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Jan 27, 21

This Week in Fascism #93: Biden Administration Announces Anti-Extremism Plan, DHS Brutality Continues in Portland

Welcome fellow antifascists!

This week, we’ve got a report and update on the new administration’s push to clamp down on “extremism,” what far-Right Qanon followers are doing after the crash of Parler, how far-Right groups are involved in the recall campaign in California, how brutality at the hands of DHS troops in continuing, and much more!

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in!

News

Fash Blotter News Roundup

As this column was being published, a bunch of stories hit the news wire. Here’s a quick roundup so you’re in the know:

Biden Administration Announces Counter-Extremism Plan

On Friday January 22nd, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the Biden administration’s plan to combat “extremism” in the wake of the January 6th attack on the Capitol in Washington D.C., according to CNN. Psaki stated that the administration would instruct the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a thorough threat assessment on “domestic violent extremism,” working with the FBI and DHS. Secondly, the National Security Council will conduct a policy review in order to enable the government to better prevent extremism, share information on threats, and interrupt extremist networks. The Press Secretary also stated that the Biden White House will be “coordinating relevant parts of the federal government to enhance and accelerate efforts to address DVE,” focusing on the role of social media in radicalization, and working to “improve information sharing, operational responses and more.”

CNN’s reporting contains a statement from the FBI Agents Association claiming, “Congress should immediately pass legislation to make domestic terrorism a federal crime.” The association says that federal legislation would “make it clear that political violence – no matter the ideology or the person behind it – is unacceptable.” This statement confirms the worries of leftists, who are sure to experience an increase in repression as the new administration clamps down on “extremism” of all forms. As Stanislav Vysotsky notes, “The language of extremism should be worrying for activists on the left because it opens to door to false equivalence and potential repression under the guise of neutrality.”

Far-right extremists pose the most serious threat of violence in the so-called United States. This comes as no surprise, considering that dehumanization and an emphasis on purging society of people deemed “undesirable” are key features of fascism. As multiple outlets and government studies have shown, the vast majority of political violence, (outside of the State), especially in terms of human lives lost, has been at the hands of the far-Right. The shooting of Aaron Danielson by suspect Michael Reinoehl was the first homicide charge linked to an antifascist in the country in the last 25 years. Yet, Reinoehl was extra-judicially executed as an act of “retribution,” an example of the force, urgency, and illegality with which the State acts to repress the far-Left.

As Aaron Winter notes, this strengthening of the surveillance and security state will “disproportionately affect racialised communities, antiracists & antifascists who have been on the front line.” Not only will these policies hurt the Left, but they will inevitably harm communities of color and other marginalized groups – the very groups that the State claims to want to protect by combating fascist “extremism” – proving that the government’s only true motivation is to protect its own power and legitimacy.

In a statement signed by a variety of civil-rights groups from the ACLU, NAACP, to Amnesty International, and the Southern Poverty Law Center:

We must meet the challenge of addressing white nationalist and far-right militia violence without causing further harm to communities already disproportionately impacted by the criminal-legal system. The Justice Department (DOJ), including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has over 50 terrorism-related statutes it can use to investigate and prosecute criminal conduct, including white supremacist violence, as well as dozens of other federal statutes relating to hate crimes, organized crime, and violent crimes. The failure to confront and hold accountable white nationalist violence is not a question of not having appropriate tools to employ, but a failure to use those on hand. To date, DOJ has simply decided as a matter of policy and practice not to prioritize white nationalist crimes.

We urge you to oppose any new domestic terrorism charge, the creation of a list of designated domestic terrorist organizations, or other expansion of existing terrorism-related authorities. We are concerned that a new federal domestic terrorism statute or list would adversely impact civil rights and — as our nation’s long and disturbing history of targeting Black Activists, Muslims, Arabs, and movements for social and racial justice has shown — this new authority could be used to expand racial profiling or be wielded to surveil and investigate communities of color and political opponents in the name of national security.

Far-Right Qanon Supporters Linked to Proud Boys Heavily Involved in California ReCall Campaign

According to an investigation by the LA Times, a collection of far-Right activists heavily connected to the Qanon conspiracy and groups like the Proud Boys, is deeply involved in the fight to recall California’s current Governor, Gavin Newsom. Some of the participants were also involved in the recent storming of the US capitol on January 6th.

The Times investigation found that:

Hardline activists from the anti-vaccination movement [are heavily involved in the recall effort]. Two leaders, Denise Aguilar and Tara Thornton with the Freedom Angels, organized and participated in numerous rallies at the state Capitol that promoted the recall effort. At these events, speakers denounced vaccines and health orders. The Proud Boys, who have been involved in protest violence, from street brawls in Sacramento to the incursion of the nation’s Capitol, are also often present. Aguilar has said they provided security.

Aguilar, one of the founders of the offshoot group, is also a supporter of the Proud Boys, appearing at one Capitol rally wearing a shirt with a patch that read, “I (heart) Proud Boys” and at another introducing group members as security. Aaron Bate, an El Dorado County recall organizer who with Heatlie was part of an earlier petition drive against Newsom, is active in the Three Percenters and has personally delivered thousands of recall signatures to his county election office.

