoi — an outsized figure and a role model among antifascists, who say he had survived three previous assassination attempts. He was shot twice in the back of the head near the door to his apartment on Moscow's eastern outskirts, police said.

Khutorskoi sometimes provided security at press conferences of Stanislav Markelov, a human rights lawyer hated by ultranationalists — but not at the one last January after which Markelov and a journalist were fatally shot on the street.

Antifa groups have been rapidly adding to their ranks in Russia in recent years, said Galina Kozhevnikova, the director of Sova, a respected independent hate-crime watchdog monitoring group. She said their ideology attracts leftist-minded youth and people concerned about persistent hate crimes and xenophobia in today's Russia.

"The army of ultranationalists is definitely bigger, as the movement is much older," Kozhevnikova said.

Pro-Kremlin youth groups like Young Russia are also a significant force. Experts believe their emergence was a Kremlin response to the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, where youth groups played a key role in street protests that ushered a pro-Western presidential candidate to power.

Young Russia is known for street rallies and pranks against anti-Kremlin politicians. The group has also been involved in attacks on anti-government protesters and opposition youth activists.

Young Russia's leader, Maxim Mishchenko, said about 80 masked men attacked the office in central Moscow. A 22-year old attacker was seized by Young Russia activists and handed over to police, he said.

Anti-fascist bloggers claimed Mishchenko, a Russian parliament member with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, has close ties with Russky Obraz, a radical ultranationalist group that antiracists claim was behind Khutorskoi's killing.

Mishchenko denied the allegations, calling them "as absolute lie."

A spokesman for Russky Obraz, Yevgeny Valayev, told The Associated Press that the group had "no Kremlin-appointed supervisors" but had cooperated with Mishchenko on several initiatives, including an extreme nationalist march in Moscow early this month.

National Socialist Front members ambushed by antifa in Chicago

The National Socialist Front (NSF) is an offshoot of the dying American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP). The ANSWP was started by Bill White after he was expelled from the National Socialist Movement (NSM).

The ANSWP is attempting to recruit from a wide range of nazi groups including former NSM and WCOTC/Creativity members.

The organizations HQ appears to be out of Peoria, Illinois ( former location of Matt Hale's WCOTC).

They have carried out a few agitation actions including a flier distribution at the annual South Side Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade (see video at bottom of post) and have several websites and youtube channels. The NSF appear to be in competition to the NSM and both are attempting to gather together whatever nazi elements still exist in the face of a general collapse of many organized Nazi groups.

The following was forwarded to 3WF.


November 23, 2009

A post by the National Socialist Front, based in northwest Chicagoland, describes two members fighting off six antifa after an attempted ambush on November 23.

Like most other neo-nazi reports, that's not how we heard it.

Piecing together overheard rumors and reading between the lines of the NSF report, it seems the NSF wasted several months communicating with someone claiming to be interested in starting a chapter within Chicago itself. The two neo-nazis met with this person at a restaurant on the southside, but at some point they realized what was going on and either flashed or drew a knife. The restaurant owner noticed this and called the police as a brawl broke out. One antifa may have been stabbed, but the injury was minor.

The police arrived and detained, possibly arresting the NSF members for their weapons. Either way, the neo-nazis probably had to ask the cops for a ride home after discovering their disabled or damaged vehicle.

The NSF was probably looking to start a new chapter to become more public and more aggressive in preparation for their announced "White Pride Worldwide" march, scheduled for March 21, 2010, apparently in Chicago proper. Though based in the burbs, some of their members were seen at a Christian Identity meeting held on Chicago's northwest side several months ago; in the wake of the arrest of Bill White and the collapse of the IL ANSWP, the NSF could be positioning themselves as a dominant faction of the Chicagoland white power movement.

Hopefully, this will cause some hesitation and confusion as the NSF tries to grow, as there are probably a few more false relationships budding under their noses. It shouldn't be long before this WP group devours itself, just like many before it.


Video: Illinois National Socialist Front Distributes Lit and Cds at Chicago's South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade March 15, 2009

David Irving Website's HACKED!

November 13, 2009

By New Yorkers Against David Irving

Well, the crack forces used to guard David Irving's websites FAIL at doing the only thing asked of them. On the afternoon of November 13th, both and were hacked, the files, backups, databases, and emails destroyed. We can only imagine his tour is not going as well as he planned.

Neo Nazi David Irving's New Jersey speaking event is cancelled

Friday, November 13 2009

New Jersey Residents Against David Irving (NJ-RADI) is pleased to
announce that American Legion post 174 (not 175 as a previous release
said) has agreed to cancel David Irving's planned speaking engagement

After being informed by NJ-RADI that the person who had booked the
event, Elizabeth Meyer, was in fact a supporter of Mr. Irving's, and
being filled in on what exactly Mr. Irving's views are, ALH Post 174
attempted to contact Ms. Meyer to confirm. When she refused to return
any calls they canceled the event.

NJ-RADI is comprised of New Jersey residents who have come together to
oppose David Irving's tour of hate-speech and "historical revisionist"
nonsense. His meetings serve as both a fundraiser and a networking
event for Irving and other neo-nazi scum. We REFUSE to sit idly by and
allow our state to be used to these ends.

David Irving talk disrupted on Chicago northwest side


David Irving talk disrupted on NW side
Updated: A speech by Holocaust denier David Irving at the Edelweiss restaurant, 7650 W Irving Park, was disrupted and shut down by antifascists Monday night. 5-7 persons entered into the restaurant disrupting the event.

new antifa blog: On The Prowl

On The Prowl was a publication formerly distributed by the Anti-Racist Action chapter in Toronto. In tribute, we have used the name for this blog (and for an accompanying yet to be published print version).

