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A long history of militant activism keeps protests alive in Portland - by Melissa Etehad (LA Times) 24 Aug 2020

2020.08.25 15:11 finnagains A long history of militant activism keeps protests alive in Portland - by Melissa Etehad (LA Times) 24 Aug 2020

It has become a dangerous nightly ritual in Portland.
Around 11 p.m., protesters set fire to trash cans or toss burning cardboard into police buildings and hurl bottles, eggs and chunks of concrete at officers.
Then police broadcast an order for the demonstrators to leave.
Most do. But a hardcore group, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, remain to face off against police, who use tear gas, rubber bullets, flash grenades and arrests to clear the streets.
Three months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the nationwide Black Lives Matter demonstrations it sparked have died down — except in Portland.
Keeping the protests alive here is a local brand of activism with a long history. Its adherents support the goals of ending police brutality and racism but their larger purpose is to dismantle what they see as an increasingly authoritarian government that suppresses the rights of citizens. Police, to them, are the front lines of the enemy.
As of last week, protesters had set 41 fires, thrown projectiles at police officers on at least 58 nights and vandalized property on 49 nights, according to the police department, which has declared riots 17 times.
The protesters, who are largely white, defend the nightly taunting of police, along with vandalism and destruction of property, as a strategy to draw officers into clashes and expose them as fascists, a term with a potent past that has become a mantra at rallies and online.
"It’s to try to push the line just above what’s acceptable in order to get them to respond to show their abuse of power,” said a Portland music producer who carries a plastic shield and walkie-talkie to patrol the edge of the demonstrations and keep out far-right extremists.
"I hope this is a revolution," he said. "And I hope it continues."
Like many protesters, he expressed concern about being targeted by authorities and spoke on the condition that their names not be published.
Within the Black Lives Matter movement, many activists say that the continuing unrest has been essential for keeping the aim of racial justice in the spotlight.
But some Black Portlanders fear those clashing with police may be drawing negative attention to demands for racial justice.
"It's been pushed to the side," said Darrell Millner, an emeritus professor of Black studies at Portland State University. "I think what has happened is that some people have lost an understanding of Malcolm X's quote 'by any means necessary' ... We have to remember that 'means' do matter."
Militant protest in the name of racial justice has deep roots in Portland.
It dates back to the 1970s, when leaders of the hate group Aryan Nation and other organizations dedicated to creating a white ethno-state began encouraging their supporters to move to Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Racist skinhead groups became a growing presence in Portland over the next decade, making the city an increasingly dangerous place for Black people.
In 1988, after three skinheads beat an Ethiopian student — Mulegata Seraw — outside his apartment, activists began to fight back.
Many of them came from the city’s heavy metal and punk scene — skinheads with a different mission.
"There was a lot of organizing between the Black community and white allies after the murder of Mulegata," said Walidah Imarisha, a Black historian and activist who lives in Portland.
Newly formed groups such as Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice and the Coalition for Human Dignity began tracking neo-Nazis and white supremacists and outing them to co-workers and police.
They also believed that sometimes violence must be met with violence and engaged in brawls with far-right extremists.
"There was some direct confrontation at protests and rallies," Imarisha said.
The activists also found common cause with Black residents in calling for accountability for police who killed unarmed Black men or engaged in other mistreatment.
By the early 2000s, some of the activists began saying they subscribed to an ideology known as "antifa," short for anti-fascist. The name is derived from an organization called Antifaschistische Aktion founded during the 1930s in Germany to oppose the rise of Nazism.
Their basic philosophy is that all forms of fascism must be resisted, though the definition of fascism was open to interpretation.
For a time, it seemed like the activists were winning. Far-right groups stopped holding rallies and largely disappeared from public view.
In fact, they had moved their campaign online, where they could shield their identities and reach more potential recruits, according to Stanislav Vysotsky, a sociologist and criminologist at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater who has studied the activist movement.
The activists responded with increasing sophistication, infiltrating online groups and chat rooms to expose the extremists.
The election of President Trump in 2016 gave the activists a renewed sense of purpose and brought the conflict back into the open.
White supremacists saw the president as an ally — even if he denied it — and began staging rallies again, often targeting liberal cities. The activists pushed back with their own demonstrations. Clashes were common.
In Portland, police often stepped into the middle, arresting protesters and deploying tear gas and rubber bullets to break up rowdy crowds — and in the process deepened long-standing resentment from the left.
Increasingly, the activists came to believe that their fascist and racist enemies included not only white supremacist groups but also police departments and other government institutions.
That lesson was reinforced in the summer of 2017, when a white supremacist was accused of killing two men on a train in Portland who were defending teenagers from racist taunts.
In an effort to cool tensions, Mayor Ted Wheeler asked the federal government to revoke a permit it had granted for a pro-Trump rally at a federal plaza.
His request was denied, and as the mayor had feared, clashes erupted.
When activists on the left tried to stage their own rally nearby, police declared it an unlawful assembly —confirmation to many that the system itself was morally corrupt and beyond repair.
The May 25 death of Floyd in Minneapolis brought tensions between activists and authorities to a new level, especially after Trump deployed federal agents to the city.
In early July, thousands of people took to the streets after a federal agent shot a rubber bullet and badly wounded an unarmed protester in the head.
Such incidents played into the hands of the hard-line activists.
“When all this started, I considered myself a liberal," said Emily Gansberg, a 28-year-old grocery store worker who lives in Portland. "And then it kept going further left. My level of dedication became high in a short amount of time.”
“I now call myself baby antifa,” she said.
She said she would not engage in violence herself but believed it was justified because "peaceful protests aren't going to get anything done."
“The system is built to oppress,” she said. “And when I say this system, I'm not just talking about the police. I’m talking about the government all the way through.”
Davis Beeman long considered himself an antifa activist, though when the recent protests began he felt uncomfortable with calls to abolish the city’s police.
The 38-year-old cybersecurity expert, who attends protests to deliver first aid to demonstrators, said witnessing the police and federal agents' use of force and crowd-control munitions to disperse protesters over the last two months has changed his views.
“As I’ve gotten to know more and more history about the Portland police and its overt racism, and how out of touch the police is with the community, I’m on board with getting rid of the police department and starting over,” he said.
Such sentiments were reaffirmed Saturday, when more than 100 white supremacists and other far-right extremists staged a "Back the Blue" rally in support of the police.
Leftist activists showed up and the two sides brawled for two hours, shooting fireworks, paintballs and other projectiles at each other.
The police did not intervene.
In a statement, the department acknowledged that the unrest met the criteria of a riot, but said officers did not move to stop the violence because they were already stretched thin.
Officers “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."
https://news.yahoo.com/long-history-militant-activism-keeps-100005328.html
submitted by finnagains to leftwinger [link] [comments]


