On Saturday, June 10th, thousands of people across the United States converged, disrupted, fought back, and demonstrated against anti-Muslim rallies organized by ‘Act for America,’ the largest anti-Muslim organization in the US, with close ties to the Trump administration. Despite attacks from mainstream groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, anarchists, autonomists, and antifascists were able to not only engage the far-Right on numerous occasions, but shut down their rallies in some instances, while also organizing broad and combative community mobilizations in numerous cities.

For ACT for America, the goal of the marches was to recuperate energy from the rise of both the Alt-Right subculture, autonomous support for Trump, and the “Free Speech” rallies that have created a coalition of white nationalists, militia groups, and Trump supporters. At the same time, ACT for America, much like the “Free Speech Bus,” took a cue from the Alt-Right and presented its message coated in the liberal language of human rights and even feminism.

Organizers for ACT also attempted in the run up to the demonstrations to distance themselves from some sections of the far-Right, for instance, “disavowing” Billy Roper, a neo-Nazi organizing an ACT rally in Arkansas. Despite these attempts, it was clear at almost every rally that members of the Alt-Right, neo-Nazis, Proud Boys, and militia members made up a sizable section of attendees, provided security, were featured speakers, and in some instances, were the actual organizers.

Beaten Proud Boys and Community Building

June 10th in many ways spoke to the strength of the growing anarchist movement, as it showed that a wide variety of groups in numerous cities were able to not only come together, but also organize themselves as a substantial force. Thus, June 10th saw not only aggressive street clashes, of which Seattle spectacularly was a win against the Proud Boys, but also the successful shutting down of the ACT rally in Austin, Texas.

June 10th saw a wide variety of groups, formations, and crews working together, taking action, and also buildings bonds and alliances with people in communities around them. In Syracuse, New York for instance, over 10 anarchist and antifascist groups came together to stand in solidarity, while in other cities similar alliances were also formed that will continue in the work that lies ahead, both in local Muslim communities and among comrades.

Anarchists also did well in organizing as anarchists, and not allowing themselves to get pushed aside by liberal or Leftist organizers, or simply used as shock troops for people with other agendas. Anarchists in New York City for instance, helped bring out 5 to 1 numbers against the far-Right, while creating a very clear anarchist presence.

In other cities that had smaller actions, anti-authoritarian rebels were still able to bring something to the table, even if they did not make up a majority of the crowd that had assembled.

While June 10th saw cracks emerge in the far-Right coalition that had formed post-Trump and solidified after the Berkeley clashes on April 15th, anarchists, autonomists, and antifa showed themselves to be in as strong a position as ever; able to organize broadly, create relationships in our communities, and also not having to water down our message or our politics.

Cracks in the Far-Right Coalition

In the wake of the Portland, Oregon “Free Speech” rally, which happened only a week after a member of the Alt-Right killed two people on a train while almost killing another, several personalities within the far-Right movement decided to throw in the towel.

John Beavers, a Trump supporter who is comically referred to as “antifa’s worst nightmare,” left far-Right circles after posting a tearful message in which he complained about movement back stabbing and needing to be around his family. “Based Trojan Man” from Southern, California, posted a series of videos claiming to be done with the movement and attacked groups like the Proud Boys and Three Percenters for being racist. His departure has led to various other personalities attacking him in return, which has led to even more infighting.

Moreover, in many ways, June 10th represented an interesting experiment, as across the US, numbers of far-Right, “Stickmen,” militia members, Deplorables, and Alt-Right trolls were stretched thin; unable to concentrate themselves in one geographical place. Instead, these various forces had to pick and choose which rally they would support, often going to the one physically closest to them.

Further still, trolls in Houston Texas created a fake antifa sockpuppet and through it, threatened to destroy a statue of Confederate slaveholder Sam Houston, which in turn helped mobilize hundreds of far-Right, Stickmen, militia members, and neo-Nazis in ‘defense’ of the statue on June 10th. This rally was supported and promoted by uber-charleton Kyle Chapman, and since the truth of the events’ origins have now come forward, has galvanized some to call for the trolls to face criminal charges. Thus, June 10th in Houston allowed us to see what happens to the far-Right and the Alt-Right when left to their own devices and how easily thousands of people gobble up such obvious bullshit.

From the Texian Partisan:

Around 8:30 last night, we received a message from a man calling himself Eric, claiming to be the creator of the “Texas Antifa” Facebook page. In the initial salvo of messages, he admitted that the page is a “satire,” and produced proof that he is indeed an administrator of the page.

He also claimed that his motive for creating the page was to identify and out Antifa supporters, piercing their veil of anonymity. “I list every Antifa member I find on a few of the homeland and local gov pages I have.”

When pressed for connections that he might have with the creators of the “This Is Texas” Facebook page, he seemed reluctant to discuss that aspect of it and refused to comment further. However, by mining his Facebook profile we were able to make some interesting connections including multiple connections to some leaders of Open Carry Texas and a man named Brandon Burkhart, who also has been know to go by the alias of Brandon Hewitt.

Brandon Burkhart is one of the administrators of the “This Is Texas” Facebook page, which was set up to coordinate the counter protest against Antifa. Additionally, someone using the name “Brandon Hewitt” is also listed as organizing the GoFundMe for the counter protest, which has raised close to $4000. Burkhart has an extensive criminal record.