On The Prowl was initiated to report on international anarchist news with a focus on anti-fascist and anti-racist organizing in the Mid-Atlantic states. We hope to serve as a center of information on organizing and action in our region against racism and for a just, liberatory world. If you are interested in getting involved in organizing for this kind of world in our region (especially in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Delaware) please get in touch with us! We would love to have you involved in the fight against racism in our region.

-On The Prowl News <>

Nov 22, 2009

Teabag America: When the Right Rises, What’s the Left to Do?

An Interview with Quentin Williams by Matthew Lyons

"Quentin Williams" is a community organizer who has been tracking the anti-tax, anti-Obama Tea Party protests for the past several months.

ML: Please give us a little background about your political work and how you got interested in understanding the Tea Party movement.

QW: I came up in the global justice movement that took shape during the mass mobilizations of Seattle and their after effects around the year 2000. Those movements had a strong critique of the state and capital as the engines behind the isms we face. It was a “we are the people” against “them” type fight. But when I moved to Cincinnati, the Klan (which wasn’t the government or big business) still had a public display on the town square every holiday season and still marched on rare occasion.

My early political foundation didn’t account for another set of “the people” that was further to the right than and also in opposition to the state and capital. Instead of viewing Klan activity or that like it as an active political element on the landscape, most of my northern and city-living friends discounted them as irrelevant stuck-in-the-pasts. But that didn’t sit right with me.

Reading books like Making Race and Nation I understood that a major task of the state is to establish a nation loyal to it so that it may be productive. Since the U.S. started as a settler colony, that project of nation-building took on the trend of appeasing intra-white conflict at the expense of people of color (and at the expense of creating a more just society.) European-American conflict was avoided by providing former indentured servants with land in exchange for expanding the frontier by murdering indigenous inhabitants or as compensation for manning slave patrols. After the rise of factory work, this took on the form of two-tier wage systems and an inflated domestic standard of living compared to the Third World where the resources (and underpaid labor) that supported that standard came from.

The book Settlers by Sakai criticizes the U.S. labor movement and examines how white workers are an active participant in this compact. Whether it’s the New York City Draft riots in response to conscription during the Civil War, or the rise of the Klan and Jim Crow in response to Reconstruction, or Samuel Gompers’s imperial unionism, U.S. white workers have been willing to accept the extra spoils of U.S. imperialism and white supremacy in exchange for violently excluding people of color from the kitty.

Having rooted myself in immigrant worker struggles for the last six years, I’ve experienced this first hand. Long before the housing crisis put economic instability on the map, we were witnessing a shift to a new economy that globally decentralizes the spoils of capital and the required enforcement to elites in nations across the globe. The change is capital breaking its former compact with U.S. white workers and thus abandoning the most favorite nation agreement it had with the U.S. settler nation.

We’ve seen the standard of living for people within the U.S. decline and corporate ransacking such as Enron, WorldCom, etc. rise. Meanwhile the production that remains in the U.S. is drawing on labor pools from the largest migration of humans in history while government has gutted most of its regulatory institutions that could enforce standards.

We’re at a crossroads in this country where we won’t be living fat off the post World War II dominance the U.S. enjoyed for the past fifty years. Instead as scarcity creeps into people’s consciousness, we’ll have a choice of joining with those who have faced those conditions far longer or to turn to the historic resolution of crisis in a settler nation, increased opportunity through policing and repression in communities of color and a rigid narrowing of the definition of who belongs to the nation.

In 2005, the Minutemen were an early sign of that. Blaming undocumented migrants for overcrowded schools and overcapacity hospitals, they volunteered to do the job they decided government had failed to do, adequately patrol the border. The volunteer squads quickly spread across the country with a 600% increase in grassroots anti-immigrant activity in 2006/2007 to the point where places like Chicago had three different Minutemen chapters.

It was there, doing work to promote labor law enforcement and police accountability among immigrant workers, that I started to take the threat they posed more seriously. Mainly because, well, they were sending my organization and me in particular serious threats.

The Tea Party movement is even more alarming to me.

ML: Where have you encountered Tea Party activism and what have you observed?

QW: Last Spring, we saw a blip on the radar when small Tea Party rallies were held across the country to protest the failures of the stimulus package and what they saw as the excess of government spending. Those groups built momentum over the summer disrupting town halls and sinking the prospects of health care reform that could provide for people’s needs. Driven by talk show personalities with significant air time, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, they held a 50,000 to 75,000, 99% white “National Taxpayer March” on September 12th, 2009 in Washington, DC. I went to take video.

Gathered around the Capitol were tens of thousands of people framing Obama as both a fascist and a socialist, praising Joe Wilson, the Congressman who yelled “you lie” during Obama’s address to Congress, and hailing capitalism and the free market as solutions.

The Right had found their umbrella issue, government spending, that could tap into a public sentiment and mobilize opposition without even mentioning race, gender, sexuality, immigration or any of the things that get them tangled up in accusations of bigotry. This was people wanting “liberty” plain and simple. There to defend their grandchildren against a government run amok and mortgaging their future. What could be more noble?

ML: How does this compare with other right-wing activity you've encountered?

QW: What’s most alarming to me is that this was not a hard right mobilization. People who get involved in Minuteman activity, for example, tend to already have solidified their position. Lines are clearly drawn. This however, was a recruiting opportunity for the far Right. Most people I encountered were participating in their first political activity. On the mall, they met groups like the American Patriot Committee that stood on a corner doing anti-government spiels, handing out cards, and signing people up forty at a time. The veil of government spending acted as a gateway where white conservatives could encounter bigger badder right-wing activity and actively march on in that direction.