2018.05.01 13:43 snickeringhaystack [FICTION] My Best Friend Became a Murderer

By Malcolm MacDonald
My buddy Gavin had always tried to be a superhero. Yes. You read that right. Not he always loved superheroes – not even that he always wanted to be a superhero. He made a costume and mask when we were in middle school and had been crusading around the neighborhood to “stop crime” all the way till I was a sophomore in high school. I’m sure you’ve heard about people like this in the news; like the people in that movie Kick Ass. Gavin and I lived in the St Cloud projects and, even though I doubt he helped in anyway, there was a lot of crime and drug dealing to go around.
The most difficult thing for Gavin, I think, was that we lived in Minnesota, a state that doesn’t allow wearing masks in public. While most beat cops that came around our neighborhood laughed at Gavin and his masked antics, there was one cop that would have none of it: Officer Mitchell. He had a real hard-on for Gavin, or The Depths as he called his alter ego, and would always demand he take the mask off and not go around disguised in public. More on him later.
In truth, Gavin’s outfit was pretty sweet. It was all black, the fabric was flowing but not too baggy and the mask was made of this tough black plastic. It looked kinda like a skull, and the eye lenses were a piercing silver tint. He’d actually been working on it for a year. Every night after school, instead of hanging out or doing his homework, he’d go into the basement and sew up his costume. I kept telling him he could just buy a Halloween getup from K-Mart, which would be a lot less traceable, but he insisted on making his own.
As you can probably gather, he was big into Batman and, just like the character, would only “work” at night. This helped him avoid Officer Mitchell a few times when being chased down so he wouldn’t be unmasked. The outfit was perfect camouflage for the dark alleyways.
A lot of people, including teachers and most of the grownups in the projects, had figured that Gavin was mentally unstable or retarded. I never thought that was accurate though. If I’m being totally fair, Gavin was an averagely smart kid who was just preoccupied with things that took away from him ever getting good grades or learning anything that would get him a job. And he wasn’t crazy; he’d…just been through a lot.
His parents divorced when he was five. Before you dismiss this experience as just another typical 21st century reality, you should know that his father was in deep gambling debt and his mother was hooked on crack from the Minneapolis Crips. I’ll let you imagine how this all played out for young Gavin when the three of them were living under the same roof. They didn’t so much divorce as they separated and really neither of them was fit to raise Gavin so he went to live with his grandfather. When his grandpa croaked he went into foster homes, getting passed along seven times in four years. He eventually landed back in St Cloud with his older third cousin Howie, twice removed. Howie did shift work at a supermarket warehouse and didn’t have much time or patience for Gavin so you can imagine what their relationship was like.
I actually remember going along with Gavin, or The Depths, a few times when he scoured the streets at night for trouble. I don’t know why but for some reason he was never bothered with me knowing his ‘secret identity.’ In truth, when you live in the ghetto, there’s little your neighbors don’t know about you. Anyway, I remember one night I tagged along with The Depths after we’d heard news of a serial rapist in the area. I wasn’t in costume but he was, as well as Durwood, his sidekick. Now, trying to be a superhero in real life is pretty pathetic but being the side kick to a faux-superhero? That’s got to be the shits.
We mostly drank coffee and soda, freezing our balls off on a street corner and spying on the opposite side, looking for anything suspicious. Now, Durwood and I after an hour and a half had had enough. There was nothing there except a few drunks, ranting crazies, and maybe a hooker in a long trench coat. The Depths, however, refused to call it a night, insisting we’d find the rapist. Not long, we saw this tall man wearing baggy, layered clothing, who kept circling the block, over and over again.
“That guy keeps circling back,” Gavin hissed through his mask. Durwood and I looked at each other and, even though we weren’t friends, we could read the concerned panic in the other’s eyes. I think we both knew the shit was about to hit the fan when we heard Gavin’s paper cup hit the sidewalk. Gavin, like a shadow crossing your room when a car goes by at night, lurched forward and ran to the other side. He got right up and grabbed the guy by the lapels of his coat, yelling at him, demanding to know his whereabouts on such and such a date. A struggle ensued. I watched from the other side, paralyzed. Durwood stood next to me like a statue.
A fist flew from the man and he shouted, “The fuck’s with you freak? Get the fuck off!” Gavin then retaliated with one of those karate punches he’d taught himself from online videos and it did rock the guy back a few steps. Then the next thing I saw brought a swell of feverish heat bubbling to my otherwise shivering body. From out of the guy’s steep pocket he brought out a gleamingly silver, snub nose revolver. He pointed it, titled to the side at Gavin’s head. “Get the fuck off me, bruh!”
Gavin didn’t move and I thought then that it was over but he suddenly reached up and grabbed the guy by the wrist. The wrist of the hand holding the gun. I sunk back into the shadows and heaved, watching the grey barrel teeter and sway in several directions as the two of them grappled for it. Without a word, Durwood ran forward to the scene. I watched in abject horror, as he got closer to the point of the flaying firearm. I sunk deeper into the darkness. I then leapt and waxed cold upon the thunder of the gun’s shot.
The bullet ricocheted across the concrete and the weapon fell from the man’s hand as both Gavin and Durwood pushed him to the ground. I don’t know if it was the second person or the gun firing but the man scrambled to his feet and scampered away. I watched the two of them panting, Gavin much more than Durwood. Then, before they walked back across the road, Durwood stooped down and picked something up from off the sidewalk. When they brought it over we saw that it was a small plastic packet of meth. The guy had been a drug dealer, which would explain why he’d been circling the block over and over. The allusive serial rapist was never found. Durwood seemed the most embarrassed about the debacle. Gavin figured he had still stopped injustice. Me? I stopped tagging along. But I know that most of his crusades ended up in street fights, some he lost some he won. Sometimes he’d get unmasked but, that was okay; they didn’t know who he was anyway.
I stopped paying much attention. Around this time I was starting to think ahead a little bit; I was going into high school and wasn’t too glad to be put into the lowest set class in one of the worst schools in the city. Gavin wasn’t going to high school. He was instead focusing on his crime-fighting career. Truth is, he was terribly behaved and was probably suffering from undiagnosed ADHD. In retrospect, our school just couldn’t support him.
The worst came about when Gavin collected up his paper route money and Christmas cash (and some pilfered dollars from Howie’s wallet, I suspect) to buy a police radio. Like the karate moves he’d taught himself, he soon figured out what each of the coded numbers stood for.
Three days after this purchase, our projects got introduced to Officer Mitchell. He went door to door with a sketch of the mask that Gavin wore as The Depths. Luckily for Gavin, no one in the projects talks to cops, especially when it’s about someone who lives there. This usually applies to drug dealers and gangsters but they didn’t make an exception for a mildly disturbed would-be superhero.
Officer Mitchell came to my door last. My mother, who was home, told him she’d never seen anyone wearing that mask before, but called me over to take a look. Mitchell had told her that he believed the suspect was a child. I took a look and immediately recognized the skeletal quality of the mask. Regardless, I shook my head no. The officer then kneeled down and looked into my eyes. He smelled like burnt coffee and sweat, and his face was puffy and his eyes were cold – shifty. “Are you sure about that, son? No idea who this character could be?”
Again, I shook my head no. He then stood up and adjusted his uniform then thanked my mother. He left, but I knew he knew I was lying. I felt a chill go up my spine and it lingered there long after he’d left.
After that, and with much prodding from me and Durwood, Gavin finally decided to stop going out at night. “Alright,” he told us. “I’ll wait for something big over the radio.” This wasn’t exactly reassuring but was enough to settle my nerves for the time being.
One night, the three of us were hanging out in Howie’s cramped basement, playing X-box and sipping on some of the canned beer from the fridge, the police radio occasionally buzzing in the background.
After we’d got to the penultimate level of the game, the radio buzzed rather loudly with: “Car 64 be advised, 261 and possible 217 in progress on Yonge and Lexington.” Durwood and I heard it but neither of us paid it any mind. Gavin, though, he sat right up, his ears perked, dropping his controller to the floor. “10-4, this is Car 64, on pursuit to location, over.”
Gavin jumped up, rushing toward the radio and putting his ear right next to the speaker. Durwood and I were still sitting on the carpet but my head was turned. “What’s up, Gavin?”
“Shhh!” he hissed then promptly put his ear back to the radio.
“There’s a rape happening ten blocks from us.” At that moment I felt cold wash over me. I turned off the game and listened with him. Several minutes crawled by of nothing, just the low frizzle of the radio static.
Then we heard the officer’s voice return: “Dispatch, this is Car 64, we have a 217, requesting medical, over.” I didn’t need to know the codes to figure out what happened. The rape victim was dead.
“Roger, Car 64. Is the suspect in the area? Over.”
“Negative, dispatch. Suspect is reported to be a number 1 male, possibly local. Witnesses say he fled scene going west off Furlington. Notify all cars of situation.”
“10-4.”
Durwood’s hand was then clasped on Gavin’s shoulder and I could see he was writhing. “Maybe they’ll catch him,” I said pathetically.
“He’s right,” Durwood jumped in. “No point in going over there. Come on, calm down.”
It took a few minutes of restraining him, but Gavin agreed to stay in the basement. We turned on the TV and channel surfed for a bit, mostly watching cartoons. Durwood and I each popped open a new beer. Gavin didn’t even finish his already opened one. Didn’t even touch it. Or even look at it. He just sat there, next to the radio, his eyes staring lifeless at nothing.
The next day, I saw the front cover of the newspaper: HIDEOUS RAPE-MURDER ON YOUNGE AND LEXINGTON! Police Officer’s are in hot pursuit of evasive culprit
This wasn’t good. I didn’t see Gavin for two weeks straight. I called his house a couple times but each time I either got an answering machine or his cousin, telling me he was out and didn’t know where he was. I was scared then. This was bad.
All I knew was the detail of the suspect as they were relayed on the radio: Number One male. It didn’t take me long to find out that Number One meant black. I didn’t want to know how The Depths was going about finding the guy.
By the third week, on a Wednesday’s afternoon after school, I heard an uncommon sound for our block, coming outside my window: heavy tires crunching over the ragged pavement. Anytime a car came through our projects, it usually meant one thing: cops. I looked out my window to see a squad car had pulled into our block and was slowly creeping toward Gavin’s house. My mind filled with fears of the worst and I dashed down the steps and flew out to our front stoop. I watched Officer Mitchell emerge, his face rigid, his movements stiff and sudden. He then jerked open the passenger door and there was Gavin, his face exposed, bloodied, one eye blackened and swollen shut, his hands cuffed behind him.
Mitchell dragged Gavin toward the door, Gavin giving little resistance and showing even less mental presence. The policeman wrapped his knuckles hard on the door but no one ever came. Howie was working double shifts that week and hadn’t been home. I looked around and saw everybody on our block watching out the windows or over the fences (those that had fences).
“Where the fuck is your parental unit?” Mitchell demanded, shaking Gavin’s bound form violently. Gavin shrugged. Mitchell gave him another shake and shouted in his face. I could feel the eyes of our block peering heavier on both of them.
Officer Mitchell must have felt it too because after taking a long glance at the scene around him, he went behind Gavin and took the cuffs off. Gavin was about to unlock his door and go into his house, but not before Officer Mitchell clasped his hand against the door and brandished Mitchell’s mask in front of his face in a squelching grasp.
“Listen to me, you little shit,” he said low, but it carried in an echo so I could hear it. “Do yourself a favor and throw this and that faggotty outfit in the trash. I see you wearing it again anywhere and I will arrest you for suspicion of mischief and we’ll see if we can even get a hate crime charge tied to you, eh?” He then threw the mask hard at Gavin’s feet.
Hate crime. Oh Jesus, I thought. Had Gavin actually been going around the neighborhood harassing random black guys because of what he’d heard on the radio?
Officer Mitchell grabbed his heavy belt under his paunch and adjusted his trousers. “Your guardian or parent will be called later this week to inform them of the situation. Have a nice day.”
The eyes of the projects faded back into the houses as Mitchell’s prowler peeled off and Gavin’s door slammed shut. I was glad to know Gavin was okay and thought at the time the whole thing was over. Looking back, I now know how wrong I was.
The next day, I invited Gavin over and the two of us hung out in my room. We were there to play cards but, mostly, I needed to know what had happened.
