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News :: Politics
Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
17 Jan 2006
This past Saturday, January 14th over one hundred people-radicals, students and other activists-marched in the rain for three hours at the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill waiting to confront a local white supremacist group, the White Revolution, that was to protest the AMH and a celebration for Dr. King’s holiday. The neo-Nazis never made it to the Meeting House, however. The only actual citing of a Nazi was near the State House several blocks away, but by the time the anti-Nazi group made it to the top of the hill, the Nazis were being ushered into the police wagon and taken away.

Then the call went out to the activist community that the group was to make another attempt on Monday the 16th to get to the African Meeting House. At least 50 people braved the bitter cold this time to “protect the city from assholes,” according to one protester. Still, the Nazis never showed up.
antinazi.jpg
The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. –Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963

This past Saturday, January 14th over one hundred people-radicals, students and other activists-marched in the rain for three hours at the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill waiting to confront a local white supremacist group, the White Revolution, that was to protest the AMH and a celebration for Dr. King’s holiday. The neo-Nazis never made it to the Meeting House, however. The only actual citing of a Nazi was near the State House several blocks away, but by the time the anti-Nazi group made it to the top of the hill, the Nazis were being ushered into the police wagon and taken away.

Then the call went out to the activist community that the group was to make another attempt on Monday the 16th to get to the African Meeting House. At least 50 people braved the bitter cold this time to “protect the city from assholes,” according to one protester. Still, the Nazis never showed up.

That is the short story.

The longer story involves the thoughts from people I talked to, and my reflection on our tactics, actions, principles and goals as a social movement.

Some people don’t see direct confrontation with Nazis and other extremist groups as an appropriate tactic. Even those who demonstrate on other issues such as the Iraq war believe that the best way to deal with fascist groups is to ignore them when they appear in public. But the people who came out to confront the Nazis on Saturday and then again on Monday had more nuanced reasoning regarding tactics to deal with extreme right groups.

Keith R. from the International Socialist Organization told me, “Some people think you have to ignore them. But it’s necessary to actively confront them to stop their message of hate.” He linked the Nazis in Boston to the rise of the right on the national scene, “[The Nazis] are the shock troops of a right-wing government and media which is anti-immigrant.” In addition, “Arizona and California state governments have legitimized the anti-immigrant behavior of right-wing [vigilante] groups.”

Owen T. was not with a group, but he saw protesting the Nazis as a duty. “They can make inroads into an area if not opposed. People who might be swayed by Nazi propaganda will see that the community is against them,” he said. He quoted Edmund Burke when he told me, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Faced with the possibility of Nazi’s protesting a hero like MLK he said, “I could stay at home, eat bon-bons and watch TV or I could make the world a better place. I choose to come out against evil.”

Nick from the People Against Inbred Fascist Dickhead Losers said he was there “to send a message that the Wonderbread Warriors were not welcome in Boston.” As far as what he hoped to accomplish with the protest, Nick said “In May they were chased into a police truck. I predict a repeat.” He was referring to last year’s confrontation with Nazis who were protesting the Holocaust Memorial near Faneuil Hall. At that time, hundreds of people prevented the 6 or 7 Nazis from reaching the memorial. Instead protesters pinned the Nazis against the Federal building across the street from Faneuil Hall until they were escorted away by police.

The residents of Beacon Hill had varied reactions to the anti-Nazi protest. One passerby asked if the protesters didn’t have something better to do with their time. Most looked on curiously from their doorstops. A few listened to those handing out fliers to find out what the protest was about.

The police were out in force on Saturday-there were nearly as many police on the street as anti-Nazi protesters. There were bike cops, motorcycle cops, cops on horseback, cops with batons and at least 3 police wagons. On the narrow Beacon Hill Street police blocked the anti-Nazi protesters into an area a little larger than the length of the AMH itself. The reason given for this move by the police was “to make sure everybody is safe.” Later on, two police wagons blocked off the street at the top and bottom of the hill.

Given the large police presence, one might expect the police to have known when to expect the Nazis. This proved not to be the case. Deputy Superintendent Crossen told me he had no idea what time or what route the Nazis were taking or if they were even going to show up. When I asked if the Nazis had a permit, another cop interjected that no, they didn’t have a permit and that they didn’t need to have one if they were just marching on the street. This came as a surprise to someone who has participated in several anti-war demonstrations which had to strictly follow the permitted route.

