Fascism and Antifascism. Part three. Populist fascism: perpetual counter-revolution.

From ‘The Authority of the Boot-maker’ by Mal Content.

“What is this liberal rubbish?
Are you some kind of mug?
Don’t talk to me of ‘free speech’
For murdering fascist thugs

We remember Mosley
And how Cable Street folk fought him
When we see the fash
We let the boots do the talking”

– Oi Polloi

Now I started writing this chapter in 2012, then I paused it to see what would happen, and quite a lot has happened since. Ten years on, Britain has the most explicitly right-wing authoritarian government in its history, suppressing dissent by any means at its disposal. It is supported by computerised surveillance and detection, a police force as brutal, sexist and racist as ever, tamed media and a judiciary who mostly went to the same schools as the executive. The entire island is in counter-insurgency mode.

We’ve seen the rise and fall of the English Defence League and the United Kingdom Independence Party, the election of far-right governments around the world. The United States elected a reactionary-comic television presenter as its 45th President, who clowned around for five years making his office even more of a laughing stock while we wondered if anyone had the sense to disconnect the nuclear button.

In 1945, after six years of war against Nazism, a British labour government permitted the fascists detained under Regulation 18b to resume their activities, and gave them a police escort wherever they went, as unsurprisingly they had no popular constituency whatsoever. They were joined by Axis prisoners of war who were supposedly being rehabilitated. Some of those returned to Germany and maintaining their British contacts, plotted a fourth Reich, under cover of a crank spiritualist group called Ostara. Recently demobbed British Jews reacted with disbelief:

“I had been in the merchant navy, survived two torpedo attacks on the Atlantic convoys, and I came back home to Amhurst Road, Hackney to hugs and kisses. My mother went out to make some tea and my dad said, The bastards are back – Mosley and his Blackshirts

– Morris Beckman, antifascist: to ‘The Guardian’ 2009.

Apart from Spain and Portugal, which retained fascist governments, the only country in Europe where it was legal to glorify Hitler and the holocaust was Britain. Mosley took advantage of this to publish a German-language paper and antisemitic propaganda for distribution by right-wing British service personnel in the occupation zone. After three years of that, Mosley again combined the splinters into the Union Movement, and embarked on an electoral campaign.

“Going from a cinema showing newsreel of piles of Jewish men, women and children being bulldozed into lime pits in the concentration camps, and then passing an outdoor fascist meeting or seeing swastikas whitewashed on the walls of Jewish homes and synagogues affected these ex-servicemen with emotion ranging from choleric anger to a cold hard desire to kill the perpetrators.”

– Morris Beckman: ‘The 43 Group’

The conflict in the British Working Class was inflamed on the one hand, by newsreels of the holocaust, and on the other, by the civil war in Palestine that preceded the establishment of the state of Israel.

“Above all, it was the unfolding extent of the concentration camp horrors that really unhinged us all. It imbued every ex servicemen with a sick sense of shame that no action had ever been taken to try to save the camp inmates. Air crews had no doubt that specialised attacks could have taken out gas chambers, furnaces and SS barracks. Ex-paratroopers and Special Forces veterans argued that drops into and around the camps could have saved many, but nothing was ever attempted, …”

                (ibid.)

You have to keep in mind that Churchill had been an anti-Semite when Hitler was still in short trousers, and so was post-war foreign secretary Ernest Bevin. Bevin was an enthusiast of the ‘Truman Doctrine’ against Soviet influence, so the pre-war squabble between socialist and Communist internationals was still playing into fascist hands. A dedicated imperialist, Bevin opposed Indian independence and set about re-establishing Dutch control in Indonesia, using British, Indian and even Japanese troops to wrest the islands from the indigenous people who had recently liberated them. He was also concerned to limit Jewish emigration to Palestine, declaring to the press on 1st March 1946: “Jews must not try to get to the head of the queue”, sparking riots in Tel Aviv that left six civilians dead, shot by British troops. Some Jewish soldiers refused to clash with their co-religionists and were quietly posted elsewhere.

“Watching the Royal Navy stop Greek and Turkish bucket ships crammed with the sick and broken survivors of the camps and the Pathé Gazette and Movietone films of these same derelicts being incarcerated behind barbed wire in Cyprus, seemed to plumb the very depths of inhumanity.”