The first thing I asked was about the shiner he had. “Did that prick Mitchell do that to you?”
He shook his head, almost smiling. “Nah, this was from one of the rapists.”
At this I must have looked at Gavin with complete confusion. He then relayed to me how there had been more than one rapist-murderer – that there had in fact been five – maybe ten who were involved in killing the girl. “Gang rape,” is the term he kept using. “I swear to you, Corey, there’s literally hundreds of them.”
“What do you mean?”
His eyes shifted to my door, perhaps checking that it was closed then he leaned close and said. “The blacks.”
My heart started pounding in my chest. Was I really hearing this? He then told me how, John Dyke, at whose house he had stayed on his two-week hunt, had told him about the uncontrollable lust that apparently all blacks have for raping white women. This theory wasn’t surprising; John Dyke had grown up, just a few years before us, in our projects, and was now an active Nazi skinhead. What shocked me was that Gavin had bought this crap. For Christ sake, the girl who’d been killed hadn’t even been white!
“I’m not even going to bother fighting street crime anymore,” he lectured on. “The real criminals that are sucking our community dry are being protected by the government: the immigrants taking our jobs, the blacks and Spanish spreading drugs, the queers and lesbians poisoning our families.”
I had to stop him right there. Both my parents are Ukrainian Jews so you can imagine how pissed I was getting. Also, Gavin, Durwood and I were from three of only five white families in a majority Hispanic ghetto. How the fuck could he believe all this neo-Nazi bullshit?
“You’re being an asshole,” I told him and I could feel myself shaking, not used to standing up for myself, and especially for other people. “John Dyke is a fucking Nazi, everything you’re saying now is wrong. And what you’re doing around the city is worse. It-it’s racist!”
He then told me in a cold, automatic monotone that racism doesn’t exist. I lost it at that point. We both got into a big shouting match and by the end, Gavin called me a Commie-Kike and stormed out of the room. I couldn’t get his words out of my head the whole night and I kept shaking and grinding my teeth together.
In the week that followed, I mostly stayed in my room after school. When I checked my Email account, I saw there was a message from Durwood. Oh great, the sidekick, I thought. Figuring it was Gavin’s attempt to make recompense, without apologizing, by proxy, I deleted the message without reading it and got on with my homework.
The next day there was another message from Durwood. Again I dumped it without reading. On the third day I had calmed down a bit over the whole thing and was legitimately curious. To my surprise, the message had nothing to do with Gavin. Durwood’s message was a simple Hey, how’s it going. He even asked me about what homework was like in freshman year. Nothing to do with what had transpired between Gavin and me at all. Pleased with the friendly hello, I responded in kind, asking him how he was doing. Fifteen minutes later there was a reply and we ended up chatting into the late evening till midnight. We continued doing this over the next couple nights and actually started hanging out after school. It was kind of nice since we only knew each other through Gavin, who seemed to be no longer in the picture. It was great that I had a new friend without completely separating myself from my past circle.
Over the next month I found out he and I had a lot in common. One Friday night when we were munching on nachos and cheese at the local arcade, he confided in me what it was like being Gavin’s sidekick.
“It was fucking horrible, man,” he commiserated, shaking his head, which was hanging very low. “Everything he wanted to do since he was five and I was three I had to go along with. He wanted to play Lone Ranger; I was Tonto. And any bullshit adventure he wanted to do, I got stuck tagging along.” He interrupted himself with a joyless scoff. “Did he ever tell you about the time when he was nine and he wanted to live out in the wilderness so he made me go with him to camp out in woods at Barrette Park? Shit, by the time they found us, I had poison ivy all over my arms and had eaten a goddamn grub. Yuck!”
“Well, why did you go along with him?” I asked. “How did you two even end up as friends?”
“Because,” he said with long emphasis. “His mother went to school with my mom. I guess she felt obligated after what happened.”
I nodded my head for a bit. That did make sense for the initial relationship. But…
“I mean,” I began again. “Why did you just do what-ever he said? You don’t have to do what he wants just because he’s your friend or your mom wants you to. You’re your own person.”
He then hid his eyes behind his hands. I soon realized he was holding his head, looking as if he was about to be sick. I then heard him say, in a weak, weak voice, “There’s more. There’s more, he…he just had – has this power over me. I just…just can't get loose of him. Fuck!”
Not knowing what to do and very uncomfortable, I patted him on the shoulder and told him it’d be all right. I suppose there was more he could have told me, but, honestly, I didn’t want to know. Life was much easier for the next couple of months. No more craziness, no more bullshit. For the first time in my life, I was actually friends with someone who wasn’t toxic and wasn’t so demanding of my time. I was actually doing well in school and there were talks of putting me in a higher set class for next fall.
After Easter weekend, however, I got back in touch with Gavin. It was early in the morning – I mean 5 AM early. I could hear my phone vibrate on my bedside table. I picked it up without looking at the call ID and answered.
“Hello?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“Corey!” I heard Gavin’s voice crack. “You-you gotta let me come over. Jesus, I need your help!”
Hearing the panic in his voice jolted me awake. I pressed the phone closer to my ear. “Calm down, what’s happening?”
“There’s a news story out about me. They’re saying I killed Officer Mitchell!”
My nerves locked. My body completely froze. No.
“Listen,” I heard him beg over the phone. “I’m about ten minutes away. I’ll sneak in through your backyard door to the basement. Your parents should still be asleep, right?”
“Yeah,” I muttered just audible, hoping in fact he wouldn’t hear it.
“Great!” he exclaimed, and I bit my lip hard. “I’ll be there soon.”
“Wait!” I stopped him, and to my relief the call was still in progress. “Why can’t you hide at Dyke’s? He’s further away from your house.” I could hear him suck his teeth through the receiver. “John’s gone. He’s been outta town for a while now. I got nowhere else to hide, man!”
“Alright, you can stay in my room for the day until I get back from school. Then we’ll have to figure something out for you.” He thanked me and I heard the short quiet chime of my phone, indicating the call had ended.
Having all this time to wait, my mind whirling from this sudden revelation, I searched the Internet on my phone. Not long after, I found a news article titled ST CLOUD COP SLAIN BY MASKED MAN, which was complete with a video. Apparently, Officer Mitchell had responded to a robbery that took place at a convenience store. I watched the video. The video was from a security camera videotaping the outside of the storefront. I could see, even in the grainy quality and the microscopic screen of my phone, one of the windows had been broken. Just then, as Officer Mitchell was walking out of the front door, I saw it – a shadow, moving fast right toward him. He turned his head just before the figure ran into him, but not fast enough. He fell to the ground clutching his side. The article said he had been stabbed with a knife. I then watched in absolute horror as the cop reached for his gun holster and the darkly veiled figure grabbed at it too, the two of them struggling until their was a sudden flash and the officer lay motionless on the ground, a spray of dark fluid staining the concrete behind his head. The figure then shot his lifeless person twice more before dropping the revolver and turning to leave. As it turned, I paused the video. The face was covered in a black skeletal mask, with piecing silver tinted eyes. The same from Gavin’s costume.
Gavin had still not arrived. Unsure how many knew the costume was his, I quickly dialed 9-1-1.
When Gavin got to my house, he was out of breath, panting and soaked with sweat. I got him a glass of tap of water and sat him down on my bed. He then told me the story in his own words:
“Listen, last night I was at home, okay? I – I had been out on patrol for a long, long while and had caught a cold. For the last few days I’ve been in bed.”
I looked at Gavin closely. I could tell he wasn’t sick.
“You said you weren’t going on patrol anymore,” I deliberated each word.
“Yeah, yeah!” he snapped, hastily. “But they're two fugitives reported in the news who were suspected of being in St Cloud!”
I had heard nothing of this.
“I saw the video,” I told him. “The guy was wearing your costume.”
“That’s the thing!” Gavin begged, reaching up at me and grabbing my shirt. “I haven’t warn that costume in months now. I swear to God, I threw it out in the trash. I told ya; John and I were focusing on organizing strikes against immigrants who were taking our jobs. I wasn’t going out and bustin’ heads no more! And here’s the other crazy thing. There’s no way I could have known that a robbery had taken place.”
I listened, analyzing each word. He had mentioned details about the case that I knew from the news report. But of course he would; he probably saw the news story, which was why he was panicked. Still….
“That’s the thing,” he rambled on, his eyes wide, pulling harder on my shirt. “Three days ago, the police radio went missing. I don’t know where it is.” I put my hands on his arms and tried to ease them off of me.
Just then there came a hard, echoing knock from the front door. “Police! Open up.”
Gavin swiveled his head in the direction of the sound. He turned to look at me and seemed to search my face before springing up to look out the window.
“Police…” he muttered, and his voice carried just enough for me to hear it. “But how…?” He then turned. I stood up. I was ready to dash out the room but, for some reason, I couldn’t. “You!” he yelled, pointing his finger accusingly at me. “You called the cops.”
I just stood there, stupid and silent, holding my arms up to try to gesture for him to be calm. Without another second of hesitation, he sprang on me and began hitting me in the side with his knees and fists. My life flashed before my eyes, as did the thought that I was alone with a killer.
“Help!” I screamed, hoping the police outside would hear me. “Help!” I wailed and was soon cut off by a blow to the jaw.
I raised my hands defensively over my head and curled up, trying to block his blows that were striking down hard all over my body. I didn’t hear the front door get broken down, or even my bedroom door slam open, but I did hear Gavin scream as he was pulled off by two police officers. They then proceeded to pin him to the floor and cuff his hands. My skin was throbbing from the speed of my pulse and I didn’t feel any pain, though in truth I was badly beaten up. They hauled Gavin off kicking and screaming, explaining he was under arrest for the murder of Police Officer, Sergeant Jerome Fergus Mitchell.
It didn’t take them long to find Gavin guilty. They found the costume in the trash in front of his house, although he swore to God he had gotten rid of it well before the murder took place. Beyond that, they had motive; everyone in the projects had seen Gavin berated by Mitchell, and knew what being a costumed crusader meant to him. Still, it was like pulling teeth to get people to testify. Only thing was, they never found his police radio. Gavin’s court appointed lawyer tried use this fact to raise doubt, since the prosecution kept arguing that Gavin had been known to have a police radio, which would explain how he knew the robbery took place and how he knew Officer Mitchell would be there since he knew his car number.
They ended up trying him as an adult and gave him 25 to life. I couldn’t believe this had happened to him even with what he had done. Christ, he wasn’t even sixteen.
By the time I was nearly done high school, the entire neighborhood had forgotten about Gavin. It was pretty much taboo to talk about him and even Durwood and I avoided the subject. But honestly, with time we didn’t care. We had both turned things around.
When Durwood finished middle school, he went to the same high school I did, which made school so much better since I had my best friend to hang out with. By the time I was in my senior year, we had both joined a few school clubs (no teams I’m afraid) and started a games club of our own and after moving up to some college prep classes, my grades were finally improving. I had attended a careers workshop and had made up my mind to go into an apprenticeship program for electricians. Durwood asked me about it later and decided that he would do the same thing after he graduated.
The summer after my senior year, Durwood and his mother were moving out to Minneapolis. I was sad to see him go but I could understand that maybe it was the best for him to leave all the bitter memories behind. The day he was going to move I helped him pack.
Around lunchtime, we were in his room, all of his things in tiny cardboard cubes around us. We took a break as we were both beat. Then his mom called him and he asked me to wait for him. After a few minutes I got bored and tried to lift a few more boxes. Now all of the boxes had been light up until now, mostly filled with clothes. This box I lifted was unexpectedly heavy and when I eased it off the stack, it fell from my grip and crashed to the floor. The sealed top opened up on impact and all the items spilled out on the carpet. I rushed to get everything back in the box and that’s when I saw what had given it so much weight – a black metallic radio. It was a police radio. Gavin’s police radio. The same he swore had gone missing three days before the murder took place. I sat there, staring at it. I then heard steps creak outside the room, and the door squeaking open…
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2018.05.01 13:27 snickeringhaystack [FICTION] My Best Friend Became a Murderer