One Beacon Hill resident perhaps spoke for a few of the protesters when she told me, “The police presence is a little scary. The sticks [batons] they’re carrying are a little scary. It reminds me of when MLK was beaten, though things have changed a little.”

In addition to the riot police, additional security was on hand inside the African Meeting House itself-a federal historic landmark. For information on the history of the African Meeting House, check out http://www.nps.gov/boaf/amh.htm.

I spoke with the Executive Director of the African Meeting House, Beverly Morgan-Welch. She told me the people wanting to protest Dr. King’s Birthday was “an indication of a poor education of those who would protest a man who gave his life for every American.” Referring to the counter protest, Ms. Welch stated that it “gives [the Nazis] the attention they want as well as additional converts. Protests of Nazis only encourages more demonstrations.” According to Ms. Welch, the best way to counter the Nazi message is through education. But no matter what the Nazis did, she said that nothing would intimidate the workers or stop the museum from educating and informing the public about our national history.

None of the groups had contacted people at the African Meeting House to ask them if they wanted a presence to counter the Nazi protest. Some activists were alarmed at the lack of communication.

Grace R. also made mention of the problem many in the movement see, “We don’t talk enough. We don’t analyze what works and what doesn’t work.” She usually works as a peacekeeper at protests, but on Saturday she was there as an observer and supporter. She was critical of some other tactics, or lack of tactics employed by the organizers, “Someone should have gotten a permit for this march. Then we would have owned the street and we would have blocked the Nazis from reaching the meeting house—they don’t need [the protests].” They being the workers and visitors to the AMH. Speaking about using the system that many of the activists there were trying to change she said, “There are times when the power structure could be used to our benefit. So we should be creative in finding the cracks in the structure and taking advantage of them.”

Najah was holding a sign and standing apart from the marching protesters when I asked how she heard about the protest. She replied that she heard about the Nazi protest mentioned on NBC. When I asked why she showed up at the African Meeting House, she pointed out that her mother and grandmother had attended the AMH when it was still functioning as a meeting house. She also lamented the fact that Nazis were still around. “This day and time, it is pitiful that people are protesting MLK. We marched against these racist groups 30 years ago. We’ve come too damn far for this,” she said, “Thirty years ago things were worse. There were no laws. No people protesting. The North pretended that they weren’t culpable for what was going on in the South.”

Nevertheless, Najah remarked that the perception of Boston amongst Western States in regards to race was one of backwardness. In regards to tactics, Najah said that “both confrontation and education is necessary. Non-violence is just a strategy. And strategies change. See what works and what doesn’t work.” She said that she considers herself a follower of MLK as well as Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and the Black Panthers.

Prior to this weekend I had held the notion that Nazi groups aren’t a threat because of their low visibility. But then I was told several stories from people at the demonstration of Nazi activity in and around Boston from protesters on Saturday and Monday.

Wayne a member of the ISO told me that when Somali immigrants recently moved into Lewiston, Maine, they were targeted by Nazi propaganda. A Beacon Hill resident told me the Nazis had been protesting other African Museums in Boston, such as the African Art Museum in Roxbury. One radical activist told me that white supremacists had been leafleting all over towns in the Merrimac Valley.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project on Hate Groups <http://www.splcenter.org/intel/map/hate.jsp>;, there are six neo-Nazi groups in and around the Boston Area.

One activist who didn’t want to give his name said that he was there to attach faces to the names of the white supremacists from Haverhill where the White Revolution group is based. He said that there was currently an active monitoring of racist activity and a leafleting by anti-fascists in the areas where the fascists work.

There is a question of free speech that I sometimes hear from people who want to be fair: should the Nazi’s be allowed free speech even if that speech is hateful or meant to incite violence against a racial or ethnic group? A high school girl at the protest shared her view succinctly, “If a nation is democratic they wouldn’t allow people to spew hate and damage houses.”

There are a lot of different tactics people are using to deal with extreme right groups. I personally don’t feel like doing nothing is a tactic at all, so I’m glad I was there to cover the vocal opposition. What the movement in general has to get better at is in talking to each other outside of our friends, our comrades, our comfort zone. In covering this story I had the pleasure of talking to many people I normally wouldn’t have, gaining from their experiences and gaining new friends. Just another reason to write for Boston IndyMedia!

