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Jun 9, 20

This Week in Fascism #63: Police and far-Right Make Common Cause in Midst of Rebellion

Welcome, fellow antifascists! This week, we’ve got gangs of right-wing reactionaries patrolling the streets, cops targeting journalists, KKK members and neo-Nazis attempting to murder Black Lives Matter protesters, plus a QAnon cop and a Groyper school teacher.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

News

White Reactionaries, Far-Right Organize Vigilante Posses Across the United States

Posses of white vigilantes have been springing up across the United States in response to recent anti-police protests. While some of these groups are explicitly connected to existing far-Right organizations, just as many appear to be composed of reactionary white vigilantes previously unaffiliated with any particular far-Right groups.

In Philadelphia, a posse of men armed with baseball bats and rifles was seen patrolling the streets and posing for photos with local police officers. Though one of them was wearing a Three Percenter sweatshirt, it is unclear if they were all militia-associated.

Also in Philadelphia, a group of three paramilitary snipers were photographed on top of a Gamestop. Philadelphia Proud Boy Zach Rehl, who organized the November 2018 “We the People” rally alongside several militia groups, appeared to take credit for them, saying “We had some guys up on a roof” on a National File appearance. Meanwhile, Rehl, along with fellow Proud Boys Sonny Sullivan and Aaron Kitchell, posted photographs of themselves in the Philadelphia Proud Boys Telegram channel dropping off refreshments for the police.

In Forks, Washington, an interracial family on a camping trip was terrorized by residents after a local gun store owner posted rumors about a bus full of antifascists seeking to destroy the town. Armed vigilantes tailed the family to their campsite, where they cut down trees to block the family from leaving. According to the Peninsula Daily News, “They were able to leave after four high school students cut the trees with chainsaws, said Sgt. Ed Anderson in a press release issued late Thursday.”

In Klamath Falls, Oregon, a group of several hundred residents armed with guns, axes, and hammers, menaced an peaceful anti-police protest of 200 people after social media rumors spun out of control. The misinformation campaign began after Col. Jeff Edwards, Oregon Air National Guard, received an alert from law enforcement, and wrote to the 173rd Fighter Wing that, “We received an alert that there may be 2 busloads of ANTIFA protesters en route to Klamath Falls and arriving in downtown around 2030 tonight.”

When a screenshot of that message was leaked in a local Facebook group, residents formed an armed posse to confront the protesters. The promised “busloads of ANTIFA” never showed up. The Associated Press documented five separate instances of panic spreading from rumors of buses full of antifascist protests.

The rumors appear to have originated from a Twitter account purporting to be a US-based antifascist group. A Twitter spokesperson told NBC News that the account was created by white nationalist group Identity Evropa, now known as the American Identity Movement. The neo-Nazi controlled accounts pushed the hoax that rioters would attack “white hoods” in the “suburbs.” These lies have been amplified by Fox News and figures like Don Trump, Jr.

In New England, members of Super Happy Fun America, the Straight Pride Parade sponsors, lurked at the edges of several anti-police protests, alongside members of the Patriot Saints, a splinter cell of anti-immigrant vigilante group the Soldiers of Odin, and the American Guard, an SPLC-designated hate group.

At a rally in Manchester, the group carried guns. “We stopped Antifa and BLM cold with an armed response in NH,” Super Happy Fun America President John Hugo posted on Facebook. “It was a culture shock to see our heavily armed group getting the thumbs up from the cops who we were openly supporting to protect the city…. The good news is that leftist rioters were completely overwhelmed by a combination of the police and armed citizenry,” he wrote, alongside a photo of himself with two armed militia members. The “leftist rioters” Hugo refers to was a June 2 candlelight vigil held by Black Lives Matter Manchester, a peaceful protest.

The NSC-131, a New England neo-Nazi group recently created by Chris Hood, formerly of Patriot Front and The Base, pivoted from providing security at a ReOpen rally sponsored by Super Happy Fun America to patrolling the streets in a vigilante posse. The group, which includes former member of The Base Zachary Brackett, surveilled at least one Black Lives Matter rally, and posted flyers around Massachusetts.