By Malcolm MacDonald
My buddy Gavin had always tried to be a superhero. Yes. You read that right. Not he always loved superheroes – not even that he always wanted to be a superhero. He made a costume and mask when we were in middle school and had been crusading around the neighborhood to “stop crime” all the way till I was a sophomore in high school. I’m sure you’ve heard about people like this in the news; like the people in that movie Kick Ass. Gavin and I lived in the St Cloud projects and, even though I doubt he helped in anyway, there was a lot of crime and drug dealing to go around.
The most difficult thing for Gavin, I think, was that we lived in Minnesota, a state that doesn’t allow wearing masks in public. While most beat cops that came around our neighborhood laughed at Gavin and his masked antics, there was one cop that would have none of it: Officer Mitchell. He had a real hard-on for Gavin, or The Depths as he called his alter ego, and would always demand he take the mask off and not go around disguised in public. More on him later.
In truth, Gavin’s outfit was pretty sweet. It was all black, the fabric was flowing but not too baggy and the mask was made of this tough black plastic. It looked kinda like a skull, and the eye lenses were a piercing silver tint. He’d actually been working on it for a year. Every night after school, instead of hanging out or doing his homework, he’d go into the basement and sew up his costume. I kept telling him he could just buy a Halloween getup from K-Mart, which would be a lot less traceable, but he insisted on making his own.
As you can probably gather, he was big into Batman and, just like the character, would only “work” at night. This helped him avoid Officer Mitchell a few times when being chased down so he wouldn’t be unmasked. The outfit was perfect camouflage for the dark alleyways.
A lot of people, including teachers and most of the grownups in the projects, had figured that Gavin was mentally unstable or retarded. I never thought that was accurate though. If I’m being totally fair, Gavin was an averagely smart kid who was just preoccupied with things that took away from him ever getting good grades or learning anything that would get him a job. And he wasn’t crazy; he’d…just been through a lot.
His parents divorced when he was five. Before you dismiss this experience as just another typical 21st century reality, you should know that his father was in deep gambling debt and his mother was hooked on crack from the Minneapolis Crips. I’ll let you imagine how this all played out for young Gavin when the three of them were living under the same roof. They didn’t so much divorce as they separated and really neither of them was fit to raise Gavin so he went to live with his grandfather. When his grandpa croaked he went into foster homes, getting passed along seven times in four years. He eventually landed back in St Cloud with his older third cousin Howie, twice removed. Howie did shift work at a supermarket warehouse and didn’t have much time or patience for Gavin so you can imagine what their relationship was like.
I actually remember going along with Gavin, or The Depths, a few times when he scoured the streets at night for trouble. I don’t know why but for some reason he was never bothered with me knowing his ‘secret identity.’ In truth, when you live in the ghetto, there’s little your neighbors don’t know about you. Anyway, I remember one night I tagged along with The Depths after we’d heard news of a serial rapist in the area. I wasn’t in costume but he was, as well as Durwood, his sidekick. Now, trying to be a superhero in real life is pretty pathetic but being the side kick to a faux-superhero? That’s got to be the shits.
We mostly drank coffee and soda, freezing our balls off on a street corner and spying on the opposite side, looking for anything suspicious. Now, Durwood and I after an hour and a half had had enough. There was nothing there except a few drunks, ranting crazies, and maybe a hooker in a long trench coat. The Depths, however, refused to call it a night, insisting we’d find the rapist. Not long, we saw this tall man wearing baggy, layered clothing, who kept circling the block, over and over again.
“That guy keeps circling back,” Gavin hissed through his mask. Durwood and I looked at each other and, even though we weren’t friends, we could read the concerned panic in the other’s eyes. I think we both knew the shit was about to hit the fan when we heard Gavin’s paper cup hit the sidewalk. Gavin, like a shadow crossing your room when a car goes by at night, lurched forward and ran to the other side. He got right up and grabbed the guy by the lapels of his coat, yelling at him, demanding to know his whereabouts on such and such a date. A struggle ensued. I watched from the other side, paralyzed. Durwood stood next to me like a statue.
A fist flew from the man and he shouted, “The fuck’s with you freak? Get the fuck off!” Gavin then retaliated with one of those karate punches he’d taught himself from online videos and it did rock the guy back a few steps. Then the next thing I saw brought a swell of feverish heat bubbling to my otherwise shivering body. From out of the guy’s steep pocket he brought out a gleamingly silver, snub nose revolver. He pointed it, titled to the side at Gavin’s head. “Get the fuck off me, bruh!”
Gavin didn’t move and I thought then that it was over but he suddenly reached up and grabbed the guy by the wrist. The wrist of the hand holding the gun. I sunk back into the shadows and heaved, watching the grey barrel teeter and sway in several directions as the two of them grappled for it. Without a word, Durwood ran forward to the scene. I watched in abject horror, as he got closer to the point of the flaying firearm. I sunk deeper into the darkness. I then leapt and waxed cold upon the thunder of the gun’s shot.
The bullet ricocheted across the concrete and the weapon fell from the man’s hand as both Gavin and Durwood pushed him to the ground. I don’t know if it was the second person or the gun firing but the man scrambled to his feet and scampered away. I watched the two of them panting, Gavin much more than Durwood. Then, before they walked back across the road, Durwood stooped down and picked something up from off the sidewalk. When they brought it over we saw that it was a small plastic packet of meth. The guy had been a drug dealer, which would explain why he’d been circling the block over and over. The allusive serial rapist was never found. Durwood seemed the most embarrassed about the debacle. Gavin figured he had still stopped injustice. Me? I stopped tagging along. But I know that most of his crusades ended up in street fights, some he lost some he won. Sometimes he’d get unmasked but, that was okay; they didn’t know who he was anyway.
I stopped paying much attention. Around this time I was starting to think ahead a little bit; I was going into high school and wasn’t too glad to be put into the lowest set class in one of the worst schools in the city. Gavin wasn’t going to high school. He was instead focusing on his crime-fighting career. Truth is, he was terribly behaved and was probably suffering from undiagnosed ADHD. In retrospect, our school just couldn’t support him.
The worst came about when Gavin collected up his paper route money and Christmas cash (and some pilfered dollars from Howie’s wallet, I suspect) to buy a police radio. Like the karate moves he’d taught himself, he soon figured out what each of the coded numbers stood for.
Three days after this purchase, our projects got introduced to Officer Mitchell. He went door to door with a sketch of the mask that Gavin wore as The Depths. Luckily for Gavin, no one in the projects talks to cops, especially when it’s about someone who lives there. This usually applies to drug dealers and gangsters but they didn’t make an exception for a mildly disturbed would-be superhero.
Officer Mitchell came to my door last. My mother, who was home, told him she’d never seen anyone wearing that mask before, but called me over to take a look. Mitchell had told her that he believed the suspect was a child. I took a look and immediately recognized the skeletal quality of the mask. Regardless, I shook my head no. The officer then kneeled down and looked into my eyes. He smelled like burnt coffee and sweat, and his face was puffy and his eyes were cold – shifty. “Are you sure about that, son? No idea who this character could be?”
Again, I shook my head no. He then stood up and adjusted his uniform then thanked my mother. He left, but I knew he knew I was lying. I felt a chill go up my spine and it lingered there long after he’d left.
After that, and with much prodding from me and Durwood, Gavin finally decided to stop going out at night. “Alright,” he told us. “I’ll wait for something big over the radio.” This wasn’t exactly reassuring but was enough to settle my nerves for the time being.
One night, the three of us were hanging out in Howie’s cramped basement, playing X-box and sipping on some of the canned beer from the fridge, the police radio occasionally buzzing in the background.
After we’d got to the penultimate level of the game, the radio buzzed rather loudly with: “Car 64 be advised, 261 and possible 217 in progress on Yonge and Lexington.” Durwood and I heard it but neither of us paid it any mind. Gavin, though, he sat right up, his ears perked, dropping his controller to the floor. “10-4, this is Car 64, on pursuit to location, over.”
Gavin jumped up, rushing toward the radio and putting his ear right next to the speaker. Durwood and I were still sitting on the carpet but my head was turned. “What’s up, Gavin?”
“Shhh!” he hissed then promptly put his ear back to the radio.
“There’s a rape happening ten blocks from us.” At that moment I felt cold wash over me. I turned off the game and listened with him. Several minutes crawled by of nothing, just the low frizzle of the radio static.
Then we heard the officer’s voice return: “Dispatch, this is Car 64, we have a 217, requesting medical, over.” I didn’t need to know the codes to figure out what happened. The rape victim was dead.
“Roger, Car 64. Is the suspect in the area? Over.”
“Negative, dispatch. Suspect is reported to be a number 1 male, possibly local. Witnesses say he fled scene going west off Furlington. Notify all cars of situation.”
“10-4.”
Durwood’s hand was then clasped on Gavin’s shoulder and I could see he was writhing. “Maybe they’ll catch him,” I said pathetically.
“He’s right,” Durwood jumped in. “No point in going over there. Come on, calm down.”
It took a few minutes of restraining him, but Gavin agreed to stay in the basement. We turned on the TV and channel surfed for a bit, mostly watching cartoons. Durwood and I each popped open a new beer. Gavin didn’t even finish his already opened one. Didn’t even touch it. Or even look at it. He just sat there, next to the radio, his eyes staring lifeless at nothing.
The next day, I saw the front cover of the newspaper: HIDEOUS RAPE-MURDER ON YOUNGE AND LEXINGTON! Police Officer’s are in hot pursuit of evasive culprit
This wasn’t good. I didn’t see Gavin for two weeks straight. I called his house a couple times but each time I either got an answering machine or his cousin, telling me he was out and didn’t know where he was. I was scared then. This was bad.
All I knew was the detail of the suspect as they were relayed on the radio: Number One male. It didn’t take me long to find out that Number One meant black. I didn’t want to know how The Depths was going about finding the guy.
By the third week, on a Wednesday’s afternoon after school, I heard an uncommon sound for our block, coming outside my window: heavy tires crunching over the ragged pavement. Anytime a car came through our projects, it usually meant one thing: cops. I looked out my window to see a squad car had pulled into our block and was slowly creeping toward Gavin’s house. My mind filled with fears of the worst and I dashed down the steps and flew out to our front stoop. I watched Officer Mitchell emerge, his face rigid, his movements stiff and sudden. He then jerked open the passenger door and there was Gavin, his face exposed, bloodied, one eye blackened and swollen shut, his hands cuffed behind him.
Mitchell dragged Gavin toward the door, Gavin giving little resistance and showing even less mental presence. The policeman wrapped his knuckles hard on the door but no one ever came. Howie was working double shifts that week and hadn’t been home. I looked around and saw everybody on our block watching out the windows or over the fences (those that had fences).
“Where the fuck is your parental unit?” Mitchell demanded, shaking Gavin’s bound form violently. Gavin shrugged. Mitchell gave him another shake and shouted in his face. I could feel the eyes of our block peering heavier on both of them.
Officer Mitchell must have felt it too because after taking a long glance at the scene around him, he went behind Gavin and took the cuffs off. Gavin was about to unlock his door and go into his house, but not before Officer Mitchell clasped his hand against the door and brandished Mitchell’s mask in front of his face in a squelching grasp.
“Listen to me, you little shit,” he said low, but it carried in an echo so I could hear it. “Do yourself a favor and throw this and that faggotty outfit in the trash. I see you wearing it again anywhere and I will arrest you for suspicion of mischief and we’ll see if we can even get a hate crime charge tied to you, eh?” He then threw the mask hard at Gavin’s feet.
Hate crime. Oh Jesus, I thought. Had Gavin actually been going around the neighborhood harassing random black guys because of what he’d heard on the radio?
Officer Mitchell grabbed his heavy belt under his paunch and adjusted his trousers. “Your guardian or parent will be called later this week to inform them of the situation. Have a nice day.”
The eyes of the projects faded back into the houses as Mitchell’s prowler peeled off and Gavin’s door slammed shut. I was glad to know Gavin was okay and thought at the time the whole thing was over. Looking back, I now know how wrong I was.
The next day, I invited Gavin over and the two of us hung out in my room. We were there to play cards but, mostly, I needed to know what had happened.
The first thing I asked was about the shiner he had. “Did that prick Mitchell do that to you?”
He shook his head, almost smiling. “Nah, this was from one of the rapists.”
At this I must have looked at Gavin with complete confusion. He then relayed to me how there had been more than one rapist-murderer – that there had in fact been five – maybe ten who were involved in killing the girl. “Gang rape,” is the term he kept using. “I swear to you, Corey, there’s literally hundreds of them.”
“What do you mean?”
His eyes shifted to my door, perhaps checking that it was closed then he leaned close and said. “The blacks.”
My heart started pounding in my chest. Was I really hearing this? He then told me how, John Dyke, at whose house he had stayed on his two-week hunt, had told him about the uncontrollable lust that apparently all blacks have for raping white women. This theory wasn’t surprising; John Dyke had grown up, just a few years before us, in our projects, and was now an active Nazi skinhead. What shocked me was that Gavin had bought this crap. For Christ sake, the girl who’d been killed hadn’t even been white!
“I’m not even going to bother fighting street crime anymore,” he lectured on. “The real criminals that are sucking our community dry are being protected by the government: the immigrants taking our jobs, the blacks and Spanish spreading drugs, the queers and lesbians poisoning our families.”
I had to stop him right there. Both my parents are Ukrainian Jews so you can imagine how pissed I was getting. Also, Gavin, Durwood and I were from three of only five white families in a majority Hispanic ghetto. How the fuck could he believe all this neo-Nazi bullshit?
“You’re being an asshole,” I told him and I could feel myself shaking, not used to standing up for myself, and especially for other people. “John Dyke is a fucking Nazi, everything you’re saying now is wrong. And what you’re doing around the city is worse. It-it’s racist!”
He then told me in a cold, automatic monotone that racism doesn’t exist. I lost it at that point. We both got into a big shouting match and by the end, Gavin called me a Commie-Kike and stormed out of the room. I couldn’t get his words out of my head the whole night and I kept shaking and grinding my teeth together.
In the week that followed, I mostly stayed in my room after school. When I checked my Email account, I saw there was a message from Durwood. Oh great, the sidekick, I thought. Figuring it was Gavin’s attempt to make recompense, without apologizing, by proxy, I deleted the message without reading it and got on with my homework.
The next day there was another message from Durwood. Again I dumped it without reading. On the third day I had calmed down a bit over the whole thing and was legitimately curious. To my surprise, the message had nothing to do with Gavin. Durwood’s message was a simple Hey, how’s it going. He even asked me about what homework was like in freshman year. Nothing to do with what had transpired between Gavin and me at all. Pleased with the friendly hello, I responded in kind, asking him how he was doing. Fifteen minutes later there was a reply and we ended up chatting into the late evening till midnight. We continued doing this over the next couple nights and actually started hanging out after school. It was kind of nice since we only knew each other through Gavin, who seemed to be no longer in the picture. It was great that I had a new friend without completely separating myself from my past circle.
Over the next month I found out he and I had a lot in common. One Friday night when we were munching on nachos and cheese at the local arcade, he confided in me what it was like being Gavin’s sidekick.
“It was fucking horrible, man,” he commiserated, shaking his head, which was hanging very low. “Everything he wanted to do since he was five and I was three I had to go along with. He wanted to play Lone Ranger; I was Tonto. And any bullshit adventure he wanted to do, I got stuck tagging along.” He interrupted himself with a joyless scoff. “Did he ever tell you about the time when he was nine and he wanted to live out in the wilderness so he made me go with him to camp out in woods at Barrette Park? Shit, by the time they found us, I had poison ivy all over my arms and had eaten a goddamn grub. Yuck!”
“Well, why did you go along with him?” I asked. “How did you two even end up as friends?”
“Because,” he said with long emphasis. “His mother went to school with my mom. I guess she felt obligated after what happened.”
I nodded my head for a bit. That did make sense for the initial relationship. But…
“I mean,” I began again. “Why did you just do what-ever he said? You don’t have to do what he wants just because he’s your friend or your mom wants you to. You’re your own person.”
He then hid his eyes behind his hands. I soon realized he was holding his head, looking as if he was about to be sick. I then heard him say, in a weak, weak voice, “There’s more. There’s more, he…he just had – has this power over me. I just…just can't get loose of him. Fuck!”
Not knowing what to do and very uncomfortable, I patted him on the shoulder and told him it’d be all right. I suppose there was more he could have told me, but, honestly, I didn’t want to know. Life was much easier for the next couple of months. No more craziness, no more bullshit. For the first time in my life, I was actually friends with someone who wasn’t toxic and wasn’t so demanding of my time. I was actually doing well in school and there were talks of putting me in a higher set class for next fall.
After Easter weekend, however, I got back in touch with Gavin. It was early in the morning – I mean 5 AM early. I could hear my phone vibrate on my bedside table. I picked it up without looking at the call ID and answered.
“Hello?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“Corey!” I heard Gavin’s voice crack. “You-you gotta let me come over. Jesus, I need your help!”
Hearing the panic in his voice jolted me awake. I pressed the phone closer to my ear. “Calm down, what’s happening?”
“There’s a news story out about me. They’re saying I killed Officer Mitchell!”
My nerves locked. My body completely froze. No.
“Listen,” I heard him beg over the phone. “I’m about ten minutes away. I’ll sneak in through your backyard door to the basement. Your parents should still be asleep, right?”
“Yeah,” I muttered just audible, hoping in fact he wouldn’t hear it.
“Great!” he exclaimed, and I bit my lip hard. “I’ll be there soon.”
“Wait!” I stopped him, and to my relief the call was still in progress. “Why can’t you hide at Dyke’s? He’s further away from your house.” I could hear him suck his teeth through the receiver. “John’s gone. He’s been outta town for a while now. I got nowhere else to hide, man!”
“Alright, you can stay in my room for the day until I get back from school. Then we’ll have to figure something out for you.” He thanked me and I heard the short quiet chime of my phone, indicating the call had ended.
Having all this time to wait, my mind whirling from this sudden revelation, I searched the Internet on my phone. Not long after, I found a news article titled ST CLOUD COP SLAIN BY MASKED MAN, which was complete with a video. Apparently, Officer Mitchell had responded to a robbery that took place at a convenience store. I watched the video. The video was from a security camera videotaping the outside of the storefront. I could see, even in the grainy quality and the microscopic screen of my phone, one of the windows had been broken. Just then, as Officer Mitchell was walking out of the front door, I saw it – a shadow, moving fast right toward him. He turned his head just before the figure ran into him, but not fast enough. He fell to the ground clutching his side. The article said he had been stabbed with a knife. I then watched in absolute horror as the cop reached for his gun holster and the darkly veiled figure grabbed at it too, the two of them struggling until their was a sudden flash and the officer lay motionless on the ground, a spray of dark fluid staining the concrete behind his head. The figure then shot his lifeless person twice more before dropping the revolver and turning to leave. As it turned, I paused the video. The face was covered in a black skeletal mask, with piecing silver tinted eyes. The same from Gavin’s costume.
Gavin had still not arrived. Unsure how many knew the costume was his, I quickly dialed 9-1-1.
When Gavin got to my house, he was out of breath, panting and soaked with sweat. I got him a glass of tap of water and sat him down on my bed. He then told me the story in his own words:
“Listen, last night I was at home, okay? I – I had been out on patrol for a long, long while and had caught a cold. For the last few days I’ve been in bed.”
I looked at Gavin closely. I could tell he wasn’t sick.
“You said you weren’t going on patrol anymore,” I deliberated each word.
“Yeah, yeah!” he snapped, hastily. “But they're two fugitives reported in the news who were suspected of being in St Cloud!”
I had heard nothing of this.
“I saw the video,” I told him. “The guy was wearing your costume.”
“That’s the thing!” Gavin begged, reaching up at me and grabbing my shirt. “I haven’t warn that costume in months now. I swear to God, I threw it out in the trash. I told ya; John and I were focusing on organizing strikes against immigrants who were taking our jobs. I wasn’t going out and bustin’ heads no more! And here’s the other crazy thing. There’s no way I could have known that a robbery had taken place.”
I listened, analyzing each word. He had mentioned details about the case that I knew from the news report. But of course he would; he probably saw the news story, which was why he was panicked. Still….
“That’s the thing,” he rambled on, his eyes wide, pulling harder on my shirt. “Three days ago, the police radio went missing. I don’t know where it is.” I put my hands on his arms and tried to ease them off of me.
Just then there came a hard, echoing knock from the front door. “Police! Open up.”
Gavin swiveled his head in the direction of the sound. He turned to look at me and seemed to search my face before springing up to look out the window.
“Police…” he muttered, and his voice carried just enough for me to hear it. “But how…?” He then turned. I stood up. I was ready to dash out the room but, for some reason, I couldn’t. “You!” he yelled, pointing his finger accusingly at me. “You called the cops.”
I just stood there, stupid and silent, holding my arms up to try to gesture for him to be calm. Without another second of hesitation, he sprang on me and began hitting me in the side with his knees and fists. My life flashed before my eyes, as did the thought that I was alone with a killer.
“Help!” I screamed, hoping the police outside would hear me. “Help!” I wailed and was soon cut off by a blow to the jaw.
I raised my hands defensively over my head and curled up, trying to block his blows that were striking down hard all over my body. I didn’t hear the front door get broken down, or even my bedroom door slam open, but I did hear Gavin scream as he was pulled off by two police officers. They then proceeded to pin him to the floor and cuff his hands. My skin was throbbing from the speed of my pulse and I didn’t feel any pain, though in truth I was badly beaten up. They hauled Gavin off kicking and screaming, explaining he was under arrest for the murder of Police Officer, Sergeant Jerome Fergus Mitchell.
It didn’t take them long to find Gavin guilty. They found the costume in the trash in front of his house, although he swore to God he had gotten rid of it well before the murder took place. Beyond that, they had motive; everyone in the projects had seen Gavin berated by Mitchell, and knew what being a costumed crusader meant to him. Still, it was like pulling teeth to get people to testify. Only thing was, they never found his police radio. Gavin’s court appointed lawyer tried use this fact to raise doubt, since the prosecution kept arguing that Gavin had been known to have a police radio, which would explain how he knew the robbery took place and how he knew Officer Mitchell would be there since he knew his car number.
They ended up trying him as an adult and gave him 25 to life. I couldn’t believe this had happened to him even with what he had done. Christ, he wasn’t even sixteen.
By the time I was nearly done high school, the entire neighborhood had forgotten about Gavin. It was pretty much taboo to talk about him and even Durwood and I avoided the subject. But honestly, with time we didn’t care. We had both turned things around.
When Durwood finished middle school, he went to the same high school I did, which made school so much better since I had my best friend to hang out with. By the time I was in my senior year, we had both joined a few school clubs (no teams I’m afraid) and started a games club of our own and after moving up to some college prep classes, my grades were finally improving. I had attended a careers workshop and had made up my mind to go into an apprenticeship program for electricians. Durwood asked me about it later and decided that he would do the same thing after he graduated.
The summer after my senior year, Durwood and his mother were moving out to Minneapolis. I was sad to see him go but I could understand that maybe it was the best for him to leave all the bitter memories behind. The day he was going to move I helped him pack.
Around lunchtime, we were in his room, all of his things in tiny cardboard cubes around us. We took a break as we were both beat. Then his mom called him and he asked me to wait for him. After a few minutes I got bored and tried to lift a few more boxes. Now all of the boxes had been light up until now, mostly filled with clothes. This box I lifted was unexpectedly heavy and when I eased it off the stack, it fell from my grip and crashed to the floor. The sealed top opened up on impact and all the items spilled out on the carpet. I rushed to get everything back in the box and that’s when I saw what had given it so much weight – a black metallic radio. It was a police radio. Gavin’s police radio. The same he swore had gone missing three days before the murder took place. I sat there, staring at it. I then heard steps creak outside the room, and the door squeaking open…
submitted by snickeringhaystack to freehorrorstories [link] [comments]