ML: The dynamic you’re describing reminds me of the Patriot movement of the mid-1990s – the folks who organized “citizen militias” to defend themselves against a supposed globalist plot to seize control of the United States. At the time, some leftists warned that the Patriot/militia movement was essentially a front for neo-nazi propaganda and organizing, while other leftists said, no, these aren’t nazis or racists, they’re just anti-government activists who are a little too caught up in conspiracy theories. That debate often missed the key point, which was that the Patriot movement was an ideological hodge-podge, a meeting ground for neo-nazis and other folks. It was in fact the first truly mass movement in the U.S. since World War II that brought fascists and non-fascists together in coalition. And that was its most important and most dangerous feature.

The Tea Party movement certainly isn’t a carbon copy of the Patriot movement, but it has some of the same qualities, including (a) the driving force behind it seems to be coming largely from outside of established political elites, and (b) it is a political mish-mash that brings together conservatives, far rightists, and a lot of people whose politics is not clearly defined. As with the Patriot movement fifteen years ago, a lot of leftists and liberals have this impulse to oversimplify what is going on, to reduce it to one political current. In particular, the idea that the Tea Party movement is essentially an “Astroturf” phenomenon – fake grassroots activity orchestrated by the GOP leadership – seems to me to be a drastic and dangerous oversimplification. Same for the claim that this is essentially a reincarnation of the Christian Right. Christian Rightists are one element in the mix, but just one of many.

By contrast, one of the best commentaries I’ve seen on the Tea Party movement is Glenn Greenwald’s piece “Glenn Beck and left-right confusion”: “These ‘tea party’ and ‘9/12’ protests are composed of factions with wildly divergent views about most everything. From paleoconservatives to Ron-Paul-libertarians to LaRouchians to Confederacy-loving, race-driven Southerners to Christianist social conservatives to single-issue fanatics (abortion, guns, gays) to standard Limbaugh-following, Bush-loving Republicans, these protests are an incoherent mishmash without any cohesive view other than ‘Barack Obama is bad.’ ... Many of these people despised the Bush-led GOP and many of them loved it.” Greenwald emphasizes that many of the themes that Glenn Beck and his comrades are promoting cut across standard left-right lines – like hostility to Wall Street and the national security state – but it’s the Republicans who are exploiting this energy and anger. I would add, just because the Republicans are exploiting it doesn’t mean they control it, and it wouldn’t take much to tip a large part of that dynamic into far-right radical opposition mode.

One last question: How do you think leftists should respond to the Tea Party movement?

QW: So we know we’re in trouble when people are more drawn to a movement that publicly describes itself as “teabaggers” than to any left formation, but look.

U.S. history is partly defined by a minority violent white street-force threatening to destabilize the Union during eras of social reorganization. The Left, specifically Northern and urban, ignores or dismisses right populism as the crazies. Doing so assumes a certain civilized or evolved character of the U.S. state. It doesn't account for the heart of the country being up for grabs. Doesn't recognize a force to the right of government and corporation and that the institutions of power are in play answering to those forces.

We buy into our own illusions of American exceptionalism and assume that far-right activity is outside the realm of possibilities. As a result, our organizations don’t take internal security as seriously as we should. ACORN’s recent sting ought to correct that for all of us. And we don’t establish a pole of opposition to pull government to the left.

Hegemony is in favor of the right. It’s no wonder that the right populist groups are drawing on legacies of the Revolutionary War like minutemen and patriot committees and teabaggers. Because our communities were in chains, servitude, or at war with U.S. colonialism, we can’t draw upon the dominant mythologies to mobilize.

At the same time, we keep attempting to argue our positions rationally within the framework of the right, which is a losing battle. Karl Rove told a New York Times reporter that liberals study reality while he creates it. Rationality and sound argument had no place at the Teabagger mobilization. It was about emotion and imagery and straight-out lies (like Obama is a Muslim Marxist in the service of Al-Qaeda).

That’s not a position you attempt to present your arguments to. the Right is not concerned with presenting the scientific argument of anti-gay, anti-immigrant, or anti-socialist policies. They hit you with the hardest exaggerated punch possible so that you’re scrambling to get back to Center and the best you’ll do is retreat a few steps from the pole they stake.

When it comes to public sentiment its not about the right answer, it’s about the answer that resonates. Since there have always been two histories of the U.S., of dominance and resistance, there are also two sets of mythologies to draw from. Attempting to make policy gains by not challenging the assumptions of power, we lose the opportunity to draw upon the (counter) hegemony that exists within communities of color where there’s no debate about whether Glen Beck is racist, for example. As a result, we are ineffective within the white political sphere and uninspiring within the communities we attempt to mobilize.

When the Right so publicly rears its head, there’s a temptation to place major energies into explicit counter-right organizing. Doing so, however, continues to focus the debate on their terms and our energies in their direction. We lack more than clear ways of framing the issues. Rather than overemphasizing the place of such mobilizations, their stepping up should be a call to escalate our own work. Instead of focusing on that mobilized minority, how do allies imagine organizing the potential base of the right in a left direction? For those doing direct organizing, when the Right is talking revolution or secession on the steps of the Capitol, how do we raise the stakes of our own organizing beyond the technocratic policy-based campaigns to something as big and bad and threatening? That, to me, is the question to address today.

Oct 1, 2009

Minneapolis, MN - Oppose the neo-Nazi N.S.M. this Sat. Oct 3rd

***Please Forward Far & Wide***
Minneapolis, MN - Oppose the neo-Nazi N.S.M.

Defend Our Neighborhoods!
Defend Anti-Racist Organizing!

10:00 am Saturday
October 3rd 2009
Lake Street & 22nd Ave
(outside the Midtown YWCA)

This Saturday, October 3rd, 2009, the neo-nazi National Socialist Movement
(NSM) has threatened to demonstrate against an anti-racist workshop being
held at the YWCA on East Lake Street in Minneapolis. The NSM has declared
the anti-racist organizers "traitors" to white supremacy.