I would like to end this article with a quote from Dr. King that might help illuminate his stance on the protests and counter protests on his birthday this past weekend in Boston. “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate.” –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This work is in the public domain.
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Comments

Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
17 Jan 2006
What a load of self congratulatory garbage from Nick Giannone and the ISO!!! 100 people came out to protest one alleged nazi a block away MY ASS!
Great Article
17 Jan 2006
I like the name you came up with, Nick.
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
17 Jan 2006
thanks for writing this. i had no idea that these hate groups were all over the place. for some reason i thought white supremacists came only from out-of-state, and that this was a once-a-year event you had to live with (like xmas, you know?)
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
17 Jan 2006
Here is some history of the Nazis everyone should study up on.

" Revolting as it is, it would be an interesting study in psychology to analyze the motives, other than fear and cowardice, that have prompted Jewish bankers to lend money to Germany as they are now doing. It is in part their money that is being used by the Hitler regime in its reckless, wicked campaign of propaganda to make the world anti-Semitic; with that money they have invaded Great Britain, the United States and other countries where they have established newspapers, subsidized agents and otherwise are spending untold millions in spreading their infamous creed."

http://www.iamthewitness.com/DarylBradfordSmith_Untermyer.html
The Nazis and Zionism
17 Jan 2006
Zionism and Proto-Fascistic German Nationalism arouse around the same time (just before the end of the 19th century). Each incubated in Central Europe. As German Nationalism morphed into fascism, Zionism and Nazism found that they shared much in common. Geographically they coexisted and each wished to find a path for their "own" people which was separate from the other.

Naturally, before Nazism fully took control of Germany, no one knew where it would lead (just as most Americans have been ignoring the potential horrors of the Bush Regime that we have yet to witness). The German fascists wanted to rid themselves of the Jews and the Jews wanted to rid themselves of life with the German fascists. It made sense, then, for the Jews to seek a homeland away from Germany and it made sense for the fascist Germans to wish to see Zionism succeed. This was before the concentration camps.

When the homeland of Palestine was selected by the Zionists, it was obvious that the plans of creating a Jewish state in Palestine would conflict with the interests of the British, so, once again, there was a natural tendancy to see the British as a common enemy.

However, once it became clear that the Nazi Regime had devolved to the point of butchering Jews, I do not believe that any significant number of Zionists continued to work with the Nazis. Yes, there are lunatics in all communities and it is probably possible to find a few lunatic Zionists that continued to work with the Nazis during the Holocaust, but they were likely very few in number and certainly did not represent the Zionist movement.

Now, here I am, an anti-Zionists attempting to defend the Zionists. However, I think it is important to remember that all movements are composed of human beings and human beings are imperfect. To draw any broad conclusion from the behavior of a handful and extend it to the entire class is bigotry.
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
18 Jan 2006
Lenni Brenner is a Courageous Speaker of the Truth, October 11, 2003
Reviewer: William Hughes (Baltimore, MD USA) -
History can be deceptive. It's fair to say that some of the sensational never-published-before documents, in this book, will shock those who have accepted Zionism and its supposed history, at face value, as a political movement that was the hope of the Jews. Lenni Brenner, the intrepid author of "Zionism in the Age of Dictators," reveals disturbing new evidence in his latest effort, that suggest just the opposite. In fact, he makes a compelling case that the Zionist record was "dishonorable." You can consider this excellent tome as a worthy sequel to his first expose' on the myopic Zionist zealots of that bygone era.

For openers, Brenner showed how the Zionists had a long history of shameless cooperation with the Nazis, especially after the dictator Adolph Hitler had came to power in 1933. The Zionists were also in bed, to some extent, with the other members of what later became known as WWII's "Axis of Evil," that included Benito Mussolini's Italy, and Tojo Hideki's Japan. For example, in March 29,1936, Zionists praised Il Duce, and his regime, at the opening of a maritime school, funded by the Fascist government, at Civitavecchia. This is where a Zionist youth group, the "Betar," trained its sailors for the future Revisionist state. The speakers ignored the fact that on Oct. 3, 1935, Italian troops had invaded Abyssinia.

