Over a week ago IGD published a submitted article entitled, “An Open Letter to Liberals and Progressives from the Black Bloc.” The article addressed the realities of political life in the current era from the looming threat of climate change, a ‘voting panel’ that threatens the rights of millions, neo-Nazi trolls declaring war on CNN and increasing far-Right violence, and the declining legitimacy and support for both Donald Trump and the DNC. The article was quickly shared over 7,000 times on Facebook. In short, it was an attempt to open a dialog with people who who have become disillusioned with the Democratic Party and are looking for non-electoral, anti-capitalist, pro-working class, and grassroots solutions to the crisis that is only growing all around us.
Several days after it was published people associated with Tucker Carlson’s show and Watter’s World, both on Fox, contacted us about appearing on their programs to discuss the essay. Being that we don’t even want to watch these programs, much less participate in giving them any material, we did not respond.
— Scott Campbell (@incandesceinto) June 22, 2017
The same day that we were emailed, Ian Miles Cheong, an Alt-Right troll and journalist at Heat St (soon to be shuttered) who once declared that “Hitler is my fucking idol,” and wrote an article about how, “Pepe the Frog Isn’t A Racist Meme,” appeared on the Tucker Carlson show as a supposed ‘expert’ on the subject. The article was also presented as a call for violence, specifically against Trump supporters.
However, for anyone that actually reads the piece, the article discusses the need for a robust and working-class movement that meets real needs for a wide variety of people across racial and geographic lines. Moreover, it spends more time criticizing liberals and progressives as being unable to find common ground with other poor and working people than it does talking about anyone else; the term “Trump supporter” is not even mentioned in the piece itself.
So far, however, #TheResistance has amounted instead to liberals and progressives mocking Trump supporters and sharing clickbait about the latest and more egregious aspects of the Trump administration. What is needed now is not a Left version of Alt-Right meme culture, but a strong and robust movement that reaches out to all sections of the working class and poor people, regardless of race, geography, gender, or sexuality.
To stand firm in our class and community interests, to reject patriarchy, colonialism, and white supremacy–that in itself is confrontation. In doing so, we will come up against both the state and its far-Right defenders. With this reality in mind, we must devise ways of protecting ourselves and our movements. From those on the streets, to those behind a keyboard, to those publicly organizing, our first and foremost goal must be to defend ourselves, our struggles, and our movements.
This means creating a force that is able to connect the similar interests of people across vastly different walks of life that are directly opposed to the elites who control this system. This means talking with people and passing out literature everywhere from gun shows to hip-hop concerts. It means mobilizing in solidarity with Native communities and those in Flint, Michigan who don’t have access to clean drinking water. It means organizing and fighting in our neighborhoods, communities, workplaces, and schools but, moreover, finding how to link these struggles against common enemies together as we forge bonds that can unite people across racial lines.
But while we must fight and confront Trump and the far-Right, if we have no alternative waiting in its place, then we are simply keeping the seat warm for the next neoliberal government to come in and start all over again.
Tucker Carlson hits new low by hosting Alt-Right troll Ian Miles Cheong on to talk about IGD article. pic.twitter.com/5742ejcD7c
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) July 12, 2017
Of course none of this was mentioned in the Tucker Carlson interview, but this is to be expected. Only weeks before, Cheong wrote an article attacking IGD that included made up quotes claiming that we were encouraging people to stab and attack anyone that voted for Trump. Heat St is also owned by the same multinational corporation that owns Fox, and several days later Cheong’s article first appeared almost word for word it was reprinted on Fox and Friends along with a video. After IGD published an expose showing how Fox was copy and pasting from a notorious Alt-Right troll, Heat St like total snowflakes, quickly changed their headline. About a week later, it was announced that Heat St was being closed.
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) July 11, 2017
Yesterday however on Watter’s World, Fox News took things a step further and had on their show someone from “Boston Antifa” who claimed to have written the same “Open Letter” that had appeared on IGD. The Fox article wrote:
Jesse Watters debated a protester from ANTIFA, short for anti-fascism, a group calling for violence against the “Trump- Pence regime.”
Kevin from the Boston ANTIFA branch penned an open letter on the anarchist site ItsGoingDown.org urging liberals and progressives to violence to take down President Trump.
There’s just one problem: first, there is no “Boston Antifa” group, except if you include a group of Alt-Right trolls.
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) July 17, 2017
Back on March 1st, IGD ran a story about how a group of Alt-Right trolls had created a series of fake accounts under the name, “Boston Antifa,” in order to troll both antifascists as well as those on the far-Right, namely the militia movement. Later that month, it was exposed that two of the people involved in ‘Boston Antifa’ were actually two Alt-Right trolls living in Eugene. The prank generated a degree of fame within far-Right and Alt-Right circles; landing them an appearance on ‘Proud Boys’ leader Gavin McInnes’ show to talk about their trolling escapades.
Quickly after the WW segment aired on Fox, the Alt-Right troll BG Kumbi announced that he had successfully fooled Jesse Walter as 4chan celebrated. News media was quick to pick up on the embarrassing debacle, with websites such as Salon and Esquire running stories about Fox News taking the bait.
But Fox News isn’t the first group on the Right which has been duped by Boston Antifa. Back in mid-May, the Oath Keepers militia was also fooled by the fake ‘antifa chapter’ and used the groups online threats as a call to ratchet up the potential for violence. They even put ‘Boston Antifa’ on a list of ‘terrorist organizations.’
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) May 14, 2017
Boston Antifa is also part of a larger effort from the Alt-Right to create a string of fake social media accounts and then use them to either discredit anarchist and antifascist groups or goad far-Right organizations into violence by calling for fake events. We have seen this reality play out both in Houston, where trolls created a fake “Texas Antifa” account and then used threats to a Confederate statue as an excuse to fundraise for a rally. Also in Gettysburg, Alt-Right trolls tricked KKK and militia members into mobilizing to defend the graves of soldiers, leading one militia member to shoot himself in the leg. Ironically, these accounts have done more damage to the far-Right than to anarchists and antifascists.
Example of some of the threats of murder and violence that are generated after Fox News runs on of their segments.
However the recent coverage by Fox shows several disturbing trends. First, it shows a desire, along with those of Alt-Right trolls, to ramp up the threat of escalating violence against autonomous social movements. Second, it shows the coming together of mainstream conservative and Alt-Right forces, as Fox News attempts to resolidify a much more ‘edgy’ base of support. Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller has already employed Alt-Right figures such as Jason Kessler on it’s staff and many of those that worked at Heat St or who currently work at places like the Daily Caller or Breitbart follow Alt-Right social media accounts and often exist on the fringes of the far-Right and white nationalist movement.
As support and legitimacy for Trump evaporates, the Right is looking for anything that can regroup its base of support and keep people distracted from the disaster happening all around them. In doing so they seek to not only attack grassroots social movements but mine the fascist Alt-Right for talking points and ‘talent.’ With that reality in mind, events like the trolling of Watter’s World are hilarious because it shows a huge audience just how stupid these people really are and how they will literally believe anything as long as it fits into their narrative.