This provocation also has a wider goal: The NSM has been holding racist
anti-immigrant rallies in southern Minnesota, and now they are seeking to
establish a presence inside the City of Minneapolis. For years Minneapolis
has been a virtual "no-go" area for organized racist activity, due to the
efforts of young anti-racist organizers.

In the wake of the racist attacks in Brooklyn Park last week, the nazis'
threat cannot be ignored. They plan to bring their racist, homophobic,
anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic message of division and hate right into the
heart of the city. They must not go unopposed!

10:00 am Saturday
October 3rd 2009
Lake Street & 22nd Ave
(outside the Midtown YWCA)

Solidarity Against Racism!
No to the Nazis!

Sep 26, 2009

The legitimate critical review

excerpted from, Lenin, Leninism and some Leftovers

"The legitimate critical review

The fact that this was (the Russian Revolution) an immense struggle under extreme conditions and with major limitations on understanding and resources doesn’t adequately explain, and certainly doesn’t justify, the eventual outcomes. The historical fact is that with dismaying speed, fetishized and mystified organizational forms swallowed emerging capacities to elaborate a revolutionary practice. Instead of facilitating the emancipation and liberation of the oppressed and exploited, monumental piles of shit in Russia and around the world were the result. This outcome was not the unavoidable collateral damage from the struggle against “class enemies,” real and fabricated, and it was not the inevitable consequence of any “objective conditions.” To a significant degree, it was the result of policies and approaches which had available alternatives, and, while the mere existence of other options does not prove they would have been more successful in either the long or the short run, could the outcomes have been much worse?

To me it seems undeniable that responsibility for the degeneration of the Russian revolution rests on Lenin. Particularly on the Lenin that is not the insurrectionist revolutionary of 1917, but the architect of the revolutionary party in 1903 and the theorist of the worker’s state in 1921 and the NEP in 1922. This full legacy is complex and ambiguous, but only apologists and ignorant people deny that it has elements that undermine the democratic and autonomous popular movements and institutions that must be the substance of the struggle for communism. But this darker side of Lenin is also relevant to our current problems and potentials – relevant to many important questions where none of us have been inoculated against screwing up, and, in fact, have become quite good at it. Accordingly this side of Lenin’s legacy does not subtract from his historical significance, it provides additional reasons to take it seriously...

...So I want to deal with two partial strands of the history. In one, the distinctively Leninist elements are in opposition to the future Bolshevik degeneration. In the other, his positions are a significant contribution to the process. The first strand relates to inner-party life, specifically the issues of debate and criticism that are codified under the heading of democratic centralism. The second theme I take from the anarchist, Larry Gambone (apologies if I get any of it wrong) who stresses Lenin’s conflation of the concepts of centralization and unification, in a way that facilitates a reliance on mechanical and instrumental management techniques rather than the expansion of popular participation in a more organic and (dare I say it) more dialectical approach to the revolutionary process. I’m dwelling on these issues, not only because they have substantial intrinsic historic interest, but because I believe the questions involved and the range of inadequate answers to them, still plague us."

Sep 25, 2009

Sketchy Thoughts: Drawing Lessons from Our Past - Lenin and Leninism

What can we draw from the past? And how do we draw things from the past? These questions, when you get down to it, are key to our project.

Lenin is a figure whose historic role was so major, that to think about him in isolation is impossible. We contextualize him whether we want to or not, in ways both conscious and unconscious. For some comrades he "has to be" one of history's good guys, for others he "has to be" one of its villains.

Atttempting a more nuanced view, and an appraisal of what we can learn - both good and bad - from the Leninism experience, Don Hammerquist has written an important length discussion of the Russian revolutionary and his legacy. Hammerquist has more experience than most of us in that regard, having been an important figure in the Sojourner Truth Organization in the 1970s. As Michael Staudenmaier tells us, STO was a

revolutionary group based largely in Chicago during the 1970’s and 1980’s. STO, as it is commonly known, created a small but vibrant political tendency around the concepts of challenging dual consciousness, opposing white supremacy, supporting extra-union organizing in factory settings, defending anti-imperialist and national liberation struggles, and building an internal culture of intellectual rigor and sophistication.
Over the next little while, i will be posting Hammerquist's discussion of Lenin, and responses from other comrades, on this blog and as PDFs on the Kersplebedeb website. To follow the discussion, just follow the Leninism label.

Don Hamerquist: Lenin, Leninism, and some leftovers

Tom Wetzel's Reply to Hamerquist

Noel Ignatiev: C.L.R. James on the Marxist Organization

Dave Renney: Scattered thoughts on the Leninist Party and Don’s Paper

Sep 3, 2009

White supremacists, protesters stick to different parts of the city

"GREENSBORO — The white-supremacist National Socialist Movement held a daylong business meeting Saturday in a location kept secret from counter-demonstrators who decried the movement’s racist ideology in a largely peaceful gathering downtown.

The movement’s “regional conference” occurred at a hotel in western Greensboro. The News & Record is not identifying the location at the request of city police, who fear violence if the group’s more aggressive foes learn where its members are staying through this morning...

Though small, the National Socialist Movement is like a number of other white-supremacy or white-separatist groups that are trying to attract new members from people who avoided extremist groups in the past but now are perturbed by the election of the nation’s first African American president, the economic downturn and such issues as illegal immigration"

read more

Sep 1, 2009

Health Care Mobs

From the Rustbelt Radical

The “reform” on offer goes nowhere to meet the concerns of advocates of genuine national health care and yet too many of the promoters of single-payer seem content to “fight the right” without realizing that means Obama. Obama’s “reform” proposals do much more to stop real reform than the idiocy of Rush since it silences advocates of meaningful reform by placing them in a camp they do not agree with; a camp whose proposals will codify many of the worst aspects of our health care system while claiming to be change.

read more

Aug 30, 2009

"Black National Socialism is No Utopia"

From the Huffington Post

Race-based attacks and criticism of President Obama have been on the rise during the dog days of August. And they're not just happening at health care town hall protests.

