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Nov 26, 15

Far-Right Grows as Demonstrations Spread for Minneapolis and Chicago

https://twitter.com/ZachStafford/status/669335274791510017

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

As shots rang out in Minneapolis, hitting 5 protesters at the #JusticeforJamar encampment outside of the 4th Prescient in the north part of the city, a new bloody chapter in the struggle against white supremacy was written. Not since the Greensboro Massacre in 1979 in North Carolina, where members of Klan and Neo-Nazi (and several undercover FBI agents who did nothing) groups opened fired on revolutionary leftist protesters, killing several, has such violence at demonstrations reached this level. Currently, it appears that the racists involved in the attack were tied to the far-Right militia movement. But while by and large far-Right, white nationalist, and Neo-Nazi groups and individuals have steered clear of open attack against anarchist, left, and Black Lives Matter protests, events, and spaces, in the past several years, white supremacists have carried out massacres in places of worship and public places across the US.

Currently, at the time of this writing, support demonstrations have taken place in New York, Philly, and Denver, with more planned in South Minneapolis and Oakland.

But while the recent shootings in Minneapolis draw headlines, beneath the surface we see a rising tide of growing white nationalism that is entering more and more both into the mainstream and also into the Republican establishment. Several days ago, Donald Trump continued to show his racist colors after he posted a racist meme that seems to have originated from a Neo-Nazi source. The meme, based on faulty facts, proposes that black people kill whites (and each other) at an alarming rate, much higher than the rate killed by police. This logic is a golden standard for the racist right, and acts as an autonomous auxiliary to the state to build justification for mass state murder of black and brown people.

But beyond Trump’s run for the white house, other signs point to white nationalism entering the mainstream, from the success of writer Jack Donovan, a gay white fascist, to the continued growth and influence of white nationalist speakers and thinkers like Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Workers’ Party, Counter-Currents Publishing, the National Socialist Movement (NSM), Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, and various conferences such as the National Policy Institute.

In many ways, while these groups may be creeping in to the mainstream, they still have yet to have a real foot hold within the white working and middle-class. This lack of influence is caused by and results in, continuous members of the white racist and fascist cause resorting to terror and mass murder. From attacks on Sikh temples to mass shootings at Jewish religious centers, US white nationalism has left a trail of death and destruction – more dangerous than any Jihadi extremist. While the more upper-middle class elements of the movement may try hard to distance themselves from these “lone wolves,” the very real connections between all of these players is well documented and extremely clear. Keeping these movements away from the white working class is one of the most important – and difficult tasks that anarchists now can be working on.

Also in the last week, we saw the popping up of “White Student Unions” on several college campuses, from Illinois, to UCLA, to even UC Berkeley. Like much of the current crop of white nationalist rising stars and Trump himself, these groups claim not to be racist and heavily borrow from language used by progressive groups. They talk about creating a “safer space” and to “represent” their own interests. Looking closer at much of this language, one sees that these groups promote basic fascist and nationalist talking points. Using the universities as a launch pad for further action is a strategy that Matthew Heimbach has articulated in the recent path and is something that we can and should work to counter.

Developing a presence again on campuses when possible, especially Community Colleges where tuition is generally somewhat low and the student demographic is more diverse in terms of class and race, is also a good starting point for building connections with young adults beginning to question and think about the wider world.

In the back drop of all of this, is the continuing rupture of black rebellion in the United States as anger continues to build over police violence, mass incarceration, low paying jobs and gentrification, and a widening racial and class gap. As we speak, the video of 17 year old Laquan MacDonald, shot horrifically in late 2014, has just been released in Chicago. In the last several nights, hundreds have taken to the streets against the killing.

With Occupy, much of those that came to be involved in the movement were whites who were angry that they had been “denied” access to “the wages of whiteness.” Access to home-ownership, affordable education, free from debt, a decent paying job, and even freedom from not being attacked by the police. The neo-liberal restructuring of the economy ended up hurting many working-class and even middle-class whites, giving them a basic taste of what black, brown, Native, and people of color in the United States have been dealing with for years along with tear-gas and police baton blows.

But with the launching of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the Ferguson Uprising, in many ways the far-Right found a narrative that they could latch onto and win. By portraying the eruption of riots, protests, and freeways blockades as a symptom of the breakdown of law and order, i.e, the racial order and the power and ability of the state to maintain it, the far-Right positioned itself, and fascism as the only solution. “Your borders” are not secure, “your police” are not safe, “your cities” are burning, they cried. As long as the state and its institutions in the eyes of working class whites remain legitimate, these words will continue to gain adherents.

And while in the past, Presidential Administrations from Reagan to Clinton to Obama, have attempted to articulate a “soft” and “unspoken” white supremacy, more and more, the far-Right is continuing to push the envelope. At the same time, despite a push by the official Left to try and address issues of policing, wealth inequality, and lack of access to basic resources, the contradictions and inherent problems found within this post-colonial racist capitalist system still persists and grow deeper. This is of course to say nothing of the hurdling collapse of industrial civilization that both parities only see to deny or better manage.

The growth of the far-Right points to a need for an autonomous anti-capitalist material force in the streets and communities across the US and the world. There is no hope in the vote, either in Sanders or in the Democrats more broadly. Only in getting organized where we are can we create a path forward.

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