On August 6th, Joey Gibson will be hosting yet another rally at Portland’s Waterfront Park. Gibson, whose rhetoric is rapidly descending into paranoid conspiracy theorist word-soup, has taken to calling anti-fascists “terrorfa,” as he attempts to demonize local residents and activists alike by labeling the community’s opposition to his activities as terrorism.
Rose City Antifa is familiar with these tactics. Fascists throughout history have attempted to portray self-defense of the community as the activity of a mob of criminals. They play on fears of extreme political ideologies to drum up support for racist nationalism. They use local activists as targets for their own violent outbursts and military fetishization. Joey Gibson’s August 6th event merely lays bare what we have known all along: these events were never about “freedom of speech.” Rather, they are an attempt to quash local anti-fascist organization and open the door to the fascist creep, which threatens at-risk community members on our city’s streets.
There are many ways of fighting against fascist organization, and Rose City Antifa supports a diversity of tactics in this struggle. In an effort to record the facts about this recent period of fascist-enabling activity among the far-right, and provide educational tools for those new to anti-fascist activism, we will be holding a Fight the Fascist Creep Fundraiser Challenge! We invite you to read, pledge, and follow our analysis of Joey Gibson’s August 6th rally, to document the reality of these carnivals of hate and deception.
How The Challenge Works
We have identified eight different types of fascist-enabling activity that have been seen at Joey Gibson’s previous events. Below we have written brief explainers of how each bolsters functions to local fascists and white supremacists in their campaigns of hate. Read through them below and share our article with members of your community, to help spread the word on how fascism is currently hiding in plain sight in our communities.
Using our RallyUp crowdfunding campaign, pledge a dollar amount to donate for each instance of this activity that is observed at Joey Gibson’s rally on August 6th. (You can set a maximum donation amount– unfortunately, these far-right events have been known to outdo themselves.) We encourage you to use the platform to pledge anonymously, so that the far-right cannot further their harassment of local activists.
Follow our Twitter account during and after the rally for a live report of what sort of fascist organizing is happening at Waterfront Park on August 6th. After the rally, we will tally up all the instances of these particular activities. Then, RallyUp will collect the pledged amounts and donate them to our chosen cause: the National Network of Abortion Funds.
A Diversity of Tactics
When it comes to opposing fascism and white supremacy in our communities, there is no way that a fundraiser could ever be sufficient. Rose City Antifa has and always will stand for community self-defense. However, if Joey Gibson wants to slander and threaten anti-fascist activists among his ever-decreasing circle of sycophants, he ought to know that the community is watching and taking notes. The more far-right rallies that Gibson organizes, the deeper our resolve becomes, and the more anti-fascists will document and report on the cast of terrible characters that believes they have a right to preach violent hate in our communties. As we provide this report to the Portland community in order to promote the facts about the far-right, we can at the same time promote a great cause like the National Network of Abortion Funds, which fits right in with our TORCH Points of Unity– the only specific political program to which Rose City Antifa adheres.
If you see fascist attendees, activities, or insignia on August 6th which satisfy any of the criteria below (or if you have other information about any fascist, neo-nazi, white supremacist, or other bigoted organizing), be sure to send it to email@example.com so that we can award more pledge points to our donation recipient!
Fascist Activity Seen at Joey Gibson’s Events
Entryism is a tactic by which extremists gain entry to a political organization, in the attempts to recruit members of that group to their own extremist aims. This is an explicit strategy of white supremacists, who recruit in militia movements, patriot groups, and even the Republican Party. Local fascist Jake Ott, an outreach coordinator for Identity Europa, has said in an online video that he is unable to hold explicit Identity Europa rallies in the Portland area because as an obvious white supremacist threat, he would be opposed and shut down by the community. Instead, Jake chooses a strategy of entryism; attending far-right events like the ones organized by Patriot Prayer and using them as platforms for recruiting among potentially sympathetic crowds.
