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Dec 15, 16

Fighting the Alt-Right: Report and Analysis of Michigan State University protest

From 1st of May Anarchist Alliance 
by BD – Detroit Collective

Right wingers who want to attack women and put them back in the kitchen and to encourage rape culture, who want to attack Muslims in the streets and in their homes and where they worship, who want to build for fascism and war, are out and mobilizing. When Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at MSU this past week about 40-50 anti-fascists came out to attempt to shut down the event and 200-300, mainly students it appeared, came out to attend the event and did attend the event.

The anti-fascist forces seem to be stuck in an earlier time. For many of us who have been fighting the klan and Nazis and skinheads for years, it is time to update to fighting the alt right. This is no time to forget about the klan and Nazis, as the alt right strategy appears to be to combine middle class frenzy and fear with fascist forces and ideology.

The main slogan was: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.” The Milo supporters, at times, returned a chant of “Fascist USA,” or the mindless “USA, USA, USA.” They also threw in a “commies go home” chant to show they were out of touch and wishing for old times. The anti-fascist forces, however, seemed stuck in tired chants and not in quite in touch with this new alt right. We need to update.

Milo appeared among his supporters outside, during the standoff, wearing a ski mask for a moment and carrying a “Milo Sucks” sign. One of Milo’s employees also wore a mask for a few seconds, carrying a sign saying “Fuck Raceism.” These were Milo’s lame attempts at humor, both fell flat, but when Milo announced himself to his supporters, some in the crowd went into a bit of frenzy.

Our smaller, anti-fascist group held off the larger group of Milo supporters for about an hour, blocking their entrance to the hall. Then the campus cops attacked the anti-fascist forces from behind, arrested seven and opened the way for Milo’s supporters to enter the hall.

A few things stand out. First Milo and his supporters did better mobilizing then the anti-fascist forces. There are many students at MSU who are anti-fascist, why didn’t more students turn out to oppose Milo speaking on campus? Our side has work to do on explaining the real dangers Trump and Milo and the developing fascist movements represent to all of us. It is important now for anti-fascist forces to be out and organizing on campuses and in cities and in all of our communities.

Most of all we need to understand that fighting and opposing the alt right is not the same as fighting the klan. Milo’s supporters are middle class white students being called out to attack women and Muslims and Black people.   Milo attempts to rely on hip fascist humor to gain support; he has made a name for himself by being a troll and attacking women using social media. Middle class white students supporting Milo and fascist ideas reminds us of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and the support of middle class college students for the Nazis. Milo is calling for a war against Islam.

One of the middle class students waiting for Milo made a racist remark, and I said he was a middle class piece of shit. He corrected me and said he was upper middle class. He was afraid of being included with the regular middle class and no doubt horrified at the thought of being identified with the working classes, but where is he going? Somehow I assume he sees his future as being tied with gaining/maintaining the upper hand against working people, communities of color, women, Muslims, Latinos, and so on. He hopes that by allying himself with Milo and Trump and a developing fascist movement, he will carve out a space for himself and comfort for himself at the expense of people beneath him. He wants to join with Milo and Trump to be on top against the rest of us.

The cops escorted Milo into the hall through another entrance and then attacked the anti-fascist forces and opened the way for milo’s supporters to enter the hall. This frenzy of trying to gain advantage at someone else’s expense, this frenzy of hating women and Muslims, this frenzy of taking up white nationalism and war fever, these are the dangers. This is not the old time klan, these college students are so lame that they think it makes them hip to support Milo and to embrace or consider embracing fascism.

How do we organize against Milo and the middle class frenzy of some white college students? For starters, we fight and organize on the campuses. The attacks on women, the support for rape culture are real and dangerous. Milo and Trump and their middle class supporters encourage assaults on women and are urging attacks on Muslims as a build up to war. Our job is to organize community self defense, real self defense forces to defend against these attacks. Our self defense forces must include all of us: women, men, gay, straight, trans, Muslim, Latino, Black, white, all of us.

Our main organizing must be in working class communities and communities of color. I went to a demonstration in Roseville, Michigan last week. A young Muslim woman who had graduated from Roseville high school a few years ago called the demonstration because the vice president of the Roseville School Board is posting vicious attacks on Muslims as in all Muslims are terrorists and racist attacks on Black people. The demonstration at the school board meeting was small, about 25-30 people, majority Muslim but including Muslim, Black and white. It was not a radical demonstration; it was calling for this racist to be removed from the school board. What was important to me was that ordinary people saw the danger and the need to organize against these racist and anti-Muslim attacks. No one was wearing masks. People went into the school board meeting and some spoke out against the racist and called for his removal. The young Muslim woman who called the demonstration and her mother had appeared on local news broadcasts to explain why they were calling the demonstration to oppose these attacks. This takes courage, and there was no bravado, just determination.

To build the fight against fascism, we need to organize on the campuses and we need to organize in working class communities and schools and workplaces. These are the front lines. We need to organize united, working class defense against racist, misogynist and anti-Muslim attacks. We need to understand that this is not the same as past organizing against the klan, that Trump and the alt right are attempting to make fascist ideas and racist attacks mainstream and normal. We need to make defending against these attacks, uniting our forces to defeat the fascists, mainstream and normal.

These are difficult times. People are under attack. There is fear, and it is not unfounded. This is no time to run and hide. This is time to organize and fight. This is no time for hand wringing. This is time for all hands on deck to fight and defeat the fascists.

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We are a new organization with its members having a much longer history of collaboration, in some instances reaching back to the 1980’s through an array of revolutionary anarchist organizing. With the creation of M1 we move from the informal affinity to being an established organizational presence; fully engaged with the broader anarchist, revolutionary and social movements.

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