DHS Agents Continue to Brutalize Protesters in Portland, OR

Beginning on the night of January 20th, following the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the so-called United States, another wave of protests has erupted in Portland, OR. On Wednesday, a group of protesters marched from Revolution Hall to the Democratic Party headquarters, where some people vandalized the building and others lit dumpster fires to obstruct the roads. Eight people were arrested.

Later that night, a group of around 150 demonstrators gathered outside of the ICE facility to protest the detention of immigrants and demand the abolition of ICE. The protesters proceeded to tag the building with spraypaint (one message read “Reunite families now”) and smash the windows. An unlawful assembly was declared, and federal law enforcement deployed riot munitions to disperse the crowd. At least one other individual was arrested at this protest.

Live coverage from Claudio Report, indicates that the police response was unreasonably violent, with law enforcement deploying large amounts of chemical gas and less lethal munitions in response to some graffiti and a few eggs being thrown at the ICE facility. In addition to flash bang grenades and large amounts of what many believe to be HC gas, DHS agents used a strobe light to disorient demonstrators, which caused at least one seizure. The incident was captured on video, and footage shows law enforcement refusing to let medics treat the victim.

Feds also used a pesticide blower to spray large quantities of chemical agents on the crowd.

The heavy use of chemical agents left many protesters incapacitated and in need of medical attention.

Protesters have continued to gather outside of the ICE building every night since inauguration day. On January 21st, DHS agents were caught on camera destroying an altar created by indigenous protesters to honor those who have died and been separated from their families by the agency. The altar, adorned with candles and flowers, was not placed on federal property.

The violence continued on January 23rd, where feds made a targeted arrest of a non-threatening medic in the crowd.

Dr. Juniper Simonis located a CS canister that had been launched at a charter school nearby, and discovered that it had melted into the roof of the building.

More footage from Saturday night can be viewed in the thread below:

Since the January 6th riots at the U.S. Capitol, many critics have pointed out that law enforcement is much more likely to inflict violence on left-wing and anti-racist protesters, while underestimating threats on the far-Right and sparing them of the same aggression. This recent wave of protests in Portland makes this double standard even clearer, as relatively modest crowds and minor property damage at the ICE facility was met with significantly more force than the deadly coup attempt at the country’s Capitol. The timing of this upswell in police violence on Biden’s inauguration day is also significant. Given the new administration’s recent promise to crack down on “extremism,” leftists can expect this sort of retaliation to continue for the next four years.

Palm Beach, Florida’s Thriving, Far-Right Metropolis Who’s Newest Profiteers of Hate are the Sovereign American Project

In August 2020, a newly formed white separatist group, Sovereign American Project, set up it’s headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida. Sovereign American Project is led by three men, 44 year old Matt Lawlor who serves as the organizations president, Noah Revoy, and Nathanial Major. According to a South Florida Sun Sentinel article, Revoy is a “life, love and relationship coach” based in Portugal. Thirty-one year old Major resides in Columbus, Ohio and moderates the racist Youtube channel titled “Western Revival.”

Several aspects of this story are worth noting. First, West Palm Beach, which used to be a bastion of neoliberalism, has turned into a hotbed of conservative and far-right residents. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:

Sovereign America’s home in Palm Beach County has long been one of South Florida’s Democratic strongholds, with a large liberal Jewish population. Barack Obama won the county in 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. The Kennedy family famously had an oceanfront estate on the island of Palm Beach.

But, in recent years, the county has attracted stars of the far right, including its most famous resident, Donald J. Trump, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and conservative pundit Ann Coulter. Laura Loomer, a far-right activist with a South Palm Beach address, ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year. The conservative website Newsmax is based in West Palm Beach.

At the extreme end of the spectrum, the Proud Boys and Stormfront, both hate groups, have active Palm Beach County chapters.

Sovereign American Project is registered and incorporated as a “social welfare” nonprofit in Florida. This allows them to make money under the protection of non-profit status. But their messaging is dark and genocidal, labeling themselves as separatists whose values, according to their website, include “that [w]hites should always have the majority of power and influence in the nations founded and built by our European ancestors.” Sovereign American Project also believes that feminism is a fallacy, that there are only two genders, they are anti-immigration and “that slavery was a universal human practice, and that [w]hite men ended the practice in civilized society and deserve recognition for this accomplishment.” They hit literally every aspect of a hate group and are using American capitalist loopholes to mainstream their hate, recruit and grow their membership, and profit from their organizing.

Another glaring red flag is Sovereign American Project’s connections outside of the United States. As previously mentioned, not only is one of their founding members, Noah Revoy, based in Portugal, but also has connections in Ukraine as well. According to the Sun Sentinel:

Stern, the private intelligence director, told the FBI in his report that the Sovereign American Project would be ripe for foreign manipulation.