Local neo-nazi Jacob Ott talks about his entryist efforts to recruit people to the violent white nationalist organization “Identity Europa” at Joey Gibson’s rallies
Tokenism is a process of holding up a few token minority members of an organization, as “proof” that the organization cannot possibly be racist or white supremacist. That is not to say that minority members of an otherwise racist organization are not genuine members– on the contrary, they are held in high standing, often asked to speak at events, and are used in the promotional material of the event, because they provide a cover for the spread of genocidal ideologies. It is a mistake to think that white supremacists are always rational, and that their messaging will always be consistent. Hate is not a rational politics. Simply ask Raul Gonzalez, a hispanic racist skinhead, seen at Joey Gibson’s events. No matter how many times Gibson might invite LGBT speakers to his events, that does not cancel out Joey Gibson accompanying the Street Preachers at Pride to assault members of the LGBT community. No matter how many times Gibson promotes Tiny Toese as a Samoan for Trump, that does not reverse the fact that Allen Wesley Pucket, one of the Street Preachers, has declared himself to be a white nationalist.
Street Preacher Michael Pena reinforces Allen Pucket’s racist discourse despite being a person of color.
Tusitala John Toese, aka Tiny, is frequently tokenized by disciples of Joey Gibson’s “Patriot Prayer” movement because of his Pacific Islander status. Tiny has gone so far as to make jokes (along with his white colleagues) about being in the KKK, despite the fact that actual klansmen and neo-nazis have been documented at recent right wing rallies in the Portland area. Tiny frequently takes the lead on inciting violence at Joey Gibson’s rallies to defend racists.
We have witnessed an increasing tendency within the circles that comprise Joey Gibson’s movement to turn a blind eye toward hard evidence of fascists, neo-nazis, white nationalists, and other violent bigots which is presented to them. Gibson’s followers erroneously cite the First Amendment, which limits the government’s ability to curtail citizen’s speech, as a rationale for ignoring racism and bigotry right beside them. They are so desperate for followers that they will defend neo-nazis, and call this threat to our communities “freedom.”
A “dog-whistle” is a form of racism that masquerades as ordinary speech. Ordinary people may not know that it is racist, but racists certainly know that it is racist, and use it to speak to each almost as if in code. Here are just two examples:
The “Fourteen Words’ are a white supremacy shibboleth. It’s title refers to the number of words in a particular phrase. This phrase is a liturgical call for white racial purity, and is used as a rallying call to the white supremacist genocidal ideology. It was originally coined by American white supremacist ideologue David Lane, a former member of the neo-Nazi paramilitary group The Order, which was responsible for several armed robberies, bombings, and assassinations during the 1990s.
Joey Gibson’s keynote speaker for 6⁄4, Baked Alaska asks his assistant whether he supports the 14 words.
“White Genocide” is a set of talking points which correspond with a racist conspiracy theory conceived of in its modern form by David Lane. It co-opts the history of fascist-led mass murder in the hopes of rallying racists to block natural shifts in population demographics. Throughout history, groups of people have been systematically exterminated based on their perceived ethnicity. However, “the white race” is not an ethnicity, but a socially constructed racial class that is becoming less distinct as the population naturally changes over time, and as societal bigotries become diminished. Racist proponents of “white genocide” theories believe that immigration, miscegenation, and integration are a Jewish conspiracy intended to replace and eliminate white racial purity. This conspiracy theory was also enunciated in Nazi Germany in pamphlets written for Werner Fiedler’s “Research Department for the Jewish Question.”
Two participants in Joey Gibson’s 6⁄4 rally display racist “white genocide” signs. They are both wearing shirts which bear the logo of the neo-nazi “Traditionalist Worker Party.”