(ibid.)

Just as they had been before the war, the fascists were driven off the streets by autonomous direct action. The ‘43 Group’,

Read the rest of it.

South Korean Dictator Dies, Western Media Resurrects a Myth. By K. J. Noh

Hampton Think.

Chun Doo Hwan with Ronald Reagan, 1981

General Chun Doo Hwan was the corrupt military dictator that ruled Korea from 1979-1988, before handing off the presidency to his co-conspirator General Roh Tae Woo. Chun took power in a coup in 1979, and during his presidency he perpetrated the largest massacre of Korean civilians since the Korean war. He died on November 23rd, in pampered, sybaritic luxury, impenitent and arrogant to the very last breath.

Many western media outlets have written censorious, chest-beating accounts of his despotic governance and the massacres he perpetrated (hereherehere, and here)– something they rarely bothered to do when he was actively perpetrating them in broad daylight before their eyes.  Like the light from a distant galaxy–or some strange journalistic time capsule–only after death, decades later, do “human rights violations” in South Korea burst out of radio silence and become newsworthy.

Better late than never, better faint than silent, better partial than absent, one could argue.  Still all of them miss out on key facts, spread lies through omission.  A key dimension of Korean history and politics looks to be buried with his death. A little background history is necessary to elucidate this.

The Sorrows of the Emperor-Dictator

Park Chung Hee as Japanese Military Officer

Chun’s predecessor and patron, the aging South Korean dictator Park Chung Hee, had ruled the country as an absolute totalitarian despot for 18 years, but he knew in his bones that his days were numbered. He had survived two violent assassination attempts, mass civil protests, and even opprobrium from his American puppet masters, despite serving them loyally by sending 320,000 South Korean troops to Vietnam. Even Park’s closest advisors were worried about the fragility of his rule.

Park Chung Hee had been a former Japanese military collaborator during Japan’s colonization of Korea. A US-installed puppet Syngman Rhee had smashed socialism in the South through genocide–a method later to be replicated in Indonesia’s “Jakarta method”.

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Racism and the Working Class.

Chapter Seventeen of The Authority of the Boot-Maker by Mal Content.

Racism is another ideological hegemony closely woven into the fabric of modern (capitalist) society. It is a species of mythology, and like religion, requires certain assumptions to be taken on trust, not subjected to rational analysis. So I’d like to examine who racism serves, what racists actually believe, and how these ideas gained currency in the first place. Racism holds that mankind can be divided into separate branches identified by physical characteristics, and that these can be ‘ranked’ in terms of ability, intelligence or morality. I well remember school books in my youth that presented this as fact.

Race is a political construct with no scientific basis, it does not follow from any of the major religious traditions, nor is it particularly old. Nevertheless, apologists for racism often contend that there have always been antagonisms between races and this is rooted in some feature of human nature – that old cobblers. By extrapolation, they imply that racism can never be eliminated entirely, which absolves them from the bother of having to do anything about it, or even

Read More.

COP26: Fossil fuel industry has biggest delegation at climate talks – study

Drill or drop

More than 500 lobbyists from some of the largest oil and gas companies have been given access to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, new analysis has found.

COP26 venue. Photo: DrillOrDrop.

Researchers counted the number of individuals either affiliated with fossil fuel corporations, such as Shell, Gazprom or Exxon, or attending as members of delegations acting for the fossil fuel industry.

The study, by Corporate Accountability, Corporate Europe Observatory, Glasgow Calls Out Polluters and Global Witness, found

  • If the fossil fuel lobby were a country delegation at COP26 it would be the largest, with 503 delegates
  • This would be double the size of the UK delegation and more than twenty individuals bigger than Brazil, the largest country delegation
  • More than 100 fossil fuel companies are represented at COP26
  • 30 fossil fuel trade associations and membership organisations are also present
  • Fossil fuel lobbyists are about double the official number from the indigenous constituency at COP26

The researchers also found that the fossil fuel lobby was larger than the combined total of the eight delegations from countries worst affected by climate change in the last two decades: Puerto Rico, Myanmar, Haiti, Philippines, Mozambique, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Pakistan.

The analysis also showed that 27 official country delegations, including Canada, Kuwait, Russia and Brazil, registered fossil fuel lobbyists.