As The Daily Beast wrote:

In a now-deleted post, a This Is Texas administrator named Dave confessed his disillusion to the page’s followers.

“People – you were duped,” he wrote. “The charges you have heard about this being based on a hoax are all true. Did you see ONE Antifa, Black Panther, Black Lives Matter, or street gang member there??? At all?? ANYWHERE???

“We were told Black Panthers were mobilized from Atlanta and we were told ‘buses and buses’ of anti’s were on their way – never saw them,” Dave wrote. “Oh yeah – I saw a black guy with an AR-15, dressed in black, near the restrooms and thought YES! I found them! Then he stood up and I saw a Texas flag sweat towel in his pocket.”

One commentator on the Facebook event lamented:

Yes I was disappointed that the leadership for this event could not see the truth and lead us in to this hoax. I had an injured wife I should’ve been at home with and not to mention the long hours, money, and time wasted. Antifa and the like are having a good laugh at us all today. Why were we not informed about the Austin event?

Another wrote angrily:

Now that this has happened ALL of the organizers of the event are complicit in a conspiracy to defraud people of money and, even worse, have dealt a blow to the trust of the Texas people. How many of the patriots will come the next time you cry “wolf” after now being exposed for what you did?  I am a 65 yr old man, on a fixed income, that got duped out of a $100 donation for a cause that was grossly misrepresented and even the misrepresentation was admitted to by one of the ADMIN’s of this site.

At the same time, the Houston debacle also showed potential divisions between the far-Right and the Alt-Right. In a humorous video that has now gone viral, militia members surrounded, choked, and drug out a neo-Nazi carrying a “black sun” flag and holding Pepe the Frog signs. Many of the same signs were seen at past pro-Trump and ‘White Lives Matter’ rallies that drew no complaints from other participants. As the “shitlord” is led out of the rally, the crowd cheers and sings, “Hey hey, good bye…” while some call him a “Nazi.”

In another exchange, many of the same militia members confront a group of neo-Nazis from The Daily Stormer as well as American Vanguard (like Identity Evropa, but less yatch club and more Marilyn Manson). In this exchange, the militia members threaten to fight the neo-Nazis and also to call the police on them, (in that order). Eventually the neo-Nazi contingent leaves, and are given their own rallying area by themselves away from the rest of the attendees. In one interesting back and forth, the neo-Nazis yell at a group of neo-Confederates holding flags, “That flag stands for white supremacy!”

We do not think that these fractures point to a genuine breaking apart of these groups overall; in moments of conflict united around a shared common enemy, these groups will link up again. But moments like this do show that without that sense of false unity, these groups fall apart and collapse in on themselves very quickly, if they can’t find new enemies to attack. It also shows that the wider Right is feeling the pressure about their association with the Alt-Right, a tension that has been playing out for months.

In the end it is extremely ironic, that a group of Stickmen and Oath Keepers, people who claim to be fighting a war against the Left, antifa, and Black Lives Matter for “Free Speech,” would then turn around and physically remove someone from the Alt-Right for taking part in their rally. At the same time, we also see the actions by the militia movement to be disingenuous; as they protect Alt-Right speakers like Baked Alaska, Brittany Pettibone, and Lauren Southern when it suits them, and attack others when it doesn’t.

One thing is clear, the tension rising between both the militia movement and the Alt-Right is growing, and recently popular neo-Nazi websites such as The Daily Stormer has declared that the Oath Keepers are now their enemies. At the same time, both the militias and the Alt-Right are attempting to recruit and grow from the same energy generated from the Trump campaign and the oozing sewers of places like 4chan. As time goes on, we can only hope these fissures and divisions within the movement become wider, and make it impossible for these groups to physically group together and share space.

Thoughts on the Future

The actions on June 10th show that the Alt-Right needs a much wider sea to swim in, in order to more successfully operate. It also shows that numbers at “Free Speech,” far-Right, and Trump rallies are hitting their peak, and that without being able to concentrate their forces in one place, the far-Right generally cannot count on grassroots organizing to turn people out.

At the same time, we shouldn’t kid ourselves that the far-Right doesn’t have the ability to turn out cadres of heavily armed people with potentially strong connections to local law enforcement. For this reason, we need to continue to take the far-Right seriously. Also, the Alt-Right still had some sizable (for them) mobilizations on the 10th, most notably from Identity Evropa, especially in Orlando and New York City.

This summer, if there is to be another attempt at creating a united front among the far-Right, it will surely be over ‘defense’ of Confederate statues throughout the South. At the same time, as tensions grow among the far-Right and the Alt-Right, we expect white nationalists to more and more attempt to strike out on their own, leaving themselves very exposed.

Moving forward, let’s put the energy, organizational ties, and lessons learned from June 10th to good use, in whatever struggles we are engaging in.

Action Roundup

Seattle, WA

Roseville, CA

San Bernardino, CA

Austin, TX

Denver, CO

St. Paul, MN

Lansing, MI

Chicago, IL

Orlando, FL

Raleigh, NC

Syracuse, NY

New York, NY

Harrisburg, PA


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