A reader sent over a picture of a group of protesters camped outside Rep. Susan Davis's (D-Calif.). "Neighborhood Day" event this past week, brandishing signs calling the president a Black Supremacist and suggesting he's a Nazi disciple.

"Black National Socialism Is Not Utopia," reads one poster.

Another has a picture of Obama's former preacher, Jeremiah Wright, juxtaposed with a picture of Adolph Hitler and one of picture of Obama and Wright together. "Obama's Church: Black Supremacist," it reads.

Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, & Scapegoating

Political Research Associates

Charged with the fatal shooting of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in a church in Wichita, Kansas, last Sunday morning, Scott Philip Roeder is a regular consumer of conservative talk radio, television, and websites. But did Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck—or any other commentator whipping up an audience with overheated demonizing rhetoric—actually help pull the trigger?

It’s not that simple, explains Chip Berlet, senior analyst for the independent think tank Political Research Associates (PRA), in a new study entitled Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, and Scapegoating. “They are not legally culpable for the assassination of Dr. Tiller, says Berlet, “but they must share some portion of moral responsibility for creating a dangerous environment."

According to Berlet:

"Right-wing pundits demonize scapegoated groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people in the audience already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States."

Read the entire Media Release Here

Of Tea-Parties and Patriots: Liberty for who?

Originally from the anarchist black cat forum

The following article was written and directed towards members of the "Liberty Movement," participants in the Tea Parties and Town Hall meeting protests. It was originally intended to be handed out at Colorado gun shows, where anarchists have done counter-recruitment against the Minutemen:

Of Tea-Parties and Patriots:
Liberty for who?

As town hall meetings on health care become the targets for disruptive protest and a growing “pro-liberty” movement gains traction and headlines, a full analysis of the situations we are facing as white working class people and an analysis of the strategies of the new “pro-liberty” movement is necessary.
[Interesting propaganda]

I am authoring this piece as a white working class male that comes from a military family background, and identifies to some extent as being a libertarian. This description of myself is important as it helps color the perspective I am writing from, as any differences in my background, race, or socio-economic status would ultimately change the entire nature of this essay.

This piece is also mainly directed at white working class people that are active within this new movement. The reasons for this are many, as will become obvious as this piece progresses.

On race…

The Liberty Movement resembles the broader Libertarian Movement in a myriad of ways. One of these ways is in racial composition. To be plain and up front, the U.S. Right is mostly comprised of white people. These giant Tea Parties, our demonstrations and meetings are seas of white faces, with small sprinklings of nonwhite faces.

Whiteness is defined in many different ways by many different people. To many, Jews are not white. Up until the mid 1900’s, white skinned people of Irish and Italian descent were not considered white. Some folks still think this way.

I identify, for the benefit of this essay, a white person as any person with pale skin pigmentation that would commonly pass as white in this society. We don’t need to break this down any further. We know whether we’re white or not.

Most whites immediately become defensive when the word race is even brought up. We don’t want to admit we think in these terms. We don’t want to admit that race has anything to do with our lives or what’s going on in this country. We’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist and not talk about it.

We can act like Ostriches all we want. It doesn’t change that our movement is nearly completely white. Let’s admit that, understand that, and move on to understanding what that means for us.

On class…

When people bring up the term “class”, many white working people start to snicker. The calls of “leftist” or “socialist” or “pinko” come to the lips of many at the mere indication that someone may be conscious of class in America. Despite this tendency, especially within the ranks of poor and working whites, most white working people naturally view the world in terms of class, whether they’d admit it or not.

Our realities are shaped by where we stand socially, economically, and politically. The vast majority of whites, like people of all other races, live in precarious social, political, and economic realities. We live paycheck to paycheck. We live off over-extended credit. We live in debt. We don’t own much, if at all, in real estate. We live in stressful situations, where if one part of the chain breaks, we lose everything. Our very existence is one of insecurity and economic disaster.

Most people in the middle and upper classes of white society try to stifle this talk amongst us in the working or lower classes. Political, social, and church leaders try to erase the class line. But for those of us going home at night to trailers, slumlord owned apartments, or dilapidated houses, we tend to not forget the large suburban homes and mansions that these leaders sleep in.

Class exists. Just like race, we can’t make it go away by ignoring it. But why would we even want to ignore it? Our situation as working whites boils down directly to the idea of class.

Our class interests…

I start with the idea that most white working class people want similar things. We, as most people do, want security, freedom, prosperity, comfort, and safety. We don’t want to have to worry about where our next meal is coming from, how we’re going to be able to afford school supplies for our children, or whether or not we will fall victims to a “terrorist” attack. We don’t want to constantly fear losing our jobs or living the rest of our lives in precarious economic situations.

We now live in a country with a huge division between rich and poor. We live with a failed economy. We live in a nearly failed state. The government of the United States has systemically become a monstrous giant of bureaucrats and neo-tyrants. The whole government, every single politician, is part of this corrupt system.

Back home, in our communities, both rural and urban, we are losing our jobs. We are watching our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, dying in deserts and mountains halfway across the world. Our police forces are growing larger, just as our prison populations. We, as working people, are losing everything.

But, there may still be hope for us. White working class people are starting to organize on a national level for what we believe are our interests as a class, as physically manifested with the wave of “Tea Parties” and protests against what many feel to be an impending socialist nightmare in Washington, D.C.

Thousands have mobilized in past months to send clear messages to the politicians in charge of this mess that we won’t take it anymore. And now, we’re mobilizing to shut down what many see as a socialist attempt to take away our health care options and build even more government power.