Yesterday the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 9UNFCCC), the COP26 organisers was accused of violating its charter because it had “forged an intimate partnership with corporations”.

COP26 has been criticised in the past week as the most excluding of the climate talks. People from countries in the climate front line have complained about lack of access because of issues such as travel restrictions and lack of Covid-19 vaccines.

Murray Worthy, Gas Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:

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Red and Black Telly roundup.







Press Release: Anarchist Think Tank Locked Out of PayPal

Center for a Stateless Society

UPDATE – 9/25/2021

PayPal has gotten back to us. We’re unable to ever use PayPal again.

The reason given by a customer service rep was that “…your account is too much of a risk to continue a relationship with PayPal. This decision is final and irrevocable.” No further information was given and we were told no more information will be forthcoming about what “risk” was posed or what triggered this decision.

We will be able to withdraw the funds that are currently in PayPal accounts after 180 days, if PayPal determines that we don’t owe any of that to third parties. We don’t owe any of this to third parties, but of course it’s worrying given the lack of transparency so far that they could just make something up and keep it.

We’re still trying to figure out how to move forward but, in the meantime, we’ve set up a Venmo account so that we can take in a bit of emergency funding to pay writers, sound editors, and translators for their work in September. Please direct any donations in the near future to this Venmo account:


World Report 2019: Breaking the Buzzword Fighting the “Gender Ideology” Myth

Love it or hate it, ‘gender identity’ is now at the front line of Class War, along with prisons, homelessness and mental health. In former times it was antisemitism, witch-hunting, slavery or land enclosure. We don’t always choose where we fight, only how hard.

-ed

Human Rights Watch

This month we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To mark the occasion, we have asked Human Rights Watch experts to reflect on some of the key human rights challenges in their area of specialty.

Like its buzzword brother “fake news,” “gender ideology” hasn’t taken long crossing borders into nationalist lexicons. The vacuous but dangerous term was adopted  by the Holy See decades ago to refer to a supposed gay and feminist-led movement to subvert traditional families and social values, a reaction against the rights of women and expanding protections for sexual and gender minorities.

Since then, it has developed into a catch-all phrase and short-hand for various anxieties about social change—a Hydra-like global conspiracy myth that, despite being mildly ridiculous and readily exposed, has significant traction.

In recent years, “gender ideology” has been used as a secular rallying cry against same-sex marriage in France, an alliance-building initiative between nationalists and religious conservatives in Poland, a boost to anti-Muslim groups in Austria, a popularity enhancer for Costa Rican presidential hopeful Fabricio Alvarado, and a mobilizing tool against the recent peace accord in Colombia.

Which is a lot. How can one concept have so many purposes?

In France, anti-gender activists tried

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Revolutionary Winston Smith Murdered by Federal Task Force in Minneapolis and the Community Responds

Abolition Media Worldwide

Hennepin and Ramsey County Deputies working on the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force murdered Winston Boogie Smith in broad daylight on 6/3/2021 in Minneapolis, MN, only 10 minutes away from where MPD murdered George Floyd.

The murder happened hours after the city attempted to take down George Floyd Square, a memorial site created and maintained by the community.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force had previously executed activist Michael Reinoehl without warning or trying to arrest him, an execution Trump bragged about.

Before Winston Smith was murdered, he had posted on social media of his whereabouts, and police were staked out at the location as heard on police scanners. After the murder, the media spread lies that Winston was a murder suspect and later retracted it.

Winston Smith was outspoken on the issue of community defense. Winston Smith was 32 years old when he was murdered by Minneapolis police. He was a beloved comedian, musician and a revolutionary. He left behind three young children.

Smith’s family held a vigil on top of the parking ramp Friday evening, laying flowers and candles. Protests began Friday afternoon and continued into the early hours of Saturday morning in Uptown, Minneapolis. During rush hour, protesters blocked Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. As the evening continued some demonstrators used dumpsters and cars to block off West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South. Numerous fires were lit in the area.

Support his family: https://winstonsmithwasassassinated.com/

The Gaza Centre for Human Rights has been targeted and destroyed by Israel

Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement

Palestine Solidarity Network media release, 18 May 2021

The offices of the Gaza Centre for Human Rights have been targeted and destroyed by a missile from an Israeli fighter jet.

