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Aug 24, 20

This Week in Fascism #71: Where We Fail One, We Fail All

Cover photo via @PNWAntifascist

Welcome fellow antifascists!

In this week’s column, we present to you a behind the scenes look at the recent far-Right rally in Portland, where out of town racist losers and Trump worshipers were pushed out of the city and took to social media to lament their epic failure, show-case their degree of infighting, and to point fingers at each other. We’ll also look at the recent Facebook ban on anarchist and antifascist pages; Steve Bannon getting arrested for defrauding Trump supporters – and more!

Let’s dive in!

News

Far-Right Attacks Anti-Racist Protesters and Journalists in Portland, Get Chased Out Anyway

In Portland on Saturday, two right-wing rallies converged outside the Justice Center, resulting in far-Right activists shooting counter-protesters and journalists with paintball guns, attacking them with bear mace, flashing firearms, and hitting them with batons. Disgraced Proud Boy Alan Swinney, who was caught in the spring of 2019 planning an attack on leftist protesters in Providence, Rhode Island, drew a gun and pointed it at the crowd with his finger on the trigger.

The broader Mother of All Back the Blue Rallies served as ideological cover for the far-Right’s ‘No to Marxism in America’ rally, organized by longtime far-right activist Amber Gwen Cummings. Cummings is an InfoWars fan who has gone further right since 2017, organizing and fighting alongside the Proud Boys, the American Guard, and Identity Evropa founder Nathan Damigo. Cummings has also rallied on multiple occasions with neo-Nazi street-fighting gang the Rise Above Movement and has a close relationship with Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, former leader of the Proud Boy’s “military wing,” the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights.

As usual for the far-Right, the rallies were simply a thinly veiled excuse for violence against anti-racist protesters. In leaked chats for an aborted April 2019 rally in Providence, Alan Swinney told the group of Proud Boys, American Guard, and militia members, “If any contact is made with you, that’s assault…. We need to inflict as much damage as possible in the time we have.”

While the crowd of antifascist protesters were attacked by the far-Right, journalists clearly marked as “Press” were also singled out for violence. Alan Swinney shot journalist Sergio Olmos with a paintball gun. When Olmos showed Swinney his press pass, Swinney continued to fire. Journalist Robert Evans was attacked by a far-right protester carrying a “God Bless America” shield and a baton, breaking multiple bones in Evans’ hand. (The attacker was identified by Evans’ colleagues at Bellingcat.)

Pulls out a gun on anti-racist protesters.

An antifascist protester in a wheelchair was maced by a man wearing the same distinctive blue-fleck facemask with a yellow kerchief as Tusitala “Tiny” Toese. Toese was also captured on video claiming that he had sprayed the snack van, which provides snacks to protesters, with an entire can of bear mace.

On August 11th, Toese’s probation officer recommended that his probation be revoked and that he be sentenced to a year in jail for repeatedly failing to meet with her, failing to charge his GPS-monitoring device, and traveling to political rallies in Portland despite the agreement barring him from doing so. A warrant was sworn for Toese’s arrest. Despite this, police failed to arrest Toese at the rally, or beforehand.

Also present was Proud Boy Cole Scott, who was arrested on August 15th after getting into a fight at an Oregon City bar, firing his gun, and then ramming his car into another vehicle before driving away from the scene. Despite pending charges, Scott was caught on camera wielding a metal baton to attack protesters on Saturday.

Far-Right Rally Goes Brandishes Gun

At one point during the rally, Alan Swinney drew a handgun and pointed it at the crowd with his finger on the trigger. Some protesters informed the police on site that the far-Right activists were deploying mace, but as caught on camera, the police refused to take any action.

Despite being outmatched in armaments, antifascists managed to drive off the far-right attackers, after a single firework broke their shieldwall, after nearly two hours of attacking antifascist protesters.

In a video posted by MAGA grifter Jen Loh, she can be seen walking closely with Proud Boy leaders and Unite the Right attendee, Christopher Ritchie, begging the group to turn back and fight as to not let their enemies “win.” Following the rally, leaders of Back the Blue and Say No to Marxism predictably denounced each other Facebook, claiming that the other had thrown the other group under the bus. Despite some chest thumping online, the overall consensus from the far-Right was that the Portland rally was a tremendous failure, made them look bad, and ended in overall disorganization and end fighting.

 

Far-Right Marchers Run from Anti-Racist Portlanders

In a livestream with Amber Gwen Cummings, far-Right personality Kristopher Drew claimed that the “No to Marxism in America” organizers had coordinated with the FBI to trap antifascist protesters by luring them into a park, which is technically federal ground, but that the trick had been spoiled by the “Back the Blue” organizers, who asked everyone to come to their side of the rally. Drew went on to say that the “goal” of the rally was to show people that antifascists were the ones “throwing bombs” and attacking people, after the press had focused on far-Right attacks over the past two weeks. Clearly this narrative was a complete loss. “This event was a massive failure and gave Antifa many victories,” Cummings posted to Facebook. “Lastly, I have never in my life seen a bigger coward at any event than the woman who hijacked my event.”

so the aftermath of Portland Riots (comment video)

lets chat about one day later and what went down (footage video out tonight)

Posted by Kristopher Dreww on Sunday, August 23, 2020

 

The Portland Police Bureau issued a press release explaining their inaction as the far-Right activists from out-of-town attacked residents of the city.