But what do these mobilizations really mean? And what have we gained by disruptively protesting these town hall meetings on health care reform? Are we gaining ground? Or are we merely paving the way for further future losses?


Typically, political scientists have defined the concept of liberty as a political idea that identifies that a person has the right to act according to their own will and desires. This is how many Americans would like to think about liberty.

At Tea Parties, political meetings, and other gatherings, most white working people keep this image of liberty, of true freedom, deep in their hearts. It tends to motivate how we view the rest of the world and our relationship to it. We see liberty manifested here in the U.S., and the founders of this country dying to ensure it existed.

The other liberty…

Let’s be clear, however about the concept of liberty. We’ve all been duped, plainly and simply. On this land, the concept of liberty as defined in the previous context has never existed. In fact, we’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes so tightly, that we can’t even see how the word has changed meaning and been used against us.

Historically, because of the conditions in the United States, the concept of liberty in this country has taken on a much different connotation than the one previously stated. Liberty, in the United States, has become synonymous with the protection of rights to own property.

To many within the white working class, this doesn’t seem like a contradiction. Part of being able to determine our own wills and act in true freedom is being able to own property. We define freedom by the ability to own objects, to own land, to own cars, to own firearms. And we defend this right to own private property to the death.

However, the right to own property is the right that allows for the rich and elites to own everything that we produce. The right to property has become the legal and social basis for the rise in power of those that directly exploit us. Because it’s a protected right to own water resources, because it’s a protected right to own land that you will never live on or work on your own, because it’s a protected right to own a house and price gouge your tenants for rent, because it’s a protected right to own a business and pay your workers next to nothing, because we as white working people have helped protect these rights, we’ve laid the foundation for our own misery.

The concepts of freedom and private property, then, are at direct odds with each other. How can we be free when a corporation owns the rights to our water? How can we be free when a bank owns the land that our houses sit on? How can we be free when all of our food is owned by a field boss? How can freedom exist when a small minority own the very means of our survival?

We’ve become casualties of this way of thinking for centuries. The idea that property protection and liberty are one and the same has allowed for the rich, the political and economic elite, to swindle the rest of us.

In the name of freedom and liberty, we protect the right of 5% of the residents of this country to maintain ownership over 90% of the property and means of survival in this country. Modern liberty has become the freedom to starve, the freedom to lose our jobs without notice, and the freedom to have a bank take back its property from underneath us.

While the rich in this country pillage our paychecks, destroy our retirement funds, and take away our livelihoods, we gladly hand our resources to them. After all, liberty doesn’t exist without the protection of these rich people to own that property. They have the right to even own us, in fact.

By its very nature, the concept of private property has destroyed us and allowed the rich to ride all over us.

And it’s this thinking that has created and shaped our current “Liberty” Movement.

The Liberty Movement

The Liberty Movement, this new manifestation of centuries old U.S. patriotism, has spread across the country like a wild fire. Tea Parties, large mobilizations denouncing a rising “socialism” in this country, were held in cities across the U.S. in the Spring and early Summer.

New organizations on college campuses and within communities have sprung up to continue the organizing efforts. The main enemy is President Barack Obama. His policies resemble a socialist attack on the American way of life, and they must be stopped.

Led mostly by rich politically ambitious organizers these rallies have brought together thousands of mostly white working class participants to start to fight back against this onslaught from the left.

However, many contradictions appear within this framework. Thousands of white working people, people who rely on foodstamps, unemployment payments, and even welfare checks, fill the ranks at demonstrations calling for an end to social services. White working people, full of fear about socialism and an attack on “liberty” (in this case, an attack on the property rights of the rich) turn against their own interests and sell out their own needs to fight the new socialism.

The unpleasant reality for working class and poor people who have participated and still participate in this new movement, is that we’re being used by these rich leaders within the movement to protect their interests, not ours. But that’s nothing new.

A history of playing for the wrong team

The history of the white working class has been a history of being an exploited people. However, we’ve been an exploited people that further exploits other exploited people. While we’ve been living in tenements and slums for centuries, we’ve also been used by the rich to attack our neighbors, co-workers, and friends of different colors, religions, and nationalities.

Since the colonization of the Americas in the late 1400’s, white working people have been the footsoldiers of political and economic elites seeking to dominate and control land, resources, and wealth, all at our own expense.

We have enlisted in armies to slaughter indigenous peoples. We’ve been slave catchers to trap and enslave Africans. We’ve been police officers to terrorize communities of color. We’ve been prison guards to keep other working people locked up. We’ve been settlers, occupiers, colonizers, and conquerors. These roles have done very little to benefit us, on the whole. We’ve been used to benefit a small minority of politicians, bosses, and aristocrats.

The blunt reality is that for the last five hundred years on this continent, white working class people have been used by mostly white rich people to colonize for, kill for, work for, and then better the living standards of those same white rich people, all the while sacrificing our own needs, wants, aspirations, and even lives. It really is as simple as that. No one denies the history of what has happened at working people's expenses. Wars, poverty, homelessness, wage slavery... these are all ills created by someone, and perpetuated by us... the same workers who suffer these ills.

For some five centuries we've been used by the rich among our own race to promote their agenda and suffered because of it. Yet, somehow, we've still been convinced that it is in our interests to protect the rights of the rich to own as much property as they can, to protect the right of the rich to even exist, to protect these same rich people who would just as soon see us die for their benefit.

The heart of the matter is that for these five centuries, we've been too busy fighting the people who should naturally be our allies against these injustices. The rich whites have used our skin color against us, have used our human nature of fearing living beings different than us against us... they've used us against us. They've blinded us with these racialist ideas of "white supremacy" and "white pride" and "white nationalism" into fighting other working people of other races, while they sit on the sideline and laugh.

