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News :: Race
Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
16 May 2005
About a month and a half ago, Northeast Antifascists noticed an announcement stating that the local “White Revolution” boys and their three friends were planning on coming out to protest an event at the Holocaust memorial in Boston. Unfortunately, seeing this type of thing is not so uncommon. Usually, if they show up at all, it is the same half dozen or so coming to look stupid and pass out a couple flyers. (A couple months ago, some other local fascists tried to meet up in a mall for a rally, and they couldn't even find each other!) We were planning to act accordingly and confront them, but not bother calling for a big turn-out, as the need wasn't there.

However, shortly after we starting recieving notice that this whole thing might be a bigger deal than we'd thought. Billy Roper himself was coming all the way from Arkansas, and we figured he might stand a chance of actually bringing more fascists together, seeing as he's one of the only people who can pass himself off as a "leader" in a movement teeming with people yearning for domineering father figures. A week and a
half before the action, we duly issued a call to action telling everyone to come and let them know how we feel about nazi trash in our city. The response was huge, and within days, other concerned groups were putting out calls as well. We sent observers to the "Stop the Nazis Now Coalition" meetings, to get a sense of what other people's plans were. Antifascism is a big tent, and we made plans to mostly work around, rather than within or against, this coalition.
The day of the main action, however, it turned out that the numbers on the bonehead end weren't as monumental as the organizers on either side had anticipated. However, whether it would have turned out to be 100 or the poor, sad, and pathetic 15-20 that it was, we were ready. The crowd that showed to confront the lowlife racists was in the hundreds, and was on
the scene, waiting and ready, hours before the other side showed up. There were some minor shouting matches early on with some sketchy characters who may or may not have planned to attend the event. The fact that they never bothered to say that they weren’t nazis, even with a few hundred people shouting at
them, makes them questionable even after one was later identified as not being a nazi. As time wore on, some people started wandering off, assuming that the fascist activists would never show in the mighty group that they had announced, and that perhaps Roper would just hang out in the McDonalds where he'd been spotted earlier, squeezing a burger into his chubby little cheeks.

Luckily, even with dwindled numbers, we were still there in force when the police started mobilizing, and we all knew that the day was not over. A sorry dozen mindless nazi fucks came round the corner of State St. onto Congress, clutching the "White Revolution" banner. The crowd immediately rushed towards them, visibly scaring the shit out of a few boneheads that
looked ill-prepared for a fight with a group that outnumbered them at least 20 to 1. In true Boston fashion, bystanders saw who we were heading for and decided to join in. The cops were quick to mobilize as well though, and protected their past and future allies by attacking us with night sticks and kicking
people. We were hardly discouraged, and proceeded to follow the boneheads to their prearranged location at the bottom of the steps to Government Center, surrounded by metal barricades and thick lines of riot police.

The sorry bunch of fascist "revolutionaries" huddled there behind their police protection, holding signs and forcing fake smiles through their scared and sad little eyes. They were apparently even "blogging" the whole event live to the White Revolution website, but had to completely fabricate events ("ARA are spitting on American veterans.... the National Guard has been called out.... The barricade has been breached again,
for the fourth time.... Tear gas is being broken out...") in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to look macho to the gullible Internet nazis they're trying to impress. In reality, armored, irritated, paid agents of what the nazis refer to as the "Zionist occupation government," and which they complain so much about were working full-time making sure they didn't have to answer for what they were saying.

The crowd opposing them chanted and hollered to make
sure it was clear that we were not there to honor
them, or debate them, but to kick them the fuck out of
our city. And this is exactly what happened. After
about half an hour of shouting and sporadic police
movement, the vanguard of the so-called “superior”
race collectively tucked its “superior” tale between
its “superior” legs and was escorted up to the top of
the steps, where two police wagons were waiting to
chauffeur them out of the city with sirens blaring.
We have to hand it to them, it was a truly innovative
tactic for a "revolutionary" movement! Though we
suppose that they may have used the threat of a
"revolutionary" lawsuit if the police hadn't done
everything in their power to prevent the
natural-selection process of nazi fools getting the
beatdown they deserve.

