On June 12th, the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security declared anarchists and antifa, along with a hodge-podge of far-Right, Alt-Right, and neo-Nazi groups, to be a ‘domestic terrorist’ threat.
However, in the one page report seen below, the NJ Homeland Security Office mentions nothing about acts of ‘terrorism’ being carried out by by anarchist and antifascist groups in New Jersey. The 2-3 examples of violence that it does give, are all from out of state demonstrations in which antifascists clashed with neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right – the same groups that even Homeland Security claims are violent terrorists.
Ironically, only a few days after the report was written, a New Jersey resident, donor to the Republican Party, and local businessman Robert W. Kerekes, 53, was arrested for making threats of murder against students of Evergreen State College in Washington. It seems while Homeland Security was parroting white supremacists, in their backyard a real life danger from the far-Right was putting lives at risk.
According to news media that covered his arraignment, Kerekes was driven to make the threats against Evergreen students after reading about ongoing protests at the campus in the news media. Using his own cell phone, he made the following call to 911 in Washington:
“Yes, I’m on my way to Evergreen University now with a .44 Magnum. I’m gonna execute as many people on that campus as I can get a hold of. You have that? What’s going on there? You communist, scumbag town. I’m going to murder as many people on that campus as I can. Just keep your eyes open, you scumbag.”
In court, Kerekes’ lawyer argued that his threats of murder and intimidation:
[M]ay be protected speech under the First Amendment. “This case is about speech, not action,” attorney Brian Neary said after a review hearing in Morristown for defendant Robert W. Kerekes Jr., 53, who was ordered released from custody while the charges are pending and to appear in Superior Court on Aug. 14 for a pre-indictment conference.
Robert W. Kerekes of New Jersey on paper appears to be a pretty run of the mill upper-middle class man in his early 50s. He has donated to the Republican Party, and runs (or perhaps ran) a series of property management and real estate businesses out of his home.
What is also clear, as evidenced by Kerekes testimony to police after his arrest, is that he was spurred to action against the “communist” and “scumbag” students at Evergreen after reading and watching news reports on what can only be assumed to be far-Right media outlets.
Ironically, this growing threat of far-Right violence is something that even the Department of Homeland Security sees. In their report, The Face of White Supremacy in 2017 they write:
To appeal to new audiences susceptible to its radical messaging, the national white supremacist movement has tried to deemphasize hate symbols and attacks against non-white communities. These organizations have “rebranded” since at least last year, when they took a more high-profile role with conferences and rallies, official statements, and recruitment efforts.
[But] while traditional white supremacist organizations have focused on “rebranding,” new white supremacist groups have emerged, promoting a purist European identity and recruiting younger, educated members. Many of these groups originated on social media platforms, such as 4chan, 8chan, Twitter, and Reddit, but they have expanded activities, to include distributing recruitment posters on campuses and inciting violence at protests and rallies across the United States.
The report goes on to single out groups such as the National Socialist Movement, which is a part of the National Front (NF) which is led by Matthew Heimbach, the KKK, as well as Alt-Right groups such as Vanguard America and Identity Evropa. They write:
Identity Evropa, founded in March 2016, is dedicated to educating the “public about the importance of a collective European identity,” and it promotes networking to ensure “[European] people will have a future.” The group has made a concerted effort to display posters at colleges and universities nationwide as part of #ProjectSeige, an outreach effort to connect with students. In April, Nathan Damigo—the founder of Identity Evropa—punched a woman at a protest in Berkeley, California.
The report also discusses the rise of “lone wolf” white nationalists who have carried out, or attempted to carry out, acts of murder and terror, from serial killer Jeremy Christian in Portland, groups like the ‘Aryan Strike Force’ who sell drugs and weapons, to Richard Spencer fan James Harrison Jackson, who murdered an elderly African-American man with a sword in New York.
But how does this compare with the alleged extremism of antifascists?
In the Homeland Security Report, they list the ‘threats’ poised by antifascists to include the doxxing of neo-Nazis, people protesting Trump rallies, and demonstrations against neo-Nazis. If you don’t believe us, view the report below.
The report also claims that antifascists are “inciting” violence against the far-Right, as opposed to responding to it in their communities and organizing against it. The report unsurprisingly parrots police and CHP in Sacramento and implies that antifascists attacked 10 people in June of 2016, when in reality, clashes between antifa and neo-Nazis led to injuries on both sides, the majority of which were anti-Nazi protesters. Fox News also ran a similar smeer recently, implying that antifascist demonstrators injured 10 people.
The New Jersey report has brought accolades from websites like InfoWars as well as from white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Alt-Right – the same people Homeland Security is also saying are terrorists. Ironically, in the official tweet from @NJOHSP announcing the antifa report, the first commenter is someone connected to the National Socialist Movement, one of the same neo-Nazi groups named as a domestic terror threat. If anything, this report will serve to validate and embolden the far-Right, the same people that Homeland Security claims are carrying out acts of murder, intimidation, and terror.
“Homeland Security claims that if we ignore the fascist threat and let the government do it’s job it will’get the bad’ people. However, anyone that has been paying attention over the past 6 months knows that the opposite is true.”
The anarchist movement is a threat to the State not because we “incite” violence from the far-Right, as according to the Department of Homeland Security. We are a threat because we seek a revolutionary transformation of daily life that for millions means lives of servitude for an elite class, poverty, debt, precariousness, and lack of access to basic needs and services. It means everything from the growing threat of global warming and ecological collapse, murderous cops and an ever growing system of incarceration, to the burgeoning violence of the far-Right which seeks to protect this government made up of billionaires and CEOs at all costs.
Mimicking liberals, Homeland Security claims that if we just ignore the growing fascist threat and let the government do it’s job it will ‘get rid of the bad people.’ However, anyone that has been paying attention over the past 6 months knows that the opposite is true. The Trump administration has cut funding to programs that seek to address far-Right violence, and across the board cases of far-Right terror has grown exponentially.
As the bodies pile up, we now have people in white nationalist groups working in the government. We have people in far-Right media advising the President. We also have Trump sharing and promoting social media created by neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right, encouraging violence against anyone that criticises him. In a country where the vast majority of the population doesn’t like the President, this is a recipe for a massive amount of violence, and not from our side.
Is it any wonder then that the State wants to demonize the few people who are willing to stand up, both to the far-Right goon squad and the billionaire baby king himself?