2018.02.15 09:05 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard) 28 July 2017

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to WorkersVanguard [link] [comments]


2017.08.15 05:54 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to Left_and_right [link] [comments]


2017.08.15 01:38 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to impracticaltalk [link] [comments]


2017.08.15 01:23 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
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2017.08.15 01:05 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to TheoryTime [link] [comments]


2017.08.14 23:46 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to AdultTalk101 [link] [comments]


2017.08.04 07:03 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard) 28 July 2017

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to GetIdeas [link] [comments]


2017.08.02 18:51 finnagains Charlottesville VA: Confederate Flag Waving Alt Right Rally - 8 July 2017 (x-post /r/WorkersVanguard2)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by finnagains to redstatereds [link] [comments]


2017.08.02 18:21 finnagains Charlottesville VA: Confederate Flag Waving Alt Right Rally - 8 July 2017 (x-post /r/WorkersVanguard2)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by finnagains to WTF3 [link] [comments]


2017.08.02 18:08 finnagains Charlottesville VA: Confederate Flag Waving Alt-Right Rally - 8 July 2017

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by finnagains to altnewz [link] [comments]


2017.08.02 17:55 finnagains Charlottesville VA: Confederate Flag Waving Alt Right Rally - 8 July 2017 (x-post /r/WorkersVanguard2)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by finnagains to altnews [link] [comments]


2017.08.02 17:12 finnagains Charlottesville, VA: Waving the Flag of Slavery - Alt Right Rally 8 July 2017 (x-post /r/WorkersVanguard2)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by finnagains to ResistTyranny [link] [comments]


2017.08.02 17:01 finnagains Charlottesville VA: Waving the Flag of Slavery - Alt-Right Rally - 8 July 2017 (x-post /r/WorkersVanguard2)

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by finnagains to AnythingGoesUltimate [link] [comments]


2017.08.02 02:04 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard) 28 July 2017

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to WorkersVanguard2 [link] [comments]


2017.08.01 20:39 FinnagainsAwake Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville - “Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide (Workers Vanguard) 28 July 2017

https://archive.is/Nqx24
Workers Vanguard No. 1115 28 July 2017
Waving the Flag of Slavery in Charlottesville
“Alt-Right” Fascists: Shock Troops for Racist Genocide
In Virginia, the state where Confederate general Robert E. Lee was defeated and surrendered, the small city of Charlottesville has become ground zero for fascist defenders of the Southern slavocracy. On July 8, 50 Klansmen, many in the hoods and robes of lynch rope terror, rallied in defense of a statue of Lee that the city council had voted to remove. On top of this, a new breed of fascist organizations in the “alt-right” is calling for a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in front of Lee’s statue. The poster for the rally features armed troops marching under the battle flag of slavery, surrounded by monuments to military and other Confederate leaders and with Nazi-style eagles flying overhead. This is a direct attack against black people.
Emboldened by the “Make America Great Again” racism of the Trump administration, fascist organizations like Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Party have been staging provocations across the country. The fascists are paramilitary shock troops that are held in reserve by the capitalist rulers and unleashed at times of social crisis against any prospect of revolutionary struggle by the working class. Their purpose is nothing less than the destruction of the workers movement, including unions and the left, and racial genocide. In the U.S., that means they especially have black people in their sights.
The roots of American fascism go back to the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army in the Civil War. The KKK and other race-terrorists came into being after that victory to bloodily suppress the newly freed slaves. No less than the Klan, the fascist vermin in the “alt-right” today represent a threat to the very right of black people to exist.
To date, this new crop of fascists has mainly aimed its fire at Muslims, immigrants, Jews and the antifas (anti-fascist activists) who have mobilized against them. Feeling the wind in their sails, they are now openly building for race-terror against black people through their “Unite the Right” rally, including by competing with the Klan over who best represents the “heritage” of the slavocracy. The aim of these fascists is to reverse the verdict of the Civil War.
The speakers list for the August 12 rally is a veritable who’s who of the contemporary American fascist movement. First among them is would-be führer Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute. In May, Spencer led dozens of fascists carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans in Charlottesville in defense of Lee’s statue. Other speakers include Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Michael Hill, president of the League of the South. “Former” Klansman David Duke, a keynote speaker at the League of the South’s recent conference, is backing the August 12 rally.
Every time the fascists successfully rally, they gain confidence and win new recruits to their program of race-terror. In June 2016, when white-supremacists of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden Gate Skinheads descended on Sacramento, they stabbed and slashed at least seven anti-fascists. This April, hundreds of fascists rioted in downtown Berkeley, where they chanted, “Hitler did nothing wrong” and attacked anti-fascists and leftists with clubs, flagpoles and knives. A week after Spencer’s torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old black student and Army lieutenant, was killed at the University of Maryland by a fascist. In early June, fascists rallied in Portland in what was essentially a celebration of the murder of two men who had intervened to stop the racist abuse of two women—one black, one Muslim—by a white-supremacist who had attended “alt-right” rallies.
Like the Klan, these neo-Nazis are the genuine face of American fascism. And they have powerful defenders, from the off-duty and retired cops and military personnel in the Oath Keepers who have provided security at their rallies to the regular police thugs of the capitalist state. On July 8 in Charlottesville, police arrested 23 of the more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest the Klan’s provocation. Four of those arrested face felony charges, including for wearing a mask in public. With the local chief of police arguing that his main concern was “not the KKK,” cops intimidated and harassed anti-racist activists at their homes and workplaces in the weeks before the KKK rally. A spokesman for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) told Al Jazeera (8 July) that the cops singled out non-whites for harassment at their homes. Drop all charges against the anti-Klan protesters!
Now, SURJ is appealing to the Charlottesville city government to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally. To rely on the forces that administer capitalist “law and order” to ban the fascists is a deadly delusion. It is those very forces that repress anti-fascist fighters. The protesters who had signs declaring “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand” had it right. While the cops were hurling tear gas against the anti-Klan militants, their bosses in the local government organized prayer meetings and “community discussion” together with assorted preachers, invoking the fascists’ “right to free speech.”
Fascism is not about free speech; it is about racist terror. Black people know only too well that when the fascists speak, it is with the lynch rope. Their “words” are fired out of the barrel of a gun. Their intent is to organize for an America in which black people do not exist. As the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party wrote in Socialist Appeal (3 March 1939), “The workers who spend all their time and energy in the abstract discussion of the Nazis’ ‘democratic rights’...will end their discussion under a Fascist club in a concentration camp.”
In contrast to the fascists, who see their road to power through extraparliamentary violence, right-wingers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are racist provocateurs and ideologues. When antifa groups shut down their speaking tours, they fall right into these bigots’ trap, handing them the flag of “freedom of speech” to wave like a bloody shirt. The likes of Yiannopoulos and Coulter should be protested, exposed and refuted. But to equate them with fascists only serves to disarm people in the face of the Nazis and other race-terrorists, who must be crushed in the egg.
The thousand-strong anti-Klan turnout on July 8 shows that there are plenty of people who want to stop the fascists in their tracks. Among such activists are antifa groups across the country. But while they have often shown real courage, the confrontations waged by small groups of antifas will not stop the fascist gangs. The fascists must be met by an overpowering counterforce, based on disciplined mobilizations of the multiracial working class. As Leon Trotsky, who together with V.I. Lenin was a central leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, wrote in the Transitional Program (1938) on the fight against Hitler’s Nazis: “Only armed workers’ detachments, who feel the support of tens of millions of toilers behind them, can successfully prevail against the fascist bands. The struggle against fascism does not start in the liberal editorial office but in the factory—and ends in the street.”
The new fascist organizations are small, but they are growing, armed and dangerous. They feed off economic devastation and are emboldened by official racist reaction. But the bitter economic and social discontent of the working class and oppressed can also fuel the rise of a fighting workers movement. In the U.S. during the 1930s Depression, militant workers who had waged pitched battles against the bosses and their state in order to organize unions struck some real “fear of god” into the fascist gangs.
In Minneapolis, where truckers strikes led by Trotskyist militants in 1934 laid the basis for the growth of the Teamsters into a powerful nationwide union, strike leaders and other battle-tested militants organized a union defense guard to take on a fascist gang called the Silver Shirts. The defense guard was led by Ray Rainbolt—one of the key fighters in 1934, a military veteran and American Indian—and included hundreds of union members. In Teamster Politics (Monad Press, 1975), Farrell Dobbs, a young Trotskyist leader of the truckers strikes, recalled that the defense guard aimed to build a labor-centered fighting force that would “include the unemployed, minority peoples, youth—all potential victims of the fascists, vigilantes, or other reactionaries.” When the Silver Shirts tried to hold a rally in Minneapolis, members of the defense guard were called out to the site. The audience turned tail and ran, and, having gotten wind of the union action, the Silver Shirts leader didn’t even show up.
Today, the idea that organized labor would mobilize its power in its own interests, as well as in opposition to the fascists, might seem fantastical, particularly to youth who have seen little to no union struggle. Responsibility for this situation lies with the trade-union misleaders, who have shackled the social power of the working class to the interests of their capitalist exploiters, particularly through the Democratic Party. But labor has real power, which lies in its numbers, collective organization and, above all, its ability to choke off profits through strikes and other actions. Whether it is the factory floor, the transit barns or the docks, the workplace remains the main site of integration in racist capitalist America.
Labor can and must be organized to smash the fascists. The potential for such action was shown in a small but real way by the laboblack mobilizations initiated by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee to stop Klan and Nazi provocations in several cities in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Through flexing their muscle in massive, multiracial mobilizations against the fascists, the workers will come to recognize their power as a class. What must be done is to build a revolutionary workers party that will wield that power to finally fulfill the promise of black freedom and emancipate all the exploited and oppressed. It will take nothing less than a third, socialist American Revolution to break the chains of racist capitalist rule and bury the fascist gangs for good. For laboblack action to stop the fascists!
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1115/fascists.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to Blackliberation [link] [comments]