In a lot of ways it was a disappointingly boring, cold
day. Northeast Antifascists never saw an appropriate
time to unroll our banner. Billy Roper had stated that
they expected somewhere in the area of 100 people;
they had less than a fifth that number. (We counted.)
Our goal was to remind them in every way that they are
not welcome in this city and to run them out of town,
and we did just that.

People should be aware that, despite what the
mainstream media has been saying, most of the
boneheads didn't come from Arkansas like Billy and
Rick, his aging Aryan Nations bodyguard. Many were
from New England, including several from eastern
Massachusetts and a handful from Connecticut. And
despite Roper's laughable ongoing attempts to start an
umbrella organization for racists, there are a good
number of unaffiliated local fascists, and some in
other groups, who didn't show up when his circus came
to town. "More mainstream" anti-immigrant groups are
also sprouting up like mushrooms, and since their
politics are very close to fascist, white supremacists
are actively courting them for recruitments. The
threat of the hatred that these people promote is
around us constantly. Just as we sent Billy back to
Arkansas crying, we need to clean house right here in
the Northeast, before the situation gets out of hand.
Like you, we prefer to stay focused on proactive
struggles against our bosses and their politicians,
but we also think that every now and then it's
necessary to come out fully ready to run up on fascist
activists in the streets. We think it'll save us a lot
more trouble down the road.

Anti-racists and antifascists in New England are
making a name for ourselves for embarrassing nazis.
They lost in Lewiston, they lost in Wakefield, and now
they’ve lost in Boston. We must make sure they never
gain a victory here, that they never gain a foothold,
and that they never feel comfortable showing their
sorry faces in our area.

For a fascist-free Boston, for a fascist-free world,
Northeast Antifascists
See also:
http://northeast.antifa.net

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Antifa Report: May 8th
15 May 2005
I don't mean to troll at all... but what exactly do you mean by fascist? It would seem from your post here, which is the first i've ever heard of you, that you are anti-xenophobia as opposed to fascism.
Re: Antifa Report: May 8th
15 May 2005
We're anti-xenophobic AND anti-fascist. There's a pretty good reason that organized racists (who aren't the only fascists out there, but are generally the only ones who actually identify as pro-fascist) are falling all over themselves to recruit from the more mainstream xenophobia movements.

interesting side note: these particular guys (White Revolution et al) had booked a room at a local library under the name "Immigration Reform Party" last Saturday.
Re: Antifa Report: May 8th
15 May 2005
You still haven't answered my question. What do you mean by fascist? Is it only self-identified fascsists, or only right wing groups that try to appeal to mainstream? Sorry if i'm not making sense here.
Re: Antifa Report: May 8th
16 May 2005
The FAQ says things like "It's important to understand fascism for what it is" and yet never once says what fascism is. At best it says that fascism is related to racism and sex (and for some reason more so than it relates to totalitarianism, capitalism, or authoritarianism). This FAQ doesn't at all explain what your group believes fascism to be and instead only says that white supremacists are fascists.
Re: Antifa Report: May 8th
16 May 2005
<sigh>

Okay, Marcos, what's fascism to you? What is your criticism of our group's activities? Who are you? Otherwise quit the harassment.

Any definition (even, e.g., the definition of "chair") is only ultimately a bundle of references to other concepts. What you're doing right now is this: "How is a chair so different than a stool? There are four-legged stools with backs, and there are low stools too. If a stool is something that one can sit or step on, does stepping on a chair make it into a stool?" etc. As there's absolutely no way to know that you're even asking these in good faith to begin with, let alone what kind of political understanding is guiding your questions, you come off like you're just trying to harass. Despite the "I am not a troll" disclaimer.

