Filed under: Anti-fascist, Critique, Southwest, White Supremacy
Submitted to It’s Going Down
A small group of Neo-Nazis in Folsom and El Doroado Hills, located east of Sacramento, are putting up blue ribbons in public places to show their solidarity with the police who have come, literally, under fire across the United States. As law enforcement shows no sign in stopping the murder of on average 3 people per day, rage continues to boil on the streets as protests, blockades, and the take over of public space and buildings grows. But the Black Lives Matter movement has also been met by white fear and reaction, colored by Donald Trump’s campaign and the rise in Neo-Nazi, KKK, and white nationalist violence and activity. This is a climate that has proven to be a fertile ground for white supremacist groups who are lashing out in violent displays of murderous violence from Charleston to Anaheim.
A little over a months ago, this reality was crystallized most vividly at the Sacramento state capitol, as Neo-Nazis members of the the Golden State Skinheads and Traditionalist Worker Party brawled with anti-fascists. The Neo-Nazis were quickly routed from the capitol where they had planned to hold a permitted rally, but in the fight several individuals were injured. On the anti-fascist side, largely all those stabbed with knives were African-American or were queer/trans. As the Neo-Nazis attacked people in the crowd they yelled out “N****r!,” and critically wounded several. As the fascists ran to their cars, one GSS/TWP member dropped a gun and other firearm was spotted in their hands as they sped off.
One of the people involved in the stabbings (see info graphic above) who can also be seen talking in the ABC 10 fluff piece about the “Blue Crew,” is none other than Derik Punneo. According to an article that was posted on ItsGoingDown.org:
Derik Ryan Punneo is the man seen wielding a knife with bloody hands apparently after stabbing anti-racist protesters in the widely circulated images from the Nazi rally in Sacramento on 6/26. Punneo currently resides in Sacramento and works with the Bricklayers, Tilesetters and Allied Craftworkers Union, BAC Local 3. He has a widely documented history of arrests for violent behavior including an arrest for an attempted rape in 2010 and several more arrests in 2012. Two of Punneo’s associates were arrested and charged after they kidnapped and violently retaliated against two individuals that had called the police due to Punneo’s attempted rape of a woman. More information here.
Ironically, in an interview with the Sacramento Bee, Punneo told the media that he was angry at police for not doing a better job of protecting himself and his fellow Neo-Nazis during the rally in Sacramento. Seems when push comes to shove, even Punneo, an attempted rapist and violent Neo-Nazi skinhead, doesn’t like the police. From the Sacramento Bee:
He [Punneo] added that he thought the police response was “pretty unsatisfactory. They failed to protect and serve, as was their duty … I think it’s a dereliction of duty.”
But this garbage from ABC 10 shouldn’t surprise anyone. After the rally in Sacramento, reporter Frances Wang interviewed TWP leader Matthew Heimbach, in what many decried as an unabashed kid-gloves interaction. Wang even went so far as to use “quote marks” to describe the Nazis, raising doubts about their white supremacist political goals. According to an article on Indybay.org:
The storm of complaints were kicked off by a straightforward tweet directed at the TV station and reporter Frances Wang: “Why in the fuck are @ABC10Frances and @ABC10 amplifying the lies of Nazi stabbers?” It quickly picked up from there. One response read: “Just watched @ABC10Frances interview. Galling. She literally served as mouthpiece for a Nazi leader whose members stab people @ABC10” She kept putting the word “nazis” in quotes in her tweets, as if the Traditionalist Workers Party, Golden State Skinheads, and other assorted racists who planned to rally on the Capitol steps aren’t actual nazis.
Neo-Nazis, KKK members, and fascists in general have always sought to be an auxiliary force for the state, the police, and the dominant capitalist structure. The KKK was formed in order to keep African-American workers in subservient roles that generated massive profits for wealthy land holders. White nationalists have worked to support the campaigns of Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, and Donald Trump, all of which used racism as a means to divide the working-class along color lines. In the past 10 years, Neo-Nazi groups have supported anti-immigrant movements and figureheads such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio, further cementing the 2nd class citizenship of migrant workers which generates massive profits for big corporations. While in private these groups may style themselves as “revolutionaries” or even “anti-capitalists,” throughout history Neo-Nazis, fascists, KKK groups, and white nationalists have sought to uphold the racial apartheid and segregation already put into place by the state and strengthen it.
It’s also telling that Neo-Nazis such as Derik Punneo also choose the side (publicly) of supporting the police, when white Americans themselves have been killed by police in large numbers. While African-Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos are statically speaking 3x more likely to be killed by police than white Americans, white people still make up about half of those that are killed by the law enforcement in the United States. But the police aren’t just a force that kills, the police also evict and enforce property rights, make areas “safe” for gentrification and thus raise rents, ensure that fracking projects displace homes and farms, break up strikes and bring in scab workers, and act as an ever growing militarized force aimed against the wider population. It’s up to poor and white workers to get on the right side of history; to see their common interests alongside other poor and working-class people of color, not in league with the Nazis. Fascists like Punneo show their true colors in supporting the state and the police; they’re aren’t on the side of the people. Black, brown, red, yellow, or white.
We also see the media for what it is. When revolt breaks out, be it a labor strike, a prison revolt over conditions, people trying to stop fracking or a polluting development project, or even a rowdy protest or riot against the police, the media is always there to demonize “outside agitators” and instead give credit to the police, the government, and professional activist protest managers and bureaucrats for keeping order.
This means keeping people locked within the roles of passive observers of a spectacle that both terrifies them yet always tells them that it will be okay, while at the same time creating enemies for the general public’s consumption. Now, at a time when there is so much anger at the police, the media plays a key role in making enemies both out of social movements which confront the authority and violence of the police, but also in giving kudos to those that step up to support them: in this case, Neo-Nazis.
Let’s rip the ribbons down, but also understand that the fascists and white nationalists are fighting to preserve a much larger system of domination and control: white supremacy and capitalism. For them, fascism is only a way to ensure the divisions and inequalities that already exist in our society stay in place within an even bigger police state.
ABC 10 Main Number:
Tel: (916) 441-2345
Fax: (916) 321-3384