He pointed the FBI to co-founder Revoy’s link to a man in the Ukraine named Curt Doolittle, who founded the far-right Propertarian Institute, dedicated to the superiority of “Western People.” Doolittle is based in Kiev and co-produces videos with Revoy where they discuss their shared philosophies. Revoy’s life coaching is advertised on Doolittle’s website. Doolittle told the Sun Sentinel that though he was unaware Revoy had formed The Sovereign American Project, it “looks like a very clear and deliberate application of my work, in an attempt to make it publicly digestible and politically actionable.”

There is absolutely no denying that they are genocidal, fascist reactionaries and between their comfort with technology, business savvy and transnational connections, we imagine this isn’t the last we will hear of them.

*Worth noting,” the South Florida Sun Sentinel article we linked to and pulled this story from is robust and full of good information about the Sovereign American Project. They have also chosen to include a quote from a representative of The Clarion Project, an SPLC-designated anti-Muslim hate group that operates under the guise of researching extremism. We DO NOT share their values and are dismayed that the opinions of their representatives are taken seriously in this work.

QAnon Followers Move to Telegram Following the Parler Shut-Down

With the take down of the messaging app Parler, many QAnon followers have moved to Telegram to connect with each other, according to an article published by Rolling Stone. Parler, a social-media app that served as a hotbed for far-Right radicalization and organizing, was removed a few weeks ago from the Apple, Amazon and Google Play stores following the January 6 White Riot. Parler’s notoriously lax free speech policy allowed for fascist, nationalist and white supremacist ideology to flourish. According to Rolling Stone, QAnon followers have moved in droves to Telegram, raising serious concerns about members of the far-right using QAnon channels to radicalize and recruit from.

According to data provided to Rolling Stone, 7 out of 8 major QAnon channels on Telegram showed an increase in members following Biden’s inauguration, one of which increased from 16,695 members to 22,851, an increase of 35%. Though many speculated that perhaps QAnon followers would face a crisis of identity following the inauguration, antifascists and researchers of the far-Right are noticing QAnon followers doubling down and trying to make sense of Q in the context of the new President:

Such doubling-down has taken many different forms, from believers arguing that Biden will be impeached to the prospect of a military coup to the idea that Biden is part of the “plan.” Major influencers continue to echo the party line that Trump, Q, and his cohorts are still maintaining control behind the scenes, and that it is only a matter of time before the reckoning against the deep state takes place.

Another deep concern with the move from Parler to Telegram, is the influence that members of the far-right will have on QAnon supporters. Neo-Nazis are already hopping into chats and channels to recruit and radicalize disenchanted or angry QAnon supporters even further right, which is both alarming and something that antifascists anticipated. There is already a lot of overlap between far-right ideology and QAnon, including a foundation of anti-Semitism. It’s unclear at this time if Telegram will take steps to shut down the channels that have gained steam since the inauguration but given Telegram’s response to far-right organizing in the past, it’s unlikely that we will see sweeping actions like we have witnessed with the down-fall of Parler. How this impacts violence committed by the far-right remains to be seen.

Doxxes

Samantha Jenaye Humphries, Capitol Riot Participant and Anti-Semite of Colorado

Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists has identified Samantha Humphries, attendee of the January 6th protest that led to the siege of the Capitol Buildling. Humphries, who uses the alias Mikayla Tȟóksape, is a collaborator with the fascist members of the Colorado Proud Boys, Defend Denver, Anonymous Denver, and the Goyim Defense League. Humphries has a history of collaboration with known neo-Nazis and antisemites from these groups, joining them for anti-LGBTQIA+ protests outside of all-ages drag shows held in Denver. Her own social media posts are full of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes, including memes criticizing the supposed Jewish control of the media, and comments referring to Jewish people as “the enemy.” She is also virulently anti-immigrant, homophobic, and anti-communist.

Humphries works at Brown’s Greenhouse in Arvada, CO. Contact them at (303) 424-8536 or [email protected] to inform them that they employ a fascist organizer and Capitol riot attendee. Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists is also seeking information on Humphries’ address, which you can send to [email protected].

Atlanta Antifascists Expose United Universal Fellowship Network

Atlanta Antifascists were able to track and connect a network of white supremacist linked to the Atlanta property market under the name United Universal Fellowship of Faith (UUFF). Our Atlanta comrades connected members of the fellowship to the Beltam Trust, which owns approximately the same amount of properties as UUFF. Additionally, the men connected to Beltam Trust are known in white supremacist circles and have deep roots in white supremacist organizing. Members of the fellowship include London far-Right barrister Adrian Davies, Marietta Lawyer Martin K. O’Toole who serves as president and chairman of the secret racist Charles Martel Society, alternative healing entrepreneur Mike Broadwell, and known white nationalist attorney Sam Dickson. For the whole story and all the players involved in Atlanta’s burgeoning “Right Wing Gentrification Gang,” head over to Atlanta Antifascists’ blog.

Antifascists Compile Database of All Known J6 Participants

A group of antifascist researchers are compiling a database of every individual identified at the January 6th protest in Washington D.C. So far, the catalog contains over 400 names and can be filtered by state to easily find attendees in your area. You can browse the site at this link, and if you know of anyone who was at the J6 occupation who is not yet on the list, you can make a submission here.

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photo: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash

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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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