Our FAQ says "It is very important to remember that Fascism can't exist anywhere but in a capitalist society" but makes the distinction that fascism is not simply an extreme form of capitalism--that is to say, capitalism that becomes more capital-ist, or focuses more fully and desperately on the realization of capitalist value. But when we say "fighting fascism must mean combating its social and systemic roots" we are very much talking about capitalism.

The gender thing was hardly a stronger statement than that: we point out that fascist ideologies "refer to if not revolve around" patriarchy. If you have a counterexample we'd very much like to discuss it. I really don't understand how you could read that draft FAQ and come away from it saying that we think fascism is "related to" sex "more so than it relates to" capitalism. It's not at all what is written. Furthermore, as far as racism goes, we specifically point out the Italian counterexample, where fascists rose (and even gained state power) without having to feed off a well of racist sentiment.

So you're starting to come off as disingenuous. If you're trying to say something, just say it. If you're trying to say something in a really clever, Socratic way, you're not doing a very good job at it. I have no way of knowing whether this "dialogue" is worth our time and energy, and unless I hear otherwise, based on how many trolls (and snarky, anonymously divisive assholes) have been posting on this IMC, I'm going ot have to assume it's not. Sorry.
Re: Antifa Report: May 8th
16 May 2005
I apologize if I've offended you. And i guess ya, feel free to brush me off if you want. But to me it seems that your FAQ only mentions possilble consequenses of fascism, ie sexism, racism, xenophobia but still doesn't define fascism. This would be like Earth First refusing to say what they refer to when they mention the enviornment.

You had mentioned that your FAQ was a work in progress so I assumed that it wouldn't be complete which is why I asked you. Sorry if that was unclear.
actually...
16 May 2005
i think marcos raises a good question actually.
i wasn't at this event, but would have been if possible.
i have participated in other antifa actions in the past.
i believe antifa organizing and acting is crucial but i am troubled by the narrowness of analysis it reflects in some cases.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
16 May 2005
Marcos: No, you didn't offend me...

Here, I'll give it a shot. This is my *personal* working definition of fascism:

Fascism is a reactionary social movement that objects to "pure" capitalism only to the extent to which capitalism unintentionally undermines certain social hierarchies and in so doing creates the potential for its own destruction. Fascism begins to emerge at the points where various authoritarian tendencies hook up with each other and amplify each other. Given free reign, it develops into institutions which seek to restore the social conditions of previous eras. In India, this means the chauvinists who seek to restore the caste system; in pre-WWII Spain, it meant restoring the power of the monarchy and the clergy; during the 1920s height of the Klan, it meant restoring the racial line as the primary marker of class dominance.

Though these reactionary or nostalgic movements often take a cross-class character and are not simply generated by the state, at certain junctures the capitalist planner class and its politicians invest in building up various types of fascist movements--or turn a blind eye to them--in order to balance out and pre-empt progressive movements that seek to move beyond capitalism altogether and usher in a society of much greater equality and consensuality.

Since societies can never simply "revert" or lapse into past conditions, the social change the fascists envision must take a distorted, "revolutionary" form; the political aim usually becomes taking control of state power to forcibly impose its vision across society. This is invariably even more disastrous than the first time around, because now the feudal land distribution is guaranteed by totalitarian military dictatorships, or the pogroms are supervised and coordinated with the assistance of modern computer corporations, and so on.

We oppose fascism from its roots: the hierarchical behaviors among individuals, and the exploitation and alienation faced in the workplace and household. We attack it, and hard, when it reaches the level of political organizations that take to the streets and other venues of public political discourse, when it's at the level of movement-building.