The history of baiting is long and varied across different contexts, but it uses fake scare-tactics to disguise violent persecution behind popular outrage. Playing on fears of communism, terrorism, satanism, or pedophilia at different times, this practice uses a moral enemy to target political opponents for a rampaging mob. In the “Red Scare” eras, Jews were blacklisted and imprisoned merely for being accused of having communist sympathies. During the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s, teenagers who did nothing more than listen to heavy metal were accused of human sacrifice. Since 2001, Muslims and Sikhs throughout the United States have been attacked for purportedly being terrorist sympathizers. And as recently as last year, the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theories led a man to storm a family restaurant with an assault rifle, looking for fictional child abuse. At Joey Gibson’s rallies, we see all of these forms of baiting used to incite violence against the enemies of the far-right.
Muslim-baiting and Islamophobia are particularly rampant at Gibson’s events. Joey has attended Islamophobic hate rallies such as the one organized by Pam Geller (an inspiration to neo-nazi mass murderer Anders Breivik) in NYC last May, and has worked with the hate group ACT For America to organize an “anti-Sharia” rally which took place in June in Seattle, WA. There is no Sharia law in this country, and there are no places that are planning to institute it. Against this invented threat, the push for “anti-Sharia” becomes an opportunity for exactly the kind of menacing Islamophobic hate speech that was spouted by Jeremy Christian when he menaced two young women on a Portland train, and then viciously murdered two men and stabbed another who intervened. And indeed, it was this sort of Muslim-baiting that drew Christian to attend Gibson’s 82nd Avenue rally on April 29.
Local homophobic and racist hate group “Hell Shaking Street Preachers” are also well-known for inciting violence against muslim communities with hateful signs and rhetoric. the faux-rebellious self-identification as an “infidel” is a common trait of this discourse.
In contemporary internet culture, it is a common defense to claim that hate speech is mere trolling, an attempt to “trigger” sensitive people, a joke, or just ironic. But this attempt to create loopholes for the intention of racist content or imagery ignores a simple fact: no matter how ironic you might think you are, there are real nazis doing the same thing, and as you stand next to each other, no one can tell you apart. Here are two examples of fascist “irony”:
A recently invented flag which is a very slight redesign on a Nazi war flag called the “Reichskriegsflagge.” Often flown by white supremacists looking to hide in plain sight, claiming that they are only joking.
The kekistan flag and the nazi war flag which inspired it flown together by a gathering of neo-nazis including (unmasked) “Fashy Chad”, Justin Pederson, and Tyler Smith on April 24th, 2017 outside of neo-nazi Jimmy Marr’s house in Springfield, OR.
A meme which celebrates General Augusto Pinochet, the far-right military dictator of Chile between 1973 and 1990. During this time, his “Caravan of Death” executed a reported 75 to 97 individuals held in Chilean military prisons by means of throwing them from helicopters. It is important to note that many of these prisoners were communists, and almost all of them willingly turned themselves in, and did not pose or intend to pose any immediate threat. Top-ranking officials who worked under Pinochet claimed that this was done in order to instill a sense of terror in the Chilean people and prevent revolt from his authoritarian regime, and in his own generals, that they would not think to betray him. Over 3,000 prisoners and many political opponents were reportedly tortured and killed during this time, but the “helicopter rides” were very symbolic for Pinochet’s regime. Pinochet was indicted for these murders in 2002, but died before he could be judged. Many personnel who worked under him are still standing trial for their actions.
A fascist sign spotted by a twitter user at Joey Gibson’s 6⁄30 “freedom march” in Portland, OR.
Fascists throughout history have appropriated symbols from other sources, rather than invent their own. Famously, the swastika was an ancient sun symbol before it was used as the symbol of Hitler’s Germany. Although now the swastika is more readily recognized as a symbol of nazism and fascism, there are other symbols that are more obscure. Fascists often use this obscurity, as a way of signaling amongst themselves, and also denying that their use of this symbol is intentionally fascist.
