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Aug 26, 17

IGD San Francisco: Thousands Send Alt-Right Packing

Today, thousands of people converged across San Francisco to confront an Alt-Right rally led by Joey Gibson, a reactionary pro-Trump and pro-militia far-Right organizer of ‘Patriot Prayer,’ and Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, a white nationalist who is also calling for a rally ‘against Marxism’ on Sunday in Berkeley. On Friday, Gibson announced that he was canceling his demonstration, despite the city of San Francisco issuing a permit to Gibson, but stating that militia members could not bring guns and other weapons onto Crissy Field. According to KTVU:

The Patriot Prayer rally had been approved for a permit by the National Park Service with tight security restrictions. SFPD had said no guns would be allowed earlier this week. NPS had issued 26 permit conditions that banned items including; firearms, ammunition, backpacks, bicycles and even selfie sticks. 

So his plan B? Gibson announced a news conference at Alamo Square, surrounded by residential neighborhoods with no permit restrictions.

Gibson was quick to blame local politicians for his decision to cancel the rally, however in reality as Friday unfolded Gibson saw clearly that thousands were going to hit the streets against him, Chapman was sent to jail on weapon charges on Friday morning, and Chapman’s main organizer, Amber Cummings, sent out a press release stating that the Sunday Berkeley rally was also canceled, sort a. 

As Gibson was whining about a conspiratorial collection of antifa, Black Lives Matter, and laughably Democratic politicians, those same bureaucrats were doing all they could to tell people to avoid the demonstrations. Gibson even made it onto The Tucker Carlson show to plead his case, showing once again the drive of Tucker to embrace the Alt-Right. After canceling his rally on Friday however, Gibson then announced that he would hold an unpermitted press conference in a San Francisco neighborhood on Saturday.

However as Saturday came, the press conference quickly developed into a total shit show, with police blocking off the area, thousands of marchers occupying the intersection, and people marching in the thousands across the city. Union workers from the ILWU along with electricians and teachers took part in the demonstrations, chanting “Down, down, down with the fascists, power, power, power to the workers.” The march then went into the Mission District, where a celebratory atmosphere developed in the working class neighborhood known for fierce resistance to white supremacy, gentrification, and the police.

Gibson, who quickly retreated from the scene of his first press conference, then attempted to conduct another press conference in a park before running off again to reappear with a recently bailed out Kyle Chapman. Sitting in a dark room with no shoes, the sad pair denounced the ‘unfairness’ they had received at the hands of the local authorities, despite the fact that police and city had given then a permit and worked out an elaborate plan to protect their Alt-Right rally from thousands of demonstrators.

In their online press conference, Chapman and Gibson called on the “moderate Left” to denounce “trotskyites” and other mumbled gibberish. Ironically, despite claiming that neo-Nazis such as Richard Spencer (who lives near Washington, DC) and Identity Evropa leader Nathan Damigo (who has come to various events alongside Chapman) were not welcome, throughout the day Gibson and Chapman were joined by members of the Alt-Right group the Proud Boys as well as white nationalist livestreamers from The Red Elephants. As in all of Gibson and Chapman’s rallies, despite claiming to not want to associate with white nationalists, a large part of their base are open neo-Nazis and fascists, and their rallies attract members of the Alt-Right who seek to recruit from them.

Furthermore, in recent months, Kyle Chapman has grown to openly endorse white nationalism in a much more public way. He was openly promoted and endorsed neo-Nazi skinhead crews such as the Rise Above Movement, members of which were also reported to be present on Saturday, shared on social media material from white nationalist authors such as Jared Taylor, and spoken repetitively about the conspiracy theory of “white genocide,” promoted in neo-Nazi and white nationalist circles. Both Chapman and Gibson also have a close relationship with neo-Nazi livestreamer Baked Alaska, who was supposed to be a speaker at the now infamous neo-Nazi rally, Unite the Right. Chapman also works closely with Augustus Invictus, another speaker from Unite the Right who has stated that he will speak on August 27th in Berkeley.

Gibson and Chapman are both cowards and liars. They are cowards because even as the city and police bent over backwards to grant them a permit and supply them with massive amounts of police for their rally, wasting thousands in tax payer dollars, they have the audacity to come and complain about “being oppressed.” In the face of popular opposition of thousands of people, from antifascists to union workers, all they can do is attempt to paint themselves as victims to try and explain their total failure. But despite their bullshit narrative, it was Patriot Prayer that sought to come to San Francisco and point automatic weapons in people’s faces while proudly promoting that they were going to “beat up commies.” These Alt-Right rats are not victims, not at all.

Chapman and Gibson are also both liars, because they attempt to portray themselves as “simple Trump supporters” with no connections to white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups. Claiming to hate identity politics, these are also the first to use people of color, transgender individuals, and anyone else they have on their team as a shield to obscure the fact that they are building a broad far-Right coalition which includes members of the Alt-Right, neo-Nazi skinhead gangs, and militia groups. The purpose of this coalition, which includes groups that Chapman leads such as the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights (FOAK), seeks to attack autonomous social movements and struggles and act as an auxiliary force to protect Trump as support for the orange fuhrer wavers.

After their pathetic online press conference, Gibson then attempted to rally back at Crissy Fields, and was joined by about 40 Alt-Right trolls and members of the Proud Boys. After opposition grew, first Gibson left and then the rest of the crowd was chased off to their cars.

Chapman and members of The Red Elephants both described the events in San Francisco as a complete failure for them. Chapman stated that in the future, the Alt-Right will have to reassess it’s strategy. Overall, Saturday represents the death of the “Free Speech” rally strategy developed by the Alt-Right which was also used in Charlottesville. In short, the vast majority of the US population isn’t falling for the smoke and mirrors any more, nor are they buying the idea that standing up to these far-Right bullies equates to “violence on both sides.”

But we should also consider why Saturday was a victory for our side. It was a victory not just due to numbers, but because of the large amount of organizing and building that went into the mobilization. Despite the Alt-Right attempting to change their plan several times, portraying themselves as sad victims, and trying to appear and reaper throughout the city, people were still ready to converge and confront them in the thousands. We await on the ground reports from those in the midst of the action.

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It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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