2017.03.19 14:59 Inspector_Legrasse20 My Best Friend Became a Murderer

My buddy Gavin had always tried to be a superhero. Yes. You read that right. Not he always loved superheroes – not even that he always wanted to be a superhero. He made a costume and mask when we were in middle school and had been crusading around the neighborhood to ‘stop crime’ all the way till I was a sophomore in high school. I’m sure you’ve heard about people like this in the news; like the people in that movie Kick Ass. Gavin and I lived in the St Cloud projects and, even though I doubt he helped in anyway, there was a lot of crime and drug dealing to go around.
The most difficult thing for Gavin, I think, was that we lived in Minnesota, a state that doesn’t allow wearing masks in public. While most beat cops that came around our neighborhood laughed at Gavin and his masked antics, there was one cop that would have none of it: Officer Mitchell. He had a real hard-on for Gavin, or The Depths as he called his alter ego, and would always demand he take the mask off and not go around disguised in public. More on him later.
In truth, Gavin’s outfit was pretty sweet. It was all black, the fabric was flowing but not too baggy and the mask was made of this tough black plastic. It looked kinda like a skull, and the eye lenses were a piercing silver tint. He’d actually been working on it for a year. Every night after school, instead of hanging out or doing his homework, he’d go into the basement and sew up his costume. I kept telling him he could just buy a Halloween getup from K-Mart, which would be a lot less traceable, but he insisted on making his own.
As you can probably gather, he was big into Batman and, just like the character, would only ‘work’ at night. This helped him avoid Officer Mitchell a few times when being chased down so he wouldn’t be unmasked. The outfit was perfect camouflage for the dark alleyways.
A lot of people, including teachers and most of the grownups in the projects, had figured that Gavin was mentally unstable or retarded. I never thought that was accurate though. If I’m being totally fair, Gavin was an averagely smart kid who was just preoccupied with things that took away from him ever getting good grades or learning anything that would get him a job. And he wasn’t crazy; he’d…just been through a lot.
His parents divorced when he was five. Before you dismiss this experience as just another typical 21st century reality, you should know that his father was in deep gambling debt and his mother was hooked on crack from the Minneapolis Crips. I’ll let you imagine how this all played out for young Gavin when the three of them were living under the same roof. They didn’t so much divorce as they separated and really neither of them was fit to raise Gavin so he went to live with his grandfather. When his grandpa croaked he went into foster homes, getting passed along seven times in four years. He eventually landed back in St Cloud with his older third cousin Howie, twice removed. Howie did shift work at a supermarket warehouse and didn’t have much time or patience for Gavin so you can imagine what their relationship was like.
I actually remember going along with Gavin, or The Depths, a few times when he scoured the streets at night for trouble. I don’t know why but for some reason he was never bothered with me knowing his ‘secret identity.’ In truth, when you live in the ghetto, there’s little your neighbors don’t know about you. Anyway, I remember one night I tagged along with The Depths after we’d heard news of a serial rapist in the area. I wasn’t in costume but he was, as well as Durwood, his sidekick. Now, trying to be a superhero in real life is pretty pathetic but being the side kick to a faux-superhero? That’s got to be the shits.
We mostly drank coffee and soda, freezing our balls off on a street corner and spying on the opposite side, looking for anything suspicious. Now, Durwood and I after an hour and a half had had enough. There was nothing there except a few drunks, ranting crazies, and maybe a hooker in a long trench coat. The Depths, however, refused to call it a night, insisting we’d find the rapist. Not long, we saw this tall man wearing baggy, layered clothing, who kept circling the block, over and over again.
“That guy keeps circling back,” Gavin hissed through his mask. Durwood and I looked at each other and, even though we weren’t friends, we could read the concerned panic in the other’s eyes. I think we both knew the shit was about to hit the fan when we heard Gavin’s paper cup hit the sidewalk. Gavin, like a shadow crossing your room when a car goes by at night, lurched forward and ran to the other side. He got right up and grabbed the guy by the lapels of his coat, yelling at him, demanding to know his whereabouts on such and such a date. A struggle ensued. I watched from the other side, paralyzed. Durwood stood next to me like a statue.
A fist flew from the man and he shouted, “The fuck’s with you freak? Get the fuck off!” Gavin then retaliated with one of those karate punches he’d taught himself from online videos and it did rock the guy back a few steps. Then the next thing I saw brought a swell of feverish heat bubbling to my otherwise shivering body. From out of the guy’s steep pocket he brought out a gleamingly silver, snub nose revolver. He pointed it, titled to the side at Gavin’s head. “Get the fuck off me, bruh!”
Gavin didn’t move and I thought then that it was over but he suddenly reached up and grabbed the guy by the wrist. The wrist of the hand holding the gun. I sunk back into the shadows and heaved, watching the grey barrel teeter and sway in several directions as the two of them grappled for it. Without a word, Durwood ran forward to the scene. I watched in abject horror, as he got closer to the point of the flaying firearm. I sunk deeper into the darkness. I then leapt and waxed cold upon the thunder of the gun’s shot.
The bullet ricocheted across the concrete and the weapon fell from the man’s hand as both Gavin and Durwood pushed him to the ground. I don’t know if it was the second person or the gun firing but the man scrambled to his feet and scampered away. I watched the two of them panting, Gavin much more than Durwood. Then, before they walked back across the road, Durwood stooped down and picked something up from off the sidewalk. When they brought it over we saw that it was a small plastic packet of meth. The guy had been a drug dealer, which would explain why he’d been circling the block over and over. The allusive serial rapist was never found.
Durwood seemed the most embarrassed about the debacle. Gavin figured he had still stopped injustice. Me? I stopped tagging along. But I know that most of his crusades ended up in street fights, some he lost some he won. Sometimes he’d get unmasked but, that was okay; they didn’t know who he was anyway.
I stopped paying much attention. Around this time I was starting to think ahead a little bit; I was going into high school and wasn’t too glad to be put into the lowest set class in one of the worst schools in the city. Gavin wasn’t going to high school. He was instead focusing on his crime-fighting career. Truth is, he was terribly behaved and was probably suffering from undiagnosed ADHD. In retrospect, our school just couldn’t support him.
The worst came about when Gavin collected up his paper route money and Christmas cash (and some pilfered dollars from Howie’s wallet, I suspect) to buy a police radio. Like the karate moves he’d taught himself, he soon figured out what each of the coded numbers stood for.
Three days after this purchase, our projects got introduced to Officer Mitchell. He went door to door with a sketch of the mask that Gavin wore as The Depths. Luckily for Gavin, no one in the projects talks to cops, especially when it’s about someone who lives there. This usually applies to drug dealers and gangsters but they didn’t make an exception for a mildly disturbed would-be superhero.
Officer Mitchell came to my door last. My mother, who was home, told him she’d never seen anyone wearing that mask before, but called me over to take a look. Mitchell had told her that he believed the suspect was a child. I took a look and immediately recognized the skeletal quality of the mask. Regardless, I shook my head no. The officer then kneeled down and looked into my eyes. He smelled like burnt coffee and sweat, and his face was puffy and his eyes were cold – shifty. “Are you sure about that, son? No idea who this character could be?”
Again, I shook my head no. He then stood up and adjusted his uniform then thanked my mother. He left, but I knew he knew I was lying. I felt a chill go up my spine and it lingered there long after he’d left.
After that, and with much prodding from me and Durwood, Gavin finally decided to stop going out at night. “Alright,” he told us. “I’ll wait for something big over the radio.” This wasn’t exactly reassuring but was enough to settle my nerves for the time being.
One night, the three of us were hanging out in Howie’s cramped basement, playing X-box and sipping on some of the canned beer from the fridge, the police radio occasionally buzzing in the background.
After we’d got to the penultimate level of the game, the radio buzzed rather loudly with: “Car 64 be advised, 261 and possible 217 in progress on Yonge and Lexington.” Durwood and I heard it but neither of us paid it any mind. Gavin, though, he sat right up, his ears perked, dropping his controller to the floor. “10-4, this is Car 64, on pursuit to location, over.”
Gavin jumped up, rushing toward the radio and putting his ear right next to the speaker. Durwood and I were still sitting on the carpet but my head was turned. “What’s up, Gavin?”
“Shhh!” he hissed then promptly put his ear back to the radio. “There’s a rape happening ten blocks from us.” At that moment I felt cold wash over me. I turned off the game and listened with him. Several minutes crawled by of nothing, just the low frizzle of the radio static. Then we heard the officer’s voice return: “Dispatch, this is Car 64, we have a 217, requesting medical, over.” I didn’t need to know the codes to figure out what happened. The rape victim was dead.
“Roger, Car 64. Is the suspect in the area? Over.”
“Negative, dispatch. Suspect is reported to be a number 1 male, possibly local. Witnesses say he fled scene going west off Furlington. Notify all cars of situation.”
“10-4.”
Durwood’s hand was then clasped on Gavin’s shoulder and I could see he was writhing. “Maybe they’ll catch him,” I said pathetically.
“He’s right,” Durwood jumped in. “No point in going over there. Come on, calm down.”
It took a few minutes of restraining him, but Gavin agreed to stay in the basement. We turned on the TV and channel surfed for a bit, mostly watching cartoons. Durwood and I each popped open a new beer. Gavin didn’t even finish his already opened one. Didn’t even touch it. Or even look at it. He just sat there, next to the radio, his eyes staring lifeless at nothing.
The next day, I saw the front cover of the newspaper: HIDEOUS RAPE-MURDER ON YOUNGE AND LEXINGTON! Police Officer’s are in hot pursuit of evasive culprit
This wasn’t good. I didn’t see Gavin for two weeks straight. I called his house a couple times but each time I either got an answering machine or his cousin, telling me he was out and didn’t know where he was. I was scared then. This was bad.
All I knew was the detail of the suspect as they were relayed on the radio: Number One male. It didn’t take me long to find out that Number One meant black. I didn’t want to know how The Depths was going about finding the guy.
By the third week, on a Wednesday’s afternoon after school, I heard an uncommon sound for our block, coming outside my window: heavy tires crunching over the ragged pavement. Anytime a car came through our projects, it usually meant one thing: cops. I looked out my window to see a squad car had pulled into our block and was slowly creeping toward Gavin’s house. My mind filled with fears of the worst and I dashed down the steps and flew out to our front stoop. I watched Officer Mitchell emerge, his face rigid, his movements stiff and sudden. He then jerked open the passenger door and there was Gavin, his face exposed, bloodied, one eye blackened and swollen shut, his hands cuffed behind him.
Mitchell dragged Gavin toward the door, Gavin giving little resistance and showing even less mental presence. The policeman wrapped his knuckles hard on the door but no one ever came. Howie was working double shifts that week and hadn’t been home. I looked around and saw everybody on our block watching out the windows or over the fences (those that had fences).
“Where the fuck is your parental unit?” Mitchell demanded, shaking Gavin’s bound form violently. Gavin shrugged. Mitchell gave him another shake and shouted in his face. I could feel the eyes of our block peering heavier on both of them.
Officer Mitchell must have felt it too because after taking a long glance at the scene around him, he went behind Gavin and took the cuffs off. Gavin was about to unlock his door and go into his house, but not before Officer Mitchell clasped his hand against the door and brandished Mitchell’s mask in front of his face in a squelching grasp.
“Listen to me, you little shit,” he said low, but it carried in an echo so I could hear it. “Do yourself a favor and throw this and that faggotty outfit in the trash. I see you wearing it again anywhere and I will arrest you for suspicion of mischief and we’ll see if we can even get a hate crime charge tied to you, eh?” He then threw the mask hard at Gavin’s feet. Hate crime. Oh Jesus, I thought. Had Gavin actually been going around the neighborhood harassing random black guys because of what he’d heard on the radio?
Officer Mitchell grabbed his heavy belt under his paunch and adjusted his trousers. “Your guardian or parent will be called later this week to inform them of the situation. Have a nice day.”
The eyes of the projects faded back into the houses as Mitchell’s prowler peeled off and Gavin’s door slammed shut. I was glad to know Gavin was okay and thought at the time the whole thing was over. Looking back, I now know how wrong I was.
The next day, I invited Gavin over and the two of us hung out in my room. We were there to play cards but, mostly, I needed to know what had happened. The first thing I asked was about the shiner he had. “Did that prick Mitchell do that to you?” He shook his head, almost smiling. “Nah, this was from one of the rapists.”
At this I must have looked at Gavin with complete confusion. He then relayed to me how there had been more than one rapist-murderer – that there had in fact been five – maybe ten who were involved in killing the girl. “Gang rape,” is the term he kept using. “I swear to you, Corey, there’s literally hundreds of them.”
“What do you mean?”
His eyes shifted to my door, perhaps checking that it was closed then he leaned close and said. “The blacks.”
My heart started pounding in my chest. Was I really hearing this?
He then told me how, John Dyke, at whose house he had stayed on his two-week hunt, had told him about the uncontrollable lust that apparently all blacks have for raping white women. This theory wasn’t surprising; John Dyke had grown up, just a few years before us, in our projects, and was now an active Nazi skinhead. What shocked me was that Gavin had bought this crap. For Christ sake, the girl who’d been killed hadn’t even been white!
“I’m not even going to bother fighting street crime anymore,” he lectured on. “The real criminals that are sucking our community dry are being protected by the government: the immigrants taking our jobs, the blacks and Spanish spreading drugs, the queers and lesbians poisoning our families.”
I had to stop him right there. Both my parents are Ukrainian Jews so you can imagine how pissed I was getting. Also, Gavin, Durwood and I were from three of only five white families in a majority Hispanic ghetto. How the fuck could he believe all this neo-Nazi bullshit?
“You’re being an asshole,” I told him and I could feel myself shaking, not used to standing up for myself, and especially for other people. “John Dyke is a fucking Nazi, everything you’re saying now is wrong. And what you’re doing around the city is worse. It-it’s racist!”
He then told me in a cold, automatic monotone that racism doesn’t exist. I lost it at that point. We both got into a big shouting match and by the end, Gavin called me a Commie-Kike and stormed out of the room. I couldn’t get his words out of my head the whole night and I kept shaking and grinding my teeth together.
In the week that followed, I mostly stayed in my room after school. When I checked my Email account, I saw there was a message from Durwood. Oh great, the sidekick, I thought. Figuring it was Gavin’s attempt to make recompense, without apologizing, by proxy, I deleted the message without reading it and got on with my homework.
The next day there was another message from Durwood. Again I dumped it without reading. On the third day I had calmed down a bit over the whole thing and was legitimately curious. To my surprise, the message had nothing to do with Gavin. Durwood’s message was a simple Hey, how’s it going. He even asked me about what homework was like in freshman year. Nothing to do with what had transpired between Gavin and me at all. Pleased with the friendly hello, I responded in kind, asking him how he was doing. Fifteen minutes later there was a reply and we ended up chatting into the late evening till midnight. We continued doing this over the next couple nights and actually started hanging out after school. It was kind of nice since we only knew each other through Gavin, who seemed to be no longer in the picture. It was great that I had a new friend without completely separating myself from my past circle.
Over the next month I found out he and I had a lot in common. One Friday night when we were munching on nachos and cheese at the local arcade, he confided in me what it was like being Gavin’s sidekick.
“It was fucking horrible, man,” he commiserated, shaking his head, which was hanging very low. “Everything he wanted to do since he was five and I was three I had to go along with. He wanted to play Lone Ranger; I was Tonto. And any bullshit adventure he wanted to do, I got stuck tagging along.” He interrupted himself with a joyless scoff. “Did he ever tell you about the time when he was nine and he wanted to live out in the wilderness so he made me go with him to camp out in woods at Barrette Park? Shit, by the time they found us, I had poison ivy all over my arms and had eaten a goddamn grub. Yuck!”
“Well, why did you go along with him?” I asked. “How did you two even end up as friends?”
“Because,” he said with long emphasis. “His mother went to school with my mom. I guess she felt obligated after what happened.”
I nodded my head for a bit. That did make sense for the initial relationship. But…
“I mean,” I began again. “Why did you just do what-ever he said? You don’t have to do what he wants just because he’s your friend or your mom wants you to. You’re your own person.”
He then hid his eyes behind his hands. I soon realized he was holding his head, looking as if he was about to be sick. I then heard him say, in a weak, weak voice, “There’s more. There’s more, he…he just had – has this power over me. I just…just can't get loose of him. Fuck!”
Not knowing what to do and very uncomfortable, I patted him on the shoulder and told him it’d be all right. I suppose there was more he could have told me, but, honestly, I didn’t want to know.
Life was much easier for the next couple of months. No more craziness, no more bullshit. For the first time in my life, I was actually friends with someone who wasn’t toxic and wasn’t so demanding of my time. I was actually doing well in school and there were talks of putting me in a higher set class for next fall.
After Easter weekend, however, I got back in touch with Gavin. It was early in the morning – I mean 5 AM early. I could hear my phone vibrate on my bedside table. I picked it up without looking at the call ID and answered.
“Hello?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“Corey!” I heard Gavin’s voice crack. “You-you gotta let me come over. Jesus, I need your help!”
Hearing the panic in his voice jolted me awake. I pressed the phone closer to my ear. “Calm down, what’s happening?”
“There’s a news story out about me. They’re saying I killed Officer Mitchell!”
My nerves locked. My body completely froze. No.
“Listen,” I heard him beg over the phone. “I’m about ten minutes away. I’ll sneak in through your backyard door to the basement. Your parents should still be asleep, right?”
“Yeah,” I muttered just audible, hoping in fact he wouldn’t hear it.
“Great!” he exclaimed, and I bit my lip hard. “I’ll be there soon.”
“Wait!” I stopped him, and to my relief the call was still in progress. “Why can’t you hide at Dyke’s? He’s further away from your house.”
I could hear him suck his teeth through the receiver. “John’s gone. He’s been outta town for a while now. I got nowhere else to hide, man!”
“Alright, you can stay in my room for the day until I get back from school. Then we’ll have to figure something out for you.”
He thanked me and I heard the short quiet chime of my phone, indicating the call had ended.
Having all this time to wait, my mind whirling from this sudden revelation, I searched the Internet on my phone. Not long after, I found a news article titled ST CLOUD COP SLAIN BY MASKED MAN, which was complete with a video. Apparently, Officer Mitchell had responded to a robbery that took place at a convenience store. I watched the video. The video was from a security camera videotaping the outside of the storefront. I could see, even in the grainy quality and the microscopic screen of my phone, one of the windows had been broken. Just then, as Officer Mitchell was walking out of the front door, I saw it – a shadow, moving fast right toward him. He turned his head just before the figure ran into him, but not fast enough. He fell to the ground clutching his side. The article said he had been stabbed with a knife. I then watched in absolute horror as the cop reached for his gun holster and the darkly veiled figure grabbed at it too, the two of them struggling until their was a sudden flash and the officer lay motionless on the ground, a spray of dark fluid staining the concrete behind his head. The figure then shot his lifeless person twice more before dropping the revolver and turning to leave. As it turned, I paused the video. The face was covered in a black skeletal mask, with piecing silver tinted eyes. The same from Gavin’s costume.
Gavin had still not arrived. Unsure how many knew the costume was his, I quickly dialed 9-1-1.
When Gavin got to my house, he was out of breath, panting and soaked with sweat. I got him a glass of tap of water and sat him down on my bed. He then told me the story in his own words:
“Listen, last night I was at home, okay? I – I had been out on patrol for a long, long while and had caught a cold. For the last few days I’ve been in bed.”
I looked at Gavin closely. I could tell he wasn’t sick.
“You said you weren’t going on patrol anymore,” I deliberated each word.
“Yeah, yeah!” he snapped, hastily. “But they're two fugitives reported in the news who were suspected of being in St Cloud!”
I had heard nothing of this.
“I saw the video,” I told him. “The guy was wearing your costume.”
“That’s the thing!” Gavin begged, reaching up at me and grabbing my shirt. “I haven’t warn that costume in months now. I swear to God, I threw it out in the trash. I told ya; John and I were focusing on organizing strikes against immigrants who were taking our jobs. I wasn’t going out and bustin’ heads no more! And here’s the other crazy thing. There’s no way I could have known that a robbery had taken place.”
I listened, analyzing each word. He had mentioned details about the case that I knew from the news report. But of course he would; he probably saw the news story, which was why he was panicked. Still….
“That’s the thing,” he rambled on, his eyes wide, pulling harder on my shirt. “Three days ago, the police radio went missing. I don’t know where it is.” I put my hands on his arms and tried to ease them off of me. Just then there came a hard, echoing knock from the front door. “Police! Open up.”
Gavin swivelled his head in the direction of the sound. He turned to look at me and seemed to search my face before springing up to look out the window.
“Police…” he muttered, and his voice carried just enough for me to hear it. “But how…?” He then turned. I stood up. I was ready to dash out the room but, for some reason, I couldn’t. “You!” he yelled, pointing his finger accusingly at me. “You called the cops.”
I just stood there, stupid and silent, holding my arms up to try to gesture for him to be calm. Without another second of hesitation, he sprang on me and began hitting me in the side with his knees and fists. My life flashed before my eyes, as did the thought that I was alone with a killer.
“Help!” I screamed, hoping the police outside would hear me. “Help!” I wailed and was soon cut off by a blow to the jaw. I raised my hands defensively over my head and curled up, trying to block his blows that were striking down hard all over my body. I didn’t hear the front door get broken down, or even my bedroom door slam open, but I did hear Gavin scream as he was pulled off by two police officers. They then proceeded to pin him to the floor and cuff his hands. My skin was throbbing from the speed of my pulse and I didn’t feel any pain, though in truth I was badly beaten up. They hauled Gavin off kicking and screaming, explaining he was under arrest for the murder of Police Officer, Sergeant Jerome Fergus Mitchell.
It didn’t take them long to find Gavin guilty. They found the costume in the trash in front of his house, although he swore to God he had gotten rid of it well before the murder took place. Beyond that, they had motive; everyone in the projects had seen Gavin berated by Mitchell, and knew what being a costumed crusader meant to him. Still, it was like pulling teeth to get people to testify. Only thing was, they never found his police radio. Gavin’s court appointed lawyer tried use this fact to raise doubt, since the prosecution kept arguing that Gavin had been known to have a police radio, which would explain how he knew the robbery took place and how he knew Officer Mitchell would be there since he knew his car number.
They ended up trying him as an adult and gave him 25 to life. I couldn’t believe this had happened to him even with what he had done. Christ, he wasn’t even sixteen.
By the time I was nearly done high school, the entire neighborhood had forgotten about Gavin. It was pretty much taboo to talk about him and even Durwood and I avoided the subject. But honestly, with time we didn’t care. We had both turned things around.
When Durwood finished middle school, he went to the same high school I did, which made school so much better since I had my best friend to hang out with. By the time I was in my senior year, we had both joined a few school clubs (no teams I’m afraid) and started a games club of our own and after moving up to some college prep classes, my grades were finally improving. I had attended a careers workshop and had made up my mind to go into an apprenticeship program for electricians. Durwood asked me about it later and decided that he would do the same thing after he graduated.
The summer after my senior year, Durwood and his mother were moving out to Minneapolis. I was sad to see him go but I could understand that maybe it was the best for him to leave all the bitter memories behind. The day he was going to move I helped him pack.
Around lunchtime, we were in his room, all of his things in tiny cardboard cubes around us. We took a break as we were both beat. Then his mom called him and he asked me to wait for him. After a few minutes I got bored and tried to lift a few more boxes. Now all of the boxes had been light up until now, mostly filled with clothes. This box I lifted was unexpectedly heavy and when I eased it off the stack, it fell from my grip and crashed to the floor. The sealed top opened up on impact and all the items spilled out on the carpet. I rushed to get everything back in the box and that’s when I saw what had given it so much weight – a black metallic radio. It was a police radio. Gavin’s police radio. The same he swore had gone missing three days before the murder took place. I sat there, staring at it. I then heard steps creak outside the room, and the door squeaking open…
submitted by Inspector_Legrasse20 to nosleep [link] [comments]