On another front, the "Third Congress of the Jewish Community of the Far East," was held in Jan., 1940, in Harbin, Manchuria, then reeling under a brutal military occupation by the Japanese imperial forces. At that time, too, Tokyo was already aligned with Hitler and Italy's Mussolini, in the notorious Anti-Comintern Pact. Also, keep in mind, that the Japanese's murderous "Rape of Nanking," had occurred in Dec., 1937, and the "Crystal Night" incident on Nov. 9, 1938. Nevertheless, the Zionist confab went out of its way to legitimize the Japanese occupation by certifying it as a guarantor of the "equality of all citizens," in that beleaguered land.

The Zionist also had a trade plan with the Berlin government by which German Jews could redeem their property in Nazi goods exported to then British-occupied Palestine. And to top it all off, the infamous SS-Hptscharf. Adolf Eichmann, had visited Palestine, in October, 1937, as the guest of the Zionists. He also met, in Egypt, with Feivel Polkes, a Zionist operative, whom Eichmann described as a "leading Haganah functionary." The chain-smoking Polkes was also on the Nazis' payroll "as an informer."

Brenner isn't the first writer to address the mostly taboo subject of how the Zionist leadership cooperated with the Nazis. Rolf Hilberg's seminal "The Destruction of European Jews"; Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem"; Ben Hecht's "Perfidy"; Edwin Black's "The Transfer Agreement"; Francis R. Nicosia's "The Third Reich and the Palestine Question"; Rudolf Vrba and Alan Bestic's "I Cannot Forgive"; and Rafael Medoff's "The Deadening Silence: American Jews and the Holocaust," also dared, with varying public success.

After the Holocaust began in 1942, Eichmann dealt regularly with Dr. Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian Jew, whom he considered a "fanatical Zionist." Kastner was later assassinated in Israel as a Nazi collaborator. At issue then, however, was the bargaining over the eventual fate of Hungary's Jews, who were slated for liquidation in the Nazi-run death camps. Eichmann said this about Kastner, the Zionist representative, "I believe that [he] would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal. He was not interested in old Jews or those who had become assimilated into Hungarian society. `You can have the others,' he would say, `but let me have this group here.' And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful. I would let his groups escape."

Readers, too, will be surprised to learn, that after the Nuremberg Anti-Jewish Race Laws were enacted in Sept., 1935, that there were only two flags that were permitted to be displayed in all of Nazi Germany. One was Hitler's favorite, the Swastika. The other was the blue and white banner of Zionism. The Zionists were also allowed to publish their own newspaper. The reasons for this Reich-sponsored favoritism was, according to the author: The Zionists and the Nazis had a common interest, making German Jews emigrate to Palestine.

As early as June 21, 1933, the German Zionist Federation was sending a secret memorandum to the Nazis, which said, in part:

"It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state [German Reich] can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims as a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry- -indeed, that such a national renewal must first create the decisive social and spiritual premises for all solutions..."

Incredibly, Avraham Stern, the leader of the notorious "Stern Gang," late in 1940, made a written proposal to Hitler, by which the Jewish militias in Palestine, would fight on "Germany's side," in the war against England, in exchange for the Nazis help in resolving the "Jewish Question" in Europe, and their assistance in creating an "historic Jewish state." By this date, German troops had already marched into Prague, invaded Poland, and had built the first concentration camp at Auschwitz. The deranged Stern had further bragged about how the Zionist organizations were "closely related to the totalitarian movements of Europe in [their] ideology and structure." Stern's obscene proposal was found in the German embassy, in Turkey, after WWII.