Keeping track of and fighting these organizations isn't revolutionary. Revolutionaries build movements and cultures that can resist and rupture capitalism and the state-form. Anti-fascism is insurance. Anti-fascism is putting in a little boring and ethically obvious footwork once in a while now, so that in a time of social crisis, we can focus on helping each other get by and rise up instead of fighting off raids by fascist gangs and militias. The fascists aren't the "real" enemy--but it helps to think of them like a sickness. It's best to exercise and eat right now, so that when the time comes to get out in the streets, we're not sick in bed with the flu, vomiting and shivering.

xxxxx:
I would agree with you--antifascism and antifascism alone is an incredibly narrow "analysis." But what, specifically, are *you* talking about when you say "some cases"?
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
16 May 2005
"
Fascism is a reactionary social movement that objects to "pure" capitalism only to the extent to which capitalism unintentionally undermines certain social hierarchies and in so doing creates the potential for its own destruction. Fascism begins to emerge at the points where various authoritarian tendencies hook up with each other and amplify each other."

I partly agree with this defenition but I guess my question is doesn't this also refer to liberalism, especially keynesian Roosevelt style-liberalism. Capitalism literally has already eaten itself many times before, and it was only with the restructuring of the economy, and greater centralization of industry that the depression was prevented from turning into full-scale insurrection. Thus it would seem that even more so than white nationalists, liberal democrats and authoritarian marxists more nearly represent the corpratization of the state and the spirit of realigning laizze-faire (sic?) capitalism that marked the fascist of earlier eras.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
16 May 2005
Now we're talking... I partly agree with you, but:

(1) I usually understand the New Deal-era liberal stuff as something more a recuperation of, or compromise with, workers' movements--lock the unions into state-regulated collective bargaining, etc--than fascism, which took the other strategy, which was to directly fight to stamp them out (although in Italy this was obviously a little more complicated). As far as centralizing industry and using Keynesian national-economic management techniques (and corporations participating in an increasingly Fordist regimentation of all social life), I think it's really interesting that the liberals, fascists, and Leninists all ended up adopting somewhat comparable economic policies when they won control of states. Though liberals and fascists were closer to each other than to Russia at the time. I'd recommend Polanyi's "The Great Transformation" (1944) to get a sense of the scope of the world-systemic crisis caused by the decline and collapse of the London/gold-based productive economy (even though his sympathies are with the liberals and his desire for "decommodification" is all fishy).

(2) Again, you're focusing specifically on the phase at which a political movement gains full state power. Back then, they all made the state more totalitarian, and brought industrial managers, planners, and even "representatives" of labor (to varying degrees of authenticity) together into corporatist planning discussions. That's more interesting when we're thinking about capitalism and the roles the state has played in capital's self-regulation, but it's less interesting when we're thinking about the influence fascists have when they have some social power aren't anywhere near the top of the heap. As anarchists we--rightly--never take our eyes off the state, but it's important to realize that there's a broad range of positions between "utterly powerless" and "totally controlling the state" that the far-right can occupy, and intervene in the class struggle.

(3) Here's a neat thing to read if you're thinking about that era--an essay called "The Council Communists Between the New Deal and Fascism." (Councilism was a non-Leninist workers' movement that resembles anarchist syndicalism in a lot of ways.) It's at:
http://www.geocities.com/cordobakaf/bonacchi.html
Playing Devil's Advocate
17 May 2005
After reading Berkman's "What is Anarchism?" for a poli-sci class, atteding demonstrations and reading post after post on here, I get the impression that everyone who claims to be an "anarchist" is in fact a "left-wing" facist..... Maybe I'm wrong.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
17 May 2005
yeah. you're wrong.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
18 May 2005
"We oppose fascism from its roots: the hierarchical behaviors among individuals"

This is a hypothetical question. I'm not trying to bait you or get you caught in a rhetorical argument. I'd just like to hear your take: Would a true meritocracy be considered fascist?

Assume people naturally have differing merits. In a meritocracy, those with more merits will be elevated above those with less and form a hierarchy.

Keep this hypothetical. I'm not going to try and argue that our form society is a meritocracy. Just suppose that such a system existed and that "merit" was completely measurable.

Would it be alright for a social hierarchy to form if it were based solely on individual merits?
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
18 May 2005
No. I don't have the time right now to write a complete attack on meritocracy, but it boils down to the following question:

What does and does not count as merit?