“While the activity in the group met the definition of a riot, PPB [Portland Police Bureau] did not declare one because there were not adequate police resources available to address such a declaration,” the press release stated.

“Additionally, PPB members have been the focus of over 80 days of violent actions directed at the police, which is a major consideration for determining if police resources are necessary to interject between two groups with individuals who appear to be willingly engaging in physical confrontations for short durations,” the release explained, seemingly admitting that the police intentionally allowed the far-right to attack the protesters as a punishment for protesting the police.

Facebook Bans It’s Going Down, CrimethInc, and Other Anarchist Pages

This week, Facebook announced that it was taking action against “movements and organizations tied to violence.” While this included banning 790 groups and 100 pages linked to the QAnon movement, a far-right conspiracy theory that has inspired a string of violent attacks in recent months, the company also lumped together “militia organizations and those encouraging riots, including some who may identify as Antifa,” banning 980 groups and 520 pages.

Among those affected by the take down were independent news outlet It’s Going Down and anarchist collective CrimethInc, which offers commentary and how-to guides for activists.

In 2018, Facebook was used by military leaders in Myanmar to incite an ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, suggesting that the company may not be the best arbiter of what constitutes violence.

The company offered no explanation as to why far-right militias were combined with antifascist groups in their figures. “[A]ny non-state actor or group that qualifies as a dangerous individual or organization will be banned from our platform,” the company stated in a blog post.

This is simply the latest centrist effort to conflate dangerous far-right organizations with the leftist groups that oppose them. Since 1994, the far-right in the United States has been responsible for 329 murders. In that same period, no murders have been committed by antifascists.

However, Facebook still hosts many QAnon pages and groups. A Facebook search for QAnon brought up Patriots 10Q%, a public QAnon group that produces over 800 posts per day, and We the People, a 15,000-person group created in June 2020 as “#WWG1WGA THE TRUTH & NOTHING BUT,” a reference to the QAnon slogan “Where we go one, we go all.”

Steve Bannon & Friends Arrested For Stealing from Trump Supporters

Steve Bannon, the former so-not a globalist who used to work at Goldman Sachs, head the far-Right publication Breitbart, former chief Trump strategist, and is known for building an international neo-fascist network through ‘The Movement,’ “was arrested recently [on a] 152-foot-long Feadship Lady May  that’s reportedly owned by Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese billionaire.”

Bannon and three others were arrested for defrauding Trump supporters who donated to a crowdfunding campaign dedicated to building “the Wall” along the US and Mexico border. Bannon, along with others, is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for a lavish lifestyle. According to the Washington Post:

Bannon, prosecutors alleged, received more than $1 million through a nonprofit entity he controlled, sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage while keeping a “substantial portion” for himself.

The We Build the Wall campaign, publicly supported by several of the president’s allies, raised more than $25 million through hundreds of thousands of donors, federal prosecutors said. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised repeatedly that, if elected, he would construct a wall along the southern border — funded by Mexico. As president, he has made no headway on getting Mexico to pay for the wall and has tangled with Congress over whether U.S. taxpayers should fund the project.

Prosecutors alleged that Bannon and Kolfage along with two others — Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea — routed payments from the crowdfunding campaign through the nonprofit and another shell company, disguising them with fake invoices to help keep their personal pay secret.

All four were arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. After being later released on bond, Bannon emerged from the federal courthouse in Manhattan, taking off his mask and smiling at a bank of television cameras. “This entire fiasco is to stop people who want to build the wall,” he said.

The Huffington Post pointed out, the backers of the project included top Trump world illuminaries:

The alleged scheme amounts to a coordinated fleecing of some of President Trump’s most loyal supporters, and the ties to the White House go much further than Bannon. Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf appears to have been in contact with We Build the Wall organizers and even visited the project site less than a year ago, as federal investigators were closing in. A powerful GOP “super lawyer” acted as the nonprofit front group’s legal counsel. A HuffPost analysis of social media and the public record shows repeated contacts between Kolfage and both of Trump’s adult sons, including during an event at Mar-a-Lago, a Trump-owned resort in Florida. And in some instances, the president himself appears to have brushed up against the scheme.

Doxxes

Casey O’Brien, Proud Boy in Springfield, Ohio

Antifascist activists RuthlessWe, in collaboration with Antifa Garfield, recently exposed Springfield, Ohio Proud Boy Casey O’Brien. O’Brien attended the Kalamazoo, Michigan Proud Boy march where he uploaded footage to his Youtube page. O’Brien also has a Nazi Bitchute page that is full of Nazi propaganda. His other Bitchute videos include O’Brien’s assumptions of a “new civil war” upon us, as well as some paranormal experiences because…witches.

O’Brien has a website about free speech with an affiliated LLC that is registered for reasons that aren’t clear yet. One thing that is known is that he likes to show up to events to film and doxx leftist activists. He wears a distinctive gas mask at actions with bright pink filters on either side. If you see him, please be advised that he is likely filming with intent to doxx. His current employment is unknown.

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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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