2016.12.21 09:59 marisam7 Islamophobic Myths Debunked

Myths about the proportion of Islamic Terrorist Attacks on U.S Soil

So I was on Facebook recently and saw a post claiming that, "Islam has carried out more than 100,000 terrorist attacks against Americans since 9/11" with no citations what so ever.
Looking at the Facebook group that posted this, I assumed from the fact their profile picture is a stock image of an interracial couple inside of a snipers crosshairs with the caption "Race mixing and Liberalism is a mental illness but we have the cure" that most people would be able to see this group isn't the most trustworthy source but despite that, the post had hundreds of upvotes and comments. Not from Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists but from average people.
I saw dozens of comments from people like Susan (A retired school teacher and grandmother from Indiana) who responded by talking about how the liberal media refuses to even acknowledge Muslims are a problem despite them killing thousands of Americans every day and how when Obama finally dies the Lord Jesus will send him to hell for him helping cover up the evil deeds of Muslims.
Or people like Gary (A small business owner and NRA member from South Carolina) Who responded to the graph by making a long incoherent rant where he talked about how when he was a kid during Vietnam the liberals tried so hard to go after our soldiers calling them rapists and baby killers and just because they didn't like the methods didn't mean someone had to them and because they did what they did we won the war and the Vietnamese realized they could never take over America so they didn't try and bring the fight to the US.
His post then goes on to argue that we need to put someone with balls in the White House who will let soldiers do what they did in Vietnam and when that happens the terrorism will stop.
Now its very frighting that people like Gary who not only for some reason believe that the U.S won the Vietnam War (which they didn't) and who thinks that the Vietnamese wanted to take over the United States (which they didn't) but also ontop of that thinks the reason the US won the war is because U.S soldiers raped women and murdered children and that if the U.S started committing war crimes again the terrorism would stop.
Ignoring the fact of how scary it is that a person like Gary is allowed to own firearms. And the fact that U.S soldiers have raped and murdered children while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The main thing I learned from this post is how people just making up numbers can incite hatred and violence.
I looked more into Facebook and found other lists that actually do go through all the Islamic terrorist attacks. Yet these lists will cite things like:
Nation of Islam member robbing a convenient store in 1975
as a terrorist attack. Or
Turkish man who was in prison for bank robbery in New York stabbing a prison guard in 1981
as an "Islamic terrorist attack on law enforcement."
Going through these lists more, many of the examples they give just didn't happen. They will give a name or a description of an event or a location or a date and when I google the info I don't find any results for it being real or in many cases it did happen but the perpetrator wasn't even a Muslim.
Some of these lists all of which are poorly put together and without any real citations circulating on Facebook and other known Islamophobic websites have even been republished by actual news sources such as WorldNetDaily to the response in the comment sections of paranoid delusional rants by people who use obscure biblical passages and sources of Islamic text to falsely claim Muslims truly worship Satan and Islam translate directly into "the religion of the devil"
So I decided to go through the list starting with the World Trade Center bombings in 1993 and create a coherent list of all the successful Islamic terrorist attacks which resulted in at least 1 death that occurred on US soil.
I found soon after that it didn't take long to make this list. Due to the fact that since 9/11 there have only been 9 successful Islamic terrorist attacks.
  1. 2016 Orlando Night Club Shooting
  2. 2015 San Bernardino Shooting
  3. 2015 Chattanooga, TN Military Shooting
  4. 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing
  5. 2009 Little Rock Shooting
  6. 2009 Fort Hood Shooting
  7. 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation Shooting
  8. 2002 Los Angeles Airport Shooting
Before 9/11
  1. 1993 World Trade Center bombing
So in 15 years out of the 3.3 million Muslims in the United States only 11 of them have committed a terrorist attack. That means only 1 out of every 300,000 Muslims is a terrorist in the United States.
Looking more into this I decided to do the same research but on terrorist attacks committed by Right Wing Extremists in the same time frame to see how many terrorist attacks they committed which resulted in one or more casualties.
I found they committed 66 successful terrorist attacks
  1. 2017 Thornton Walmart Shooting
  2. 2017 Charlottesville Attack
  3. 2017 Portland Train Attack
  4. 2017 Timothy Caughman Stabbing
  5. 2017 Austins Bar and Grill Olathe, KS Shooting
  6. 2016 Minneapolis Anti-Muslim Shooting
  7. 2015 Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting
  8. 2015 Lafayette Shooting
  9. 2015 Charleston Church Shooting
  10. 2015 Chapel Hill Shooting
  11. 2015 Florida Police Ambush
  12. 2015 Mesa Rampage
  13. 2014 Austin, TX Mexican Consulate Shooting
  14. 2014 Las Vegas Police Ambush
  15. 2014 Kansas Jewish Center Shooting
  16. 2014 Blooming Grove Police Shooting
  17. 2014 Forsyth County Courthouse Shooting
  18. 2013 Los Angeles International Airport Shooting
  19. 2013 Alabama Bunker Hostage Crisis
  20. 2012 Tri-State Killing Spree
  21. 2012 St. John's Parish Police Ambush
  22. 2012 Sikh Temple Shooting
  23. 2011 Pacific Northwest Killing Rampage
  24. 2011 FEAR Militia
  25. 2010 West Memphis Police Shootings
  26. 2010 Carlisle, PA Murder
  27. 2010 Austin, TX Plane Attack
  28. 2010 Florida Sovereign Citizen Police Ambush
  29. 2010 Wichita Falls, TX White Power Shooting Rampage
  30. 2009 Ft. Walton, FL Shooting
  31. 2009 Minutemen American Defense Hispanic Slayings
  32. 2009 Okaloosa County, FL Police Gun Range Attacks
  33. 2009 Brockton, MA Black Targeted Shooting Rampage
  34. 2009 Pittsburgh Police Shootings
  35. 2009 Phoenix, AZ Vinlanders Social Club Drive-by Shootings
  36. 2009 Holocaust Museum Shooting
  37. 2009 George Tiller Assassination
  38. 2008 Woodburn Bank Bombing
  39. 2008 Knoxville, TN Church Shooting
  40. 2004 Tulsa OK, Bank Robbery
  41. 2003 Abbeville, SC Right-of-way Standoff
  42. 2002 Massillon, OH Anti-Government Shootout
  43. 2001 Anthrax Attacks
  44. 2001 Dallas Anti-Arab Revenge Shootings
Before 9/11 but after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
  1. 2000 Pittsburgh, PA Racially Motivated Spree Killing
  2. 1999 Fort Worth, TX SYATP Shooting
  3. 1999 Los Angeles Jewish Community Center Shooting
  4. 1999 Midwest Murder Spree
  5. 1999 Redding, CA Arson Attacks & Anti-Gay Murders
  6. 1998 Barnett Slepian Assassination
  7. 1998 Cortez, CO Watertruck Shootout
  8. 1998 Birmingham, Alabama Planned Parenthood Bombing
  9. 1997 Army of God Attacks
  10. 1997 Aryan People’s Republic Six State Terror Wave
  11. 1996 Spokane Phineas Priests Bombing Campaign
  12. 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park Bombing
  13. 1996 Jackson, MS Larry Shoemake Murder Spree
  14. 1996 Aryan Republican Army FBI Shootout 1995 Fort Bragg Skinhead Soldiers Black Couple Slayings
  15. 1995 Palo Verde Amtrak Derailment
  16. 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing
  17. 1994 Boston, MA Planned Parenthood Shooting
  18. 1994 Lubrock, TX Nazi-Youth Race War Murders
  19. 1994 John Britton Assassination
  20. 1993 Pensacola, FL Women’s Medical Clinic Shooting
At this point I thought even though you are 7 times more likely to be killed by a right wing extremist then a Muslim terrorist in the United States and even though Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America. This is just one country.
So I decided to look at another country with a significantly higher per capita Muslim Population. Canada, which has well over a million Muslims who make up 3% of its population, and instead of doing a small 20 year timeline I decided to look into the entire history of the country to get the most accurate results.

Number of Terrorist Attacks in Canada by motive.

Freedomites
Quebec Nationalists
Fenians:
Communist:
Sikh:
Christian:
Environmental:
Anti-Islamic
Armenian Nationalists:
Anarchist:
Feminist:
Islamic:
Financial:
Pro-America:
Anti-conservative:
Jewish:
So to put this into comparison there are half the number of followers of Sikhism in Canada than Islam.
Yet Sikhs have killed 162 times more people in the name of their religion than Islam has in Canada alone.
Despite this, no one is calling for Sikhs to be deported like they calling for the 37,402 Syrian Refugees in Canada to be.
Now to the people out there saying,
You only look at terrorism, what about all the other crimes muslims commit!