If you email me, perhaps we can set up a time to discuss this in greater depth.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
18 May 2005
Maybe I've abstracted away the definition of merit and made this a meaningless question.

But, suppose that there was a universally agreed upon meaning of "merit" in a society, and anyone could accurately determine anyone else's merit.

Would it be wrong for that society to have hierarchies based on merit?

I suppose you could also have a society in which there were several simultaneous systems of merit and that each individual would rise to the highest level where he or she had the greatest competitive advantage.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
19 May 2005
GO, for heaven's sake

Oppose racists !!
Yea
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
19 May 2005
Instead of being abstract, can you give me one example of what can be classified as merit?
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
19 May 2005
To me, merit includes intelligence, work ethic, creativity, social skills or charisma, perserverence, independence, responsibility, a depth of knowledge, integrity, and the willingness to take risks.

This is my personal view and I'd like to live in a society that rewarded these traits.

I can understand how others might prefer a society that more heavily rewards compassion and altruism.

I guess I question how a non-hierarchical society would function. I'm thinking mainly in terms of economic class. It seems like some form of differentiation will always occur in any society. Some people will always be better suited to thrive in that society than others.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
20 May 2005
dude why are you bringing up this hypothetical meritocracy crap in a report back about white supremacists? wtf?
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
21 May 2005
Cmon fess up -- you folks are Zionist activists pretending to oppose Nazism so you can shut down free speech...

Your use of the the word "fascist" and "fascism" is a big fat lie. You are thugs who want to rough up people who criticize Israel and Zionism. Whether they are Nazis or not is irrelevant to you. You support Jewish racism...

You know nothing of true fascism.... but you do practice Zionist terrorism.
Debunking Philosophical Relativism on Merit
21 May 2005
I will give Shalom Keller three examples of merit:

1) A man who has spent three years getting a doctorate of physics and goes on to develop quantum mechanical theory has merit. An unschooled hack in the same field who invents nothing does not have this merit.

2) A man who is gainfully self-employed performing economic functions for his own Fortune 500 company has merit. A man who is not gainfully employed at all and has no works to his name does not have merit.

3) A man who supports his family and rears his children with self-respect, discipline, cleanliness, and a hard realistic outlook on life has merit. A slacker with ignorant, lazy, grubby, disrespectful children does not have merit.

These are three examples of merit. Those who have merit take precedence, and are perferred by most reasonable people over the other kind.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
22 May 2005
So sad.
"In a lot of ways it was a disappointingly boring, cold day. Northeast Antifascists never saw an appropriate time to unroll our banner. Billy Roper had stated that they expected somewhere in the area of 100 people;
they had less than a fifth that number. (We counted.)"

Roper likes to act like he is a big revolutionary, when he is just a small town boy with closed minded ideas. He tries to act like he can get big crowds, but he never can. Yep, that's him. Broken promises and an empty crowd. God bless his soul.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
23 May 2005
What do you mean by fascist? You cannot stop any trends such as political, people will support what is right to help bridge the gap between the haves and have nots. Just being oppositional might not strengthen your position, but might do just the opposite? You are just as much of a criminal as a sex offender and probobly deserve any misfortune that occurs because of your Blind hate.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
23 May 2005
Sweet, now not only are antifascists all secretly "thugs who want to rough up people who criticize Israel and Zionism," we're also "as much of a criminal as a sex offender." Gotta love Boston Indymedia... oh yeah and did that last guy just say white supremacism is "what is right"?
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
24 May 2005
Man this is depressing. You have a discussion of two anarchists debating irrelevent, off-topic theory in language totally alienating to most working class people; some liberal kid who can't find a fucking dictionary; a bunch of people lurking trying to figure out what all this anarchist stuff is about; what appears to be some physicist looser capitalist trying to stroke his own ego; add several illiterate wingnuts, bitters, shake, and serve over ice.
Re: Northeast Antifascists' 5/8/05 Reportback
05 Jul 2005
You described capitalism.