“White folks – Black Lives Matter and Antifa Communist Terrorists are coming to your community soon to wreak havoc against white people! Organize defense units to protect your family and property! If you need assistance in doing so, contact,” their flyers read, providing an email for interested parties to get in touch with the neo-Nazi group.

In Olympia, Washington, local police posed for photos with members of the far-Right militia, the Three Percenters, known for doing security at Unite the Right in Charlottesville and carrying out a string of bombings against Muslims and immigrants.

In Oakdale, California, after drunken Trump supporters attacked Black Lives Matter protesters leaving a rally last week, rumors of another demonstration led to armed members of the California State Militia mobilizing to supposedly “protect local businesses,” although the rally never materialized. California law does not allow open carry, so it is unknown why the group of militia members armed with assault-rifles were allowed to gather with such firepower.

In nearby Sonora, California, hundreds joined with police and members of the far-Right organization, the Free State of Jefferson, to mobilize “against looting,” after a Black Lives Matter demonstration was called in the rural town.

In Salem, Oregon, police were caught on camera coordinating with armed Proud Boys. According to Buzzfeed:

The police chief in Salem, Oregon, has apologized after a viral video showed one of his officers telling a group of armed white men protecting a store to shelter inside to avoid being arrested for violating a curfew so officers “don’t look like [they’re] playing favorites.”

“We’re going to really enforce the citywide curfew shutdown so we can arrest anybody walking around,” the unidentified officer tells the men. “My command wanted me to come talk to you guys and request that you guys secrete people inside the businesses or in your vehicles somewhere where it’s not a violation … so we don’t look like we’re playing favorites.”

While law enforcement warnings about “busloads of ANTIFA” abound, based on nothing more than social media rumors, officers are more than happy to pose for photographs with gangs of armed right-wing reactionaries. As of this writing, This Week in Fascism has not observed any law enforcement alerts about reactionary gangs or militias.

Neo-Nazi Kills Protester in Bakersfield, KKK Member Attempts to Murder Demonstrators in Virginia, Vigilante Shoots Protester in Seattle

In Bakersfield, California, a man with visible neo-Nazi tattoos has been arrested after he drove into a group of protesters, leading to the death of Robert Forbes, an African-American man. According to BET:

Robert Forbes, the man who was hit by a white man in a car while protesting Wednesday night, has died, Bakersfield Police confirms. The department also confirms that Kieth Moore, the man who hit him, has not been arrested and will not face charges. According to KGET, Moore was not handcuffed, and was allowed to smoke a cigarette while police officers shielding him from protesters.

“It shouldn’t take that long to get a man who just admitted in front of everybody, even to the cops, ‘I did it. I hit this man. I didn’t see him. Accident or not, I hit him.’ So why wasn’t he detained? Why was he able to smoke a cigarette?” the eyewitness said. According to some, Moore has visible tattoos that indicate his affiliation with white supremacist movements.

Outside of Richmond, Virginia, a KKK leader and Unite the Right marcher drove into a group of protesters. According to CNN:

A man who is accused of driving his car through a group of protesters in Virginia is an “admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology,” according to the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Several witnesses reported that a vehicle had “revved their engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway,” police said. Rogers was arrested, and a victim who had called to report the incident was checked by rescue at the scene and refused further treatment, according to police.

Finally, in Seattle, Washington, a vigil remembering those killed by police, national guard, and vigilantes during the uprising was attacked by 31 year-old, Nikolas Fernandez, who drove his car into protesters, and then shot one person who attempted to stop him. The person who heroically confronted him was shot in the arm and is in stable condition in the hospital. Fernandez exited his car with several clips; showing that he was prepared for a large scale confrontation. He made his way quickly towards the line of riot police and turned himself in.

Police Target Journalists

Bellingcat’s Nick Waters is compiling an ongoing list of journalists attacked by police while covering anti-police protests across the country. As of this writing, Waters has compiled 144 such incidents. On June 6, 2020, the US Press Freedom Tracker tweeted that there had been a total of 208 assaults on journalists covering the protests, with 173 of those coming from police.