The New Liberty Movement plays directly into this situation, and turns us, as white working class people, against our natural interests as working class people, and against our natural allies. We’re still being used by rich whites to advance their causes, and lose everything that we desire and need.

Of socialism and healthcare

Let’s be plain. Obama is not a socialist. His reforms and the reforms of other politicians are not socialist. They’re not even radical. They’re truly reformist. And they’re truly state-capitalist.

Obama’s policies have not threatened the power structures of this country in anyway. The rich will stay rich. The poor will stay poor. Property will still be just as protected as it is now. Wars will still be waged on multiple continents. The systemic inequities that have created a mess for all working people will still exist.

But while these reforms, like public option healthcare, are not radical and do not fundamentally change any power relationships in this country, they still remain important bread and butter survival policies for poor and working people.

Just like people of all races and backgrounds, most white working and poor people have no healthcare. We’ve seen it disappear. We don’t have access to medical care when we need it. While national healthcare is not the answer to all of our problems, and shouldn’t be our ultimate end goal, it is a short term fix that we, as working class people, could probably use.

However, the red flag of socialism has been waved in front of our faces. We can’t see anything but the closet communist Obama taunting us and attacking our very way of life with these reforms.

And it’s this mentality that divides us from nonwhite working people even more. The vast majority of nonwhite working people are in support of this healthcare reform. They are in support of social service spending. They are in support of legislation that affects their survival as working class people.

We’re divided in a way that is fairly predictable. White working class people, people who have been bought off by the rich, would rather protect property rights that are used against us and our interests than work for healthcare and social services that we don’t like to admit that we utilize and need.

In our class based, capitalist society, white working class people protect property, while nonwhite working people struggle for social services necessary for survival. And thus, we as white working people play for the wrong team. And in the end, everyone besides the rich and the politicians ends up losing.

Let’s be honest. I don’t want the government to control healthcare. But I also don’t want to live in a property based society where I’m denied healthcare because I don’t make enough money. Until we get rid of that property based economic relationship, then I’ll gladly take social services from the state, just to level the playing field a bit between me and the rich boss that steals money from my paycheck, or the rich politician who guts money from our schools to fund occupations of other countries that benefit corporations he owns stock in.

Migrants and other scapegoats

Perhaps the most glaring example of how white working people are playing for the wrong team, and how the new Liberty Movement actively works against the liberty of all people, especially nonwhite people, is the role that the movement plays within the debate on immigration.

One of the attacks leveled at the government by the Liberty Movement is the government’s failure to secure the border. The white populist logic of the movement becomes quite clear at these times.

We have bought into the ridiculous notion that mostly brown skinned immigrants from Mexico or other countries are our enemy, that they are somehow stealing our jobs, that they somehow really threaten us. Let's get real. Who's really stealing our jobs?

Even with a generous estimate of the number of illegal immigrants working in the U.S. at 6 million (notice I said working, not living), this stands in stark contrast to the conservative estimate that nearly 50 million jobs will have been lost to outsourcing by 2015 since NAFTA came into affect in 1994. Well, let's ask ourselves, who's really stealing our jobs? Poor Mexicans? Or Rich White CEOs?

Leaders of the new Liberty Movement feed us ridiculous ideas of the "invading" brown hordes, and the rich whites that make up the upper echelons of organizations like the Minutemen and other similar groups salivate over our reactions. If we're busy fighting the Mexicans at the border, and busy trying to round up all the "illegals" then we're too busy to fight that real enemy, that one that keeps eluding us, the rich and political elite.

Most of us that keep falling for these lines initially might mean well. Heck, we only want to defend our families and our communities... but in reality, we're weakening them even more, by fighting our real potential allies and diverting our attention from the real enemy.

And why are all these brown skinned immigrants coming here in the first place? Why is there this sudden rush in the last thirteen years to get into this country? 80% of all illegal immigrants have entered since 1994. Why is that? What happened in 1994 that affected working people in Mexico just as it affected us? The passage of NAFTA, a free trade program that benefits nobody but the rich people on both sides of the border!

The new Liberty Movement defends the liberty of rich people to own property, while attacking the liberty of movement of brown working class people. The new Liberty Movement doesn’t protect liberty, it actively attacks it and defends a system that makes liberty for all people impossible.

We’re failing and being used

The new Liberty Movement is not a failure. It’s highly successful for accomplishing what the leaders of this movement want. If our interests as white working class people mirror those of other working people, the interests of the rich and political elite within our own movement mirror those of the rich and political elite within the government. The leaders of our own movement seek to keep the infighting amongst working people of all backgrounds and colors alive. Again, if we’re too busy fighting each other, then we can’t fight them.

We as white working class people are being used at these mobilizations. We’re fulfilling our old role of being foot soldiers for the political elite, for keeping other poor and working people in line. We’ve blinded ourselves again.

How else can we explain the willingness of hundreds of people without healthcare to actively work against legislation that would provide them with that healthcare?

And the worst part is, we don’t really gain anything from this situation. We’re failing ourselves. All of our work within the New Liberty movement, all of our energy, money, and talents are going to reinforce the same predatory economic, political, and social systems that keep us, as white working people, exploited and living in misery as well.

Our allegiances to these leaders, to people like Ron Paul, to people like Alex Jones, our acceptance of their white populist talk, our willingness to attack migrants, to disrupt attempts to provide healthcare to working class people, our willingness to cling to these ideas of the “other” liberty, the protection of property and not of people, are the biggest reasons that we are doomed to continue to live this way. We will continue to live paycheck to paycheck (at least those of us that have jobs) and in constant fear of eviction or foreclosure. We will continue to have to choose between new schoolbooks for our kids or dinner for the whole family. We will continue to see our retirement funds looted, our world destroyed, and our family members being killed in wars. And we will continue to not be able to do anything about it, unless we change our strategy and direction.