Roman Salute / Hitlergruß:
A salute which was made compulsory within the original nazi movement, and which is now utilized by neo-nazis to signal their ideological commitments. At a meeting of Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute after 2016 presidential election, many attendees gave this salute in response to Spencer’s cry, “Hail Trump, Hail Victory!” the latter being a literal translation of the German Fascist slogan, “sieg heil!” These salutes have also occurred at Joey Gibson’s portland-area rallies, and by attendees of those rallies elsewhere.
Neo-nazi and alleged murderer Jeremy Christian throws a Roman Salute at Patriot Prayer’s 4⁄29 “free speech march” in the immigrant neighborhood of Montavilla, Portland.
Identity Europa Imagery
Identity Europa is a violent white supremacist organization founded by neo-nazi felon Nathan Damigo (he robbed a taxicab driver at gunpoint, believing that the man was Iraqi). Their cheap san-sarif, minimalist branding attempts to rally people around a fictional pan-European identity.
Oregon Identity Europa coordinator Jacob Ott pastes up white supremacist Identity Europa propaganda at Joey Gibson’s 4⁄29 “free speech march” in the immigrant neighborhood of Montavilla, Portland.
An ancient rune which was adopted in 2016 to replace the swastika as the symbol of the National Socialist Movement.
Two rally participants sport the NSM Odal Rune at Patriot Prayer’s 6⁄4 rally in downtown Portland.
In 2016, the National Socialist Movement changed their logo from the swastika to the Odal rune in an attempt to broaden the appeal of their nazi politics.
An ancient germanic symbol which has been taken up by modern white supremacist and neo-nazi movements. This rune does not always connote racism or fascism, but it is important to be aware of the context in which it appears; when it is seen at far right political rallies, it is likely an indicator of fascist convictions.
A fascist valknut tattoo spotted by an online journalist at Joey Gibson’s 6⁄30 rally.
A rune from the elder futhark runic alphabet which was appropriated into usage by Nazi occultists as the “life rune”. This rune does not always connote racism or fascism, but it is important to be aware of the context in which it appears; when it is seen at far right political rallies, it is likely an indicator of fascist convictions.
The Sonnenrad, or “black sun” is a symbol adopted by Nazi regime and incorporated as a mosaic into the floor of Wewelsbug Castle. It is used by contemporary neo-nazis to signal an affinity with Nazi occultism and is currently growing in popularity as a symbol among adherents of the neo-nazi alt-right.
Elsewhere: neo-nazi Matthew Heimbach stands with a sonnenrad-confederate flag hybrid with a group of neo-nazis throwing a mixture of roman salutes and the recently appropriated “ok” / “white power” hand gesture
Whether by providing free rides on Trimet buses for fascists, or by bombarding activists with chemical weapons so that fascists can walk to their parked cars without delay, or by collaborating with militia members to unlawfully detain protesters, the state often works hand in hand with the far-right, and against anti-fascists.
This phenomenon is reaching a new high with the formal decision of the Multnomah County Republican Party to allow far-right militias to run security at local events. These increasing levels of collaboration between militias and the state have clear historical precedent in the German Freikorps and the Italian Squadristi as blatant manifestations of creeping fascism.
A III% militia member aids police and DHS agents in the arrest of an anti-fascist protester at Joey Gibson’s rally on 6/4/2017 in Portland. This instance of police / federal agent / militia collaboration is currently under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office. We aren’t holding our breath.
It is important to realize that much of this sort of fascist activity and enabling is obscure, because fascists and the far-right want it to be. There is a reason that neo-nazis no longer march around in German uniforms– by hiding the true nature of their genocidal ideologies, they can hide in plain sight, working to recruit and radicalize other members of the far-right to their cause.
Rose City Antifa will always work to oppose fascist organizing, and defend our communities from the fascist activities of white supremacists, and the enabling activity of far-right groups like Joey Gibson and the American Freedom Warriors. Stand with us on August 6th against fascism, and help us raise money for the National Network of Abortion Funds while we spread the word about fascist activity in Portland!