Well lets look at a few places around the world:

The first place I'm going to look at is the city with the highest Muslim population in the United States, Dearborn Michigan.
Dearborn has a population of around 100,000 people half of which are of Arab Decent.
Last year Dearborn had 3 murders and 35 rapes.
Lets look at other cities in the United States with the same population but instead of being populated by Muslims lets look at cities populated by White Christians.
Billings, Montana is a city with a population of around 100,000 people same as Dearborn. 90% of these people are white.
And the city has such a small Muslim population that there isn't even a mosque in it.
Last year Billings had 10 murders and 72 rapes
Just in case that one example was an outlier I looked up a few cities with the same population as Dearborn to compare the crime rate:
City Number of Murders 2015 Number of Rapes 2015
Dearborn MI 3 35
Sandy Springs GA 6 40
Pueblo CO 10 152
Billings MT 10 72
West Palm Beach FL 15 45
I could keep going but I think you get the point.
Dearborn Michigan despite having more Muslims living there than anywhere else in the US is below the average national crime rate.
Dearborn is 16% safer than the average city.
And statistically speaking 64% of the people reading this right now are more at risk where they are live currently than if they moved to Dearborn and surround themselves with Muslims.
Chances of being a victim of crime:
In Dearborn 1 in 275
In Michigan 1 in 234
But forget about the U.S lets look at cities outside of America. Last time we looked at Canada lets look at the U.K this time.

Birmingham has one of the largest Muslim populations in England.

One out of every 5 people in the city of Birmingham is a Muslim.
It is one of the highest Muslim Populations in the country.
Let's look at the crime rate there:
City Crime Rate Per 100 Residents
Birmingham 5.15
UK Average 6.57
London 42.53

But maybe that isn't good enough for you lets look at the rest of Europe:

Amsterdam has been cited as having one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe. Pretty soon 20% of the city will be Muslims.
You would think this influx of immigrants would cause the crime rate to sky rocket right?
I myself assumed it would when I was researching this and honestly was shocked to see news articles titled:
AMSTERDAM’S 2015 HOMICIDE FIGURES HIT RECORD LOW
But the fact of the matter is its true that they did.
The higher the Muslim population has been getting in Amstredam the lower the murder rate gets.
But how can that be?!?! Multiculturalism is a failure just look at the rape rate in Sweden! What about all those Muslims raping children? I read about on Breitbart and Infowars!
Many news headlines about Muslim refugees raping and killing people are fake. Infowars and Breitbart, in particular, have reported outright lies, such as the time they (along with many other right wing news outlets) reported the story about Syrian Muslim refugees gang raping a little girl in Idaho."
Local officials and police even had to have a press conference afterwards to explain not only did the story never happen but there aren't even any refugees who live in the entire county.
And no, none of the right wing news sites ever apologized for spreading false info or even redacted the stories. They still have them up on their site without even acknowledging it was proven to be false.
Reasons like this are probably why so many media watchdog groups and committees into the ethics of journalism have time and time again ranked Breitbart as one of the most dishonest journalist outlets ever created. And when I say ever created, they get a lower ranking than North Korean State Run Propaganda Media.
But for the stories that are true where it turns out a Muslim did kill someone or molest a child, even though these cases are rare they still do happen. The only thing the media never talks about is how they happen at a lower rate than the native born population.
If you were to randomly pick 100,000 American Citizens born in the US and then pick 100,000 Americans originally born in other countries, you would discover that that the number of immigrants who had committed crimes is lower than the number of native born Americans who committed crimes.
The same is true for Europe as well. The Crime rate in Germany for instance is lower than it was 10 years ago according to police documents and that is in part due to the fact that refugees are less likely to commit crimes then native born Germans. And out of the crimes they do commit less then 1% of them are sex crimes.
The only difference when a Muslim refugee molests a child and when a Catholic Priest does the same thing. Is that when the Muslim does it you don't see the Catholic Church covering it up.
And Muslim groups aren't spending millions of Dollars to lobby against sex crime laws like Catholics groups are.
But in response to common claims that multiculturalism is a failure because Sweden has the second highest rape rate on earth and allows refugees in I just want to remind everyone that the rape rate didn't sky rocket in Sweden after they started allowing refugees into the country. The rape rate skyrocketed in 2005 when Sweden reformed its sex crime legislation to make the definition of rape much much wider. Ontop of that the Swedish police trained to improve the handling of rape cases which led to more victims coming forward to report assaults. This is why the rape rate appears to be so much higher than it is. Even though Criminologists say that the number of rapes that occur in the country aren't above average and surveys from The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights discovered that instead of being the rape capital of the world Sweden is actually below neighboring countries of Denmark and Finland in terms of the number of rapes.
But the Qur'an is violent!
Here are a few quotes:
"If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her."
"If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife."
"You may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance."
"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife."
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
“A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.”
"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away."
These seem like quotes from a barbaric stone age death cult right?
Well you would be correct because these quotes are from the Bible. The same book the Republicans and Trump want to use to govern the country.
But the difference between Christians and Muslims is Christians don't follow those quotes and would never do that! They don't have child brides or commit honor killing or any of those evil Muslim things!
Except they do.
In Christian Majority Mozambique women can be punished for being raped by being forced to marry their rapists and this is in accordance to the law.
Christians in The Central African Republic execute more people every year for witchcraft in the name of Jesus than all the Muslims in the Middle East do according to the UN.
40% of the marriages in Tanzinia involve child brides according to Human Rights Watch.
And honor killings aren't even an Islamic specific concept.
You can find many examples of cases where a Christian father beat his daughter to death with a metal bar because she wanted to marry her Muslim boyfriend.
Look at India. Where Hindu and Sikhs are some of the highest perpetrators of honor killings on earth today.
Even in places like Brazil it was a big problem until recently. Men could be acquitted for murdering their wives up until 1991 on the basis of them disgracing their honor, and because of that you would see 800 recorded murder honor killings in a year. Even after the laws were changed, lower courts still ignored the ruling of the Supreme Court and acquitted people like Joao Lopes for a double homicide.
But women in Somalia aren't allowed to drive
The idea of showing the treatment of women in Somalia or other parts of the Middle East as proof that Islam is evil makes as much sense as showing the treatment of women in the Congo as proof that Christianity is evil.
Lets look at a Muslim nation that isn't torn by war as see how they treat women:
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country located in Central Asia with a population of 5 million people. In this country close to 9 out of every 10 people are Muslims.
In 2010 after large opposition protests caused the President to resign the Muslim majority population voted and elected Roza Otunbayeva as the country's new leader. Roza Otunbayeva is not only a woman but an atheist.
Why is it that in Kyrgyzstan and Somalia they both read the same holy book The Qur'an but in one country an Atheist woman would be stoned and in the other elected president.
It's probably the same reason why in both Italy and the Congo they read the same holy book The Bible but in one an Atheist woman would be stoned and in the other elected president.
But still why is the Middle East so war torn to begin with? Why can't you get your stuff together and stop oppressing women?
I wish you could post pictures on reddit but you can't so I'll just link them with a description:
Here is a picture of a Muslim woman named Benazir Bhutto she is the former Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Here is a picture from the 1970s of some women in Iran wearing Bikinis on a beach.
Here is a picture of women in Afghanistan studying at Kabul University to become doctors in the 1980s. (40% of doctors in Afghanistan were female at the time. That's higher than the current presentage of female doctors in the United States today.)
Here are women in the Afgan Military posing with their weapons. (This is 30 years before women were allowed to have active combat roles in the United States Military.)
And that’s not even getting into things like gay rights. Like how Gay relationships were decriminalized in Jordan in 1951. (Two decades before the Gay Rights Movement in the U.S)
That was around the same time that people like Alan Turing were being given prison sentences in the U.K for being gay.
And 100 years before that in 1858 Homosexuality was decriminalized in the Ottoman Empire.
Or how in countries like Bahrain with a 99% Muslim population, when the people there are asked if they would be okay with having a gay neighbor or friend, a higher percentage of them said yes. Than in the United States when pollsters asked the same question.
Or if you actually did research into the famed Section 377 in the penal codes of countries like Malaysia, Singapore and India and Pakistan and Palestine that criminalized "sodomy" you can find that all of those laws were not only created by British Administrators during colonization since they had a much bigger problem with gays then any of the native Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist cultures ever did. But actually justified using the Bible and citing religious morality as the reason for the law.
So what changed? To make it the way it is today?
The United States government came into the region, destabilized it, overthrew their democratically elected leaders and replaced them with Islamic extremist dictators who would sell oil for a cheap price, and denounce the Soviets.
The Middle East didn't even have Muslim countries before. Most were secular nations where people elected leaders.
In Saudi Arabia the monarchy the country has is literally only 60 years old. They didn't have a King before that they had a President.
All of these countries were democracies none of which were run under Shihara Law before the CIA came in and put an Islamic Extremist Dictator in charge.
And this isn't like a conspiracy on the level of "The US was responsible for 9/11." It is just a common fact. You can read about it on Wikipedia even. The CIA openly backed and put the groups in power. They would fund drug lords. Remember that picture up there of those women fighting in the Afgan Army?
At that point in the countries history the leader of Afghanistan liked the Russians a lot more than he liked the Americans.
So you know the the CIA replaced him with?
The Taliban.
Before these Coups there wasn't widespread terrorism. Look at Syria in 1948 and look at America. One of those countries had groups of religious extremists going around dragging people from their homes and lynching them solely because of their race.
Look at Afghanistan in 1975 and look at Ireland. One of these countries had groups of paramilitary religious extremists kidnapping and murdering innocent people. Bombing hospitals and public places, killing dozens at a time.
There isn't even a counterpart to compare the groups to because none existed in these countries. No one was doing these things before the CIA got involved.
But like you said the CIA did the same thing in Latin America and Africa and South East Asia. So why is it only Muslim countries who become terrorists? Why don't those countries have terrorism?
Christian terrorists in a single country kill 16 times more people than ISIS has world wide.
According to the Global Terrorism Index: If you look at the top 50 countries with the most terrorism you would find.
That would mean 60% of the Muslim majority nations on earth do not rank in the top 50 countries for terrorism.
Yet 100% of the top Hindu majority nations do.
It's that simple.
Why isn't the media talking about this?
The short reasons is that there isn't any oil in the Congo or India so no one cares.
But back to the main point of this post:

Islam isn't causing terrorism.

The reason for terrorism is there being nothing to stop it.
If anyone has watched Walking Dead or Mad Max or any post apocalyptic movie then you understand the idea of those raving bands of killers and rapists going around doing whatever they want because there isn't anyone to stop them.
Now if we put that into a real life scenario what happens is you get ISIS, you get the The Lord's Resistance Army and the Catholic Drug Lords in Honduras with their own Patron Saints and the Atheistic Rebels murdering missionaries in Thailand for being Christians and so on...
But I heard that X% of Muslims want to murder infidels and kill innocent people? And force Islam on everyone.
I've seen this a lot before. Anyone who is reading a poll that claims things like:
80% of Muslim Americans told us they want to take over the country.
I urge you to actually find out who did this poll and look into their sample size and methodology because the weird thing is the people who are putting out these polls are always the same people. They are groups like the Gatestone Institute which has been discredited time and time again as an Anti-Islamic propaganda mongerer. They are people like Frank Gaffney who was literally banned from all of the other conservative think tanks for being to racist and crazy even for them.
And always these polls are never Primary Sourced or Peer Reviewed. How about we look at some actually well established and cited polls.
Here is one such example below:
Some people think that for the military to target and kill civilians is sometimes justified, while others think that kind of violence is never justified. Which is your opinion?
Muslim Protestant Catholic Jewish Mormon No religion/Atheist/Agnostic
Never justified 78% 38% 39% 43% 33% 56%
Sometimes justified 21% 58% 58% 52% 64% 43%
Depends 0% 0% 2% 3% 3% 0%
Keep in mind that the question was not asking about "collateral damage" but rather targeting civilians.
Gallup analysis suggests that one's religious identity and level of devotion have little to do with one's views about targeting civilians. According to the largest global study of its kind, covering 131 countries, it is human development and governance - not piety or culture - that are the strongest factors in explaining differences in how the public perceives this type of violence.
While the majority of world citizens agree that military attacks targeting civilians are never justified, a decade after 9/11, there is a wide range in the level of support for this view. A clear majority in Asia and MENA find military attacks against civilians unacceptable. This is not surprising considering the acute conflicts raging in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East.
In contrast, regionally, residents of the U.S. and Canada are most likely to say that military attacks against civilians are sometimes justified. Americans are the most likely population in the world (49%) to believe military attacks targeting civilians is sometimes justified, followed by residents of Haiti and Israel (43%).
One of the most cited anti-Muslim statics I see was made by Pew Forums in 2013.
This poll and many like it have been picked apart by numerous people for the lazy methodology and lack of diversity in the countries they poll.
And I could show those detailed arguments or compare the surveying they did to basically if a group of researchers went to a single small town in Texas and polled 10 people on social issues. Then used that to claim, “9 out of 10 Americans are against gay marriage.” but I’m just going to explain this in the exact terms of what happen.
In 2013 Pew Forums put out ads in the local newspapers in either a single city or either the top two or three largest cities in the country, for 39 different countries. These ads basically said, “Are you a poor Muslim and you wanna make 10$? Then come out to the offices of this survey polling company we subcontracted to get data for us and fill out forums for 6 hours then you can get your $10.”
And in each one of these countries between 500 and 1,500 people showed up for that 10$ and 4 hours into filling out the surveys when they got to the question on page 243 where it said, “Do you think all non Muslims should be killed? Yes or no?” around 1/3 of them just checked the yes box.
That does not mean that 1/3 of all Muslims think the 6 billion non-Muslims alive should be killed.
I find it especially ironic though that same people who are touting methodology like this to justify bigotry are the same people who try and debunk the surveys that claim 1/4 women have been victims of sexual assault as “feminist propaganda.”
Now if you do find polls that are well cited saying:
X% of Muslims in this country want Sharia Law
Then the number would have to be pretty high to beat the number of Christians in the U.S that want Biblical Law.
Since 57% of Republicans want Christianity to be the national religion of The United States.
-Edit-
Looking more into disproportionate representation of Muslims I found that despite Muslims making up 23% of the worlds population they account for 5 out of the past 12 Nobel Peace Prize winners. (Which is 42 percent.)
Just a curious note on how Muslims are earning Nobel Prizes at twice the rate they proportionally should.
submitted by marisam7 to islam [link] [comments]


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