Moving forward

If we as white working people envision a world of safe, free, and economically secure communities, then we must act now. We have to start to identify our allegiances to that of our class, and not our race. We must create a revolutionary white identity that can actively work against all forms of domination that ensure that we will never enjoy true liberty.

Migrants and blacks are not our enemies. White rich people are not our friends. We must reverse this paradigm and start to work alongside movements of nonwhite working people against all predatory political, economic, and social systems. This means not just working against the state, but also working against capitalism. The state and capitalism are two faces of the same coin, a coin that must be thrown away.

We also must work actively against white supremacy in all its incarnations. Our future depends on this. If we as white working people want to enjoy freedom, then we must not be used by the rich to deny it to others and ourselves. The more we act as footsoldiers for the rich, the more we ensure that our freedom is also unattainable.

Historically, we as white working people have seen our allegiance become an allegiance to whiteness, to being white. We can relate to other white people, no matter how poor or rich. They're white like us, and that's something we can identify with, come to terms with. So of course, our natural enemies become nonwhite peoples.

The only problem with this idea is that we've had it wrong for centuries. We've been kept blind to the true nature of what is afoot here, as to what's really going on. Look around us. Who fills the trailer parks with us? Who works in the factories or fast food restaurants with us? Who is beside us working in the fields, picking produce that we'll never really be able to afford? Is it rich people, especially rich white people? Hell no, it isn't. It's brown people, black people, yellow people. It's people who have different shades of skin than us. They are the people that are in similar situations to us, living paycheck to paycheck, suffering like we do. So why then would we view them as our enemy?

Allegiances, traditionally, are made amongst people who have common interests. In an historical sense, white skinned working people have overwhelmingly believed that our interests are based on skin color. We have to work for the betterment of the race, for our culture, for our identity. The truth, however, could never be further away. Whose interests do these beliefs really serve? White workers? In some sense, the answer may be "yes". Working for the advancement of the white race at the cost of other races does buy us relative privileges and even some luxuries. In the end, however, we're still poor, we're still being used to make other people money. And those people aren't non-white working people.

We have a stake in creating a new social paradigm and movement that goes beyond the idea of liberty being a protection for property ownership. We have a direct interest in fighting white supremacy, the state, and capitalism. Our freedom is intimately woven into the freedom of all working people. Until we are free as a working class, we will never be free as individuals, no matter what skin color we are.

I don’t want to end on an abstract note. I want to end with a couple concrete steps that white working class people can take to work to build a movement for real liberty.

1) Actively work against groups like the Minutemen, the Klan, the Christian Identity Movement, and others that seek to divide us as working class people from other working class people based on their race, gender, sexuality, nationality or religion. These people are class traitors and ensure that we will never see freedom for ourselves or our families, as they keep us fighting other working class people and not the real enemy: the rich. Disrupt their attempts to organize and to recruit. Make it known they are not welcome at gun shows or other events where you are present. Not joining their organizations isn’t enough, we must actively stop them from organizing at all.

2) Actively work against leaders of the New Liberty movement that organize against nonwhite working class people. Alex Jones, Ron Paul, David Duke, and others are trying to ensure that we will turn on migrants and other people of color rather than turn on rich people, most of whom happen to be white.

3) Organize debtor’s unions and tenants unions in your neighborhood. We must come together with our neighbors to defend each other from foreclosures and evictions. Create networks of people in your neighborhood that can show up and help defend each other and prevent evictions.

4) Refuse to pay any debts you have and organize rent strikes. Don’t pay your hospital bills, your credit card bills, or any other debts you have. Don’t give these people that have been exploiting us any more of your money.

5) Support GI resistance to war and occupation. Many working class people are refusing orders to deploy, and resisting the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan in other ways. Lend them your support at

6) Don’t join the military, help prevent your family members from joining the military. This institution has robbed too many working people of their lives by convincing them it’s their patriotic duty. We must stop falling for this line, and fight for our class, not for the political elites.

7) Follow the examples of other working class people and occupy your workplace if threatened with layoffs or terminations. There have been occupations of workplaces in the U.S. and across other countries as the economic crisis has broadened. These reclamations of workplaces have ended with workers receiving back and severance pay, and sometimes even preventing their workplaces from closing

8)Organize with your neighbors to grow food for your communities. Don’t rely on the economic elites for your food any longer. Starting a personal garden is a good first step, but community gardens can provide more food for more people, and create important community ties and working relationships.

9) Be ready to actively defend your neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities from the police and state forces. Take whatever measures you deem necessary to do so.

10) Don’t get a job as a cop or prison guard. These jobs also reinforce racial divisions within our class, as well as create domestic armies to use against us when we do work toward our own power. Cops are not our friends. The police systemically exist to protect the rich and their property. Prison guards are not any better. Especially with the expansion of the war on drugs to include a war against Meth, many white working class people are finding themselves in prison and on the other side of the bars from their neighbors in guard’s uniforms.

11) Do anything you can to take back resources from the rich. We’ll keep this suggestion intentionally vague. The rich have all the food, all the money, all the wealth, and all the power. Let’s take it back. Any way we can.

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Hate mail? Wishes to collaborate?

Aug 22, 2009

New Haven, CT: Immigrant Advocates, White Supremacists Clash

Violence flared in East Haven, as New Haven activists marching to protest alleged police racism tangled with out-of-state “white nationalists.”

The clash happened during an event organized Saturday by New Haven immigrant advocacy organization Unidad Latina En Acción. More than 100 people marched through the streets of East Haven on Saturday, protesting alleged racial profiling on the part of East Haven police. They met groups of counter-protesters along the way, including a visiting band of white supremacists.

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