In the aftermath of the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, the FBI and D.C. Police are asking the public to help identify people who planned and participated in the attack. Like clockwork, many people have been quick to assume that those involved in the attack were either rural white working class people, or antifascists pretending to be Trump supporters. Of course, neither of these assumptions could be farther from the truth, and the actual rioters were a varied group of people — all galvanized by President Donald Trump. While some liberals have either ridiculed the rioters they call “blue collar MAGA” — blaming the white working class, without ever contending with the fact that the majority of Trump voters were actually wealthy...
The Million MAGA March in Washington, D.C. on November 14th has become a flashpoint about how the Left should respond to the far-Right in a post-2020 election terrain. Footage distorted to fit a narrative of unprovoked violence against conservatives, Proud Boys employing specific fighting tactics to down as many people as possible; police splitting up crowds, standing with riot shields facing only one way, conveniently absent once the Proud Boys found the antifascists. Much of the conversation, however, has centered on the conflict between showing up or staying in.
A whole ecosystem has grown up around the radical right as it has surged in visibility this century. The radical right can lay claim to its own stable of media personalities and political superstars, not to mention the social media platforms and political parties that cater to them. Its growth has been powered, in part, by some of the same social institutions that characterize and support mainstream culture: the political system itself, where many radical right parties attempt participation and in many countries field candidates; and the culture of social media, where followers can number in the millions. At times the radical right can rival mainstream actors in popularity and at times can even be indistinguishable from it. As the radical right has captured media attention, it has likewise provoked heated opposition.
Every Friday in Sunland-Tujunga, a small neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles, just 15 minutes from Downtown LA, a group of violent far-Right Trump supporters meets under the guise of rallying in support of the police. Here’s how local antifascists have responded. They assemble out front of a Big 5 on Foothill Blvd from around 11 am to sundown every Friday and have since the start of the George Floyd uprising. Their hate has been countered by members of the local community since day one. Early demos would have 2-3 Black Lives Matter protesters standing across from a group of 10 violent fascists. A large counter-demo was called for on June 19th, with the far-Right stepping up to mobilize their forces on that day as well.
Many of those who organised around the exemplary “no evictions” campaign over the last couple of years gathered to show solidarity and support for people with no vote, no opportunity to work, no money, and living in a new country having fled conditions which were often the stuff of nightmares. Sadly, this was met with a “counter-protest.” Quite how anyone could protest against people being given decent food to eat should be beyond comprehension – but for the far-right, this seemed too much like treating people from other places and races with dignity. Two sets of people faced-off. One set of working-class people who defended those who had nothing, who stood by the oppressed in the best traditions of the city – and another set defending the establishment, its grubby treatment of the most marginalised and its statues, including many of those in that square who would never have lifted a finger for the working-class in their lives.
By Peter Cole In These Times. Patriot Prayer is a right-wing organization with a demonstrated history of inciting racist violence, most obviously in Portland, Ore., while ironically asserting peaceful intentions. The far-right group declared it would rally in San Francisco on Saturday. Local 10 took a lead role in organizing counter-protests that contributed to the San Francisco event being canceled the day ahead of its scheduled event. The union’s role in this wave of popular mobilizations demands consideration. At its August 17 meeting, Local 10 passed a “Motion to Stop the Fascists in San Francisco,” which laid out members’ opposition to the rally and intention to organize. This resolution enumerated the union’s justifications, starting with Donald Trump’s “whitewashing this violent, deadly fascist and racist attack [in Charlottesville] saying ‘both sides are to blame,’ and his attacking anti-racists for opposing Confederate statues that honor slavery adds fuel to the fire of racist violence.”