‘Resist Marxism’ Rallies Confronted and Outnumbered Across US

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On August 18th, a handful of demonstrations took place across the US under the banner of the pan-far-Right group, ‘Resist Marxism,’ which has open connections with neo-Nazi groups and members who attended Unite the Right in Charlottesville. Originally, close to 8 demonstrations were scheduled to take place, all under the banner of opposing the myth of growing “Far-Left Violence” against “Trump supporters.” The original Resist Marxism call was inspired by the events Portland on June 30th; a day ironically marked (and celebrated on the Right) by members of the Proud Boys sending several people to the hospital and splitting their heads open.

As the 18th drew closer, one by one, around half of the events were cancelled, event organizers began to engage in a round of infighting and doxxing with each other over non-payment of t-shirts, and someone leaked a series of internal emails to It’s Going Down.

By the time that the 18th came around, only several cities still had events planned: Tucson, AZ, Austin, TX, San Jose, CA, Boston, MA, as well as a rally headed by Joey Gibson in Seattle, WA. Like other far-Right and Alt-Right events planned throughout August, these rallies were meant to overwhelm and outnumber antifascists in cities where the Right had a history of pulling big numbers. Across the board, we saw the complete opposite however, as in each case besides San Jose, the far-Right was greatly outnumbered.

Here’s a roundup, and be sure to send us your own report backs, here.

Seattle

In Seattle Joey Gibson teamed up with members of the local 3%er militia and Patriot scene along with the usual display of Proud Boys; gathering around 100 participants in a rally entitled “Liberty or Death,” that was also supposed to double as a demonstration against “Far-Left Violence.” Over 200 people turned out to protest Gibson however, with a variety of labor union, faith, and antirascist groups coming together to mobilize.

Drawing a lot of media attention was also the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club who brought out about a dozen members in tactical gear. Listen to our interview with the PSJBGC here.

Jason Wilson writing in The Guardian pointed out that the rally was also attended by those running for office:

Before the march, the rally heard from speakers including some running for office as Republicans, and others defeated in the recent Washington state primary. One, Jared Gavin Bonneau, recently defeated in a primary in Washington’s fifth congressional district, called antifascists “terrorists”, adding: “No more gun control, no more safe spaces … let’s bring down hell upon them and wipe them from existence.”

Although the rally was against alleged leftwing violence, figures from the US government accountability office show rightwing extremists have committed 101 murders in the US since 2001. “Far left extremists” have caused no fatalities in that timeframe.

Gibson and friends were largely drowned out throughout the day, and Seattle police kept both sides separated from each other. After a short march, members of the far-Right got on their buses and left the area, while some confrontations took place afterwards at a bar and on the street, leading to three arrests.

Boston

In Boston, seen as the “flagship” of Resist Marxism rallies, a small crowd of 20-25 far-Right supporters gathered, only to to be physically surrounded by hundreds of antiracist and antifascist protests. Some on the far-Right were dressed in “blue bloc,” complete with masks and hoodies, which was also seen at the recent Resist Marxism protest in Providence that was shut down in less than 30 minutes.

A sizeable section of the far-Right crowd seemed to be associated with the American Guard, an organization founded by the violent former neo-Nazi skinhead that also started the Vinlanders.

Austin

In Austin, over 400 antiracists and antifascists showed up to counter Resist Marxism, who was only able to bring out about 40 or so people. See our interview with someone who watched events on the ground unfold on This Is America.

One “Patriot” writing on Facebook stated:

Austin rally today. We were grossly outnumbered 8 to 1…Pretty disappointed in the turnout today. The left considers this a win. This will energize them to be bolder in future events here in Texas.

Like Joey Gibson’s event in Seattle, the Austin rally also featured some members of the far-Right tied to the Republican Party, as Dan Flynn spoke and also sponsored the rally. The Austin rally also made a large attempt to distance itself from white nationalists, even calling on neo-Nazis and whites supremacists within the crowd to leave the rally. Several token people of color also spoke in an effort to use their identities as a way to put stock in the nationalist and racist ideas being promoted.

Ironically however, Unite the Right attendee Christopher Ritchie also spoke at the rally, after being introduced by an African America speaker who called Ritchie his “brother.”

Tucson

In Tucson, Arizona, members of the Patriot Movement AZ (PMAZ) held a demonstration that was attended by only about 40 people, however antifascists outnumbered them 4 to 1. For a full report back from those on the ground, go here.

San Jose

In San Jose, Alt-Lite trolls and Proud Boys planned two events at the same place and location in an attempt to build numbers, and ended up gathering a little under 50 people, while antifascists, separated a large amount of police, numbered a little more than 50. Originally, trolls had a called for both a rally “Against Far-Left Violence,” as well as a demonstration against a SciFi conference under allegations of pedophilia. Read local San Jose counter-demonstration organizers FAQ to wade through the BS.

Far-Right speakers on the mic were even heard and seen going to bat for neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, Jr, who was arrested for the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville.

Conclusion

The rallies on the 18th show that there is still a far-Right base of support throughout the US for these demonstrations, but they are rooted more in a set of hardcore subcultures than they are a real section of the population. Like the Alt-Right, the Alt-Lite and much of the far-Right depends on a degree of opacity; meaning, the ability to obscure or hide from transparency. This is why these rallies go so far out of their way to to invite speakers of color, token transgendered people, and so on, but then also scream about “White Genocide” or feature participants decked out in Kekistani flags and “Pinochet Did Nothing Wrong” shirts. Such movements need to appear mainstream on one hand, yet also signal to their base on the other, “Don’t worry, we still want to throw communists from helicopters.”

The rallies also show once again the need by the far-Right to mobilize its base around the “outrage” of the day, as opposed to real life issues that affect the majority of poor, working, and middle class people. Meaning, as opposed to rallying around something that actually matters in people’s day to day lives, they instead must try and latch onto whatever Alex Jones, Trump, and Tucker Carlson is saying, with their own degree of conspiratorial theories baked in.

In the coming months, it appears that movement figures like Joey Gibson will hit the road, appearing in Austin, Texas and on Kent State in Ohio, while others are dropping out. Alt-Lite trolls are still calling for events, but none seem to have the capacity to bring out more people that those already plugged into a rapidly diminishing scene. People associated with the Proud Boys in the bay area have also made statements about rebranding themselves and even changing their names. All of this signals as summer comes to a close, a time of retreat for ‘the movement,’ as the players fall back and wait for a moment that will create a context that can bring them together again.

It’s important that anarchists, autonomous anti-capitalists, and revolutionary antifascists understand that this is a victory for our side, and also a retreat for the far-Right means this is a good time for us to expand our day to day community organizing work, participation in social movements, and infrastructure building projects. Because above all, our success in these arenas is what scares the far-Right the most.


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