Doxxes

Officer Nicolas Roche, Bellevue Washington Police Department

Antifascist researcher @F12_Antifascist was able to uncover the identity of Bellevue, Washington police officer Nicolas Roche. Officer Roche was formerly with the Honolulu Police Department before moving to Bellevue. Officer Roche frequently posts QAnon conspiracy theories to his social media along with other hateful rhetoric.

The archives of Roche’s posts can be accessed here. Please consider reaching out to the Bellevue Police Department to report this man as it is incredibly dangerous for marginalized people to have a racist Bellevue cop walking around their community.

Trey Trosclair, Berkeley, California

Antifascist researchers behind the twitter account Berkeley Collective Safety discovered the identity of Boogaloo/Militia-friendly Surgical Assistant Trey Trosclair of Berkeley, CA. On Friday, May 27th, Trey posted in support of killing rioters from a firearm accessory page and was taken to task by the firearm community.

On his social media Trey frequently posts in support of known anti government militia the Three Percenters (III%ers) though as Berkeley Collective Safety points out, it’s not known whether he is an active member. He’s certainly sympathetic. Trey was forced by Torrent Suppressors to apologize for his comments about the protesters but seems to continue to be employed there as well as working as a surgical assistant.

Joseph Timothy Ince aka “Josey Wales,” Chicago neo-Nazi Proud Boy

Panic! In the Discord recently released the identity of neo-Nazi Proud Boy Joseph Timothy Ince. Joseph, who goes by Josey Wales, currently resides in Tennessee, though previously lived in Chicago. It’s worth pointing out that Josey is good friends with “Trigger” Tom Christiansen who was convicted for two felonies after stabbing a person at a Dropkick Murphy’s show back in 2017. Josey spent $10,000 bailing Christiansen out of jail.

In archived photos of Josey’s Facebook posts, there are images of the totenkopf, a symbol of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, a group that guarded the concentration camps. It was also used by the 3rd SS Panzer division, known especially for their brutality. More recently, the totenkopf was adopted by internationally recognized Neo-Nazi terrorist group Combat 18 (C18). The British National Party founded the Combat 18 group as a way of protecting its members and events from antifascists. Combat 18 and it’s music recruiting arm, Blood and Honour, have been responsible for murders, bombings and other acts of violence, to a degree that they were eventually added to Canada’s National Terrorism List in 2019. Combat 18 has also been banned in Germany.

Panic! In the Discord indicates that Josey’s use of the totenkopf is intentional, as there have been noted links between the Chicago Proud Boys and Combat 18. Chicago Anti-Fascist Action recently leaked telegram chats exposing another Chicago Proud Boy and Chicago Police Officer Rob Bakker (who is currently being investigated by CPD). There were two other members in the chats worth noting: Jon Argumedo and Sean Dolan. Both Dolan and Argumedo are longtime members of the Chicago Combat 18 cell.

Josey and his girlfriend, Michelle have since relocated to Tennessee.

Jacob Kirtley, Groyper and Public School Teacher, Charleston, South Carolina

Southern antifascist researchers Identify Dixie uncovered the identity of Charleston, South Carolina resident, public school teacher and extreme racist Jacob Kirtley. Jacob worked as an elementary school teacher until recently when he began a job as a middle school teacher in addition to coaching youth soccer. Jacob made it relatively easy to find his social media because he will frequently post the same images across his many accounts.

Jacob’s students are primary Black students which makes his bigoted beliefs even more problematic. He believes Black people are naturally criminals and that white people are the victims of Black crime. Jacob regularly makes jokes mocking African American Vernacular English (AAVE).

Jacob also hates queer people and screenshots were captured of him suicide-trolling a trans woman in Philadelphia. He’s open about his misogyny also and posts about how he doesn’t believe women should be able to vote. He’s also incredibly antisemitic and frequently posts Holocaust jokes or refers back to the “Jewish Question.” The Jewish Question is a neo-Nazi talking point that references 19th century antisemitic debate on whether or not Jews run the world. Here are several other instances where Jacob references HH, or Heil Hitler, in his posts.

For a list of organizations to reach out to about Jacob Kirtley, please follow links here and here.

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This Week in Fascism

A weekly roundup of the latest and greatest happenings in the anti-fascist world. Each column features a roundup of news, actions, doxxes and current calls to action.

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