Finally, I think Brenner was right, when he wrote, "This book presents 51 historic documents to indict Zionism for repeated attempts to collaborate with Adolf Hitler. The evidence, not I, will convince you of the truth of this issue...Exposing the Zionist role in the Nazis era is part of the scrutiny of the past, required of historians."
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
18 Jan 2006
Extreme right, or left for that matter is not a good thing. It seems that the element that inhabits the far reaches of both sides of the political spectrum have more in common with each other than they want to admit.
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
18 Jan 2006
My two cents - these people that support Nazism and hate are dead wrong. Sadly we must let this trash use our streets and side walks to voice their misguided opinions and ideas. We do this becuase that is what is right and what makes our country stand out from many others-freedom to assemble PEACEFULLY and freedom of speech. I would prefer to let them assemble peacefully on some remote island but that is not possible. The police show up in force and act as a physical deterent to whoever starts problems. They don't want to be there (carrying their batons) and they sure don't want a confrontation with anyone. Many would rather be home with their families instead of freezing and getting soaked. Dr. King was and is a great man who was taken from us by an ignorant and misguided fool. We, as a nation, lost a great man and a great civil leader that day.
Remembering Dr. King and Forgetting BAAM
18 Jan 2006
" Sadly we must let [nazi] use our streets and side walks to voice their misguided opinions and ideas. We do this becuase that is what is right and what makes our country stand out from many others-freedom to assemble PEACEFULLY and freedom of speech"

I agree with that. The only thing lamer to me than a small kadre of demented honkies pretending to be nazis on safari is when some neo-communist group bragged that they stopped free speech and got away with throwing bricks and such at police officers. How that does fly in the face of so called activism. That the other group of demented honkies can commit acts of terror and intimidation shows off their idiotic white suburban privilege and shows real contempt for the black neighborhoods they invade.
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
18 Jan 2006
Nobody can say that King was NOT abusing women, a bad father and husband, or stole donations to pay for hookers. So in what way was he a "great man", besides being a stooge for the communists?
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
18 Jan 2006
substantiate any of those claims with a source other than WP or the KKK

Even if you can, that doesn't change the fact of his public leadership for non violent change. Many (perhaps all) "great" leaders are crappy family, the public role comes first and the family suffers.

Tell me your idols and I'll tear them down, it's easy...
There is no objective evidence that any of "MLK" (above's) accusations are true.
18 Jan 2006
What is well documented is the FBI's program to discredit him and induce his suicide. Used in that program were alleged recordings of his infildelities. That the FBI believed this would induce suicide was likely based on his infidelities being a fact conjoined with a great love for his wife.

Many married people cheat during the course of their lives. To claim that all cases of infidelity constitute "abuse" in the sense that the commentor intends is baseless.

It is likely that most of our Presidents have cheated on their wives. It is likely that many well respected women have cheated on their husbands. Humans are humans and they sometimes behave like the biological beings that they are.

King may have had communist leanings, but that would have been his right. There was and is nothing illegal about being a communist or sympathizing with communist ideas. If Jesus were alive today, I believe he would have been a communist.

So, in sum, nothing "MLK" (the poster above) has written is of any meaning. Martin Luther King Jr. died for his beliefs. This puts him in a very small group of heroic individuals.
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
18 Jan 2006
I don't get why people felt compelled to paste anti-Zionist stuff into this thread... I mean, I agree with some of that, but this wasn't an Israel Day protest. It was White Revolution vs. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy... so I call bullshit on bringing Palestinian issues into this thread.
I agree, afitna.
18 Jan 2006
And I probably shouldn't have replied to the post.
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
19 Jan 2006
When Anti-zionist means anti-jew, then it is bad Karma to encourage that kind of hateful rethoric.

It is the same kind of thing like when Anti-affirmative Action is actually anti-minority.

The key is that we should not accept hate in our discourses. Not accepting means calling people on what seems hateful and hurtful.

Anyone who says that they are a Nazi must know what that means, how hateful it is. We thus don't need to tolerate them but instead drown them out.

If you have issues with Zionism is it really just a hatred of Jews?
If it is hatred of Jews, like Nazi's have, then please get help.
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
21 Jan 2006
Cops with batons? Next we'll see carpenters with hammers, plummers with pipe, masons with hods, good grief!!
Re: Remembering Dr. King: Confronting Hate
09 Feb 2006
people feel compeled to bring up history because it reveals something about the so called antifaschist movement. Everyday in universities, synagouges, churches and political realms members of an organization that funded, aided and abbeted and collaberated with the nazis meet with impunity. never have so called antifas mobalized to oppose them. this exposes the bankruptcy of their politics and gives the impression that they are serving ashkanazi racists by attacking whites who become racial concious and realize that ashkanazi have targeted them as well as arabs.
Additional ascribing ideas and actions to national socialists that they dont actually have reminds observers of zionist demonization of the arab owners of palestine.