New Zealander Julie Webb-Pullman has been working for the Centre for several years as an international expert on gathering evidence of Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza. (Julie is currently waiting to return to Gaza after being delayed in New Zealand through Covid 19)

So far the Centre, under Julie’s guidance, has sent over 2000 claims of war crimes relating to Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014 and its targeting the Great March of Return protests in March 2018.

Earlier this year the International Criminal Court made the formal announcement that they are opening an investigation into allegations of grave Israeli breaches of International Humanitarian Law. Israel is furious and has tried to stop the investigation.

Now Israel has seized the opportunity to hit back with missiles from a Israeli fighter jet.

The Centre is making an appeal for funds to get back up and running and PSNA is co-ordinating fundraising here.

People can donate to:

Account name: PALESTINE SOLIDARITY NETWORK

Account number: 38-9015-0849542-02 (Please put GCHR in the reference)

This is a message from Julie describing the photo and the damage.

I would really appreciate it if you could also appeal for funds for Gaza Centre for Human Rights – our offices were directly targeted and destroyed a few days ago. We need to replace printers, photocopiers, furniture etc.

Our electronic backup files are safe, but all of the original documents have been destroyed.

Attached (above) is a picture of the destruction – our offices were on the third floor, the translators’ office is the one with the blue wall, my office is at the front. Was.

Like almost every building in Gaza, it is a mixed residential and office tower.

We expect the New Zealand media will report on this and the government will condemn outright this bombing of a human rights organisation.

John Minto

National Chair, Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

johnminto@orcon.net.nz

Indigenous Man In Arizona Imprisoned For Social Media satire.

Enough 14

Page, Arizona – Loren Reed, a 26-year-old Diné (Navajo) man, is set for trial on May 4, 2021 for a trumped-up federal charge of “Threats to Damage and Destroy a Building by Means of Fire” after he engaged in a heated debate over Black Lives Matter protest tactics[1] in a private Facebook chat group created to organize a local police brutality protest. Reed has been held in federal pretrial detention without bail for ten months after a prior high school acquaintance reported him to the police for a different satirical social media post about planning a protest or ‘riot’ at the courthouse that never actually happened. An undercover FBI agent then infiltrated the private chat group, and monitored numerous messages exchanged by Reed and his friends. After this intrusive monitoring of speech, and lacking any real evidence, Reed was quickly and violently arrested in his neighborhood on June, 2, 2020. Nothing incriminating was found during or after the arrest, despite officers thoroughly searching Reed’s home and even his housemates.

“This federal charge is unconstitutional because there was never a legally-justified ‘true threat’ contained in the posts that would remove the broad protections of the First Amendment that apply even to vitriolic or offensive speech,[2]” said CLDC Executive Director Lauren Regan, one of the attorneys assisting Loren Reed on the case. “The supposed “threat” was never communicated to any target or victim, there was no intent to act or any evidence of an intent to act, and there is no lawful basis to federally prosecute someone for speech only – much less an Indigenous organizer confronting racism in a very conservative region of Arizona.”

“Prosecuting someone in these circumstances takes us down the slippery slope of what is protected speech versus what is a ‘true threat’ justifying criminal prosecution. We must hold strong to the outer limits of the First Amendment or we all lose the right to freely speak our minds. Today the criminalized speech may pertain to Black Lives Matter protests, but tomorrow it could be religion, science, or other political beliefs.” Regan said.

Over the course of the next ten months, Reed was held without formal charge for a month in the Coconino County Jail, where he contracted COVID-19 and where his close friend had died the year before after being denied medical care.[3] He was later transferred to a private for-profit  federal detention center in Florence, Arizona, a polluted copper mining town turned prison industrial complex hub. Reed was not indicted with a crime until late September. His trial has now been delayed three times and is currently set for May 4, 2021.

The U.S. Attorney’s office blames the pandemic for the following nine months of additional detention in which Reed was denied a speedy trial –  or even bail –  and in which it filed three separate motions to ‘extend’ his case. However, that has not stopped the government from attempting to bury this miscarriage of justice by informally suggesting an oppressive plea agreement that would result in a felony conviction, and likely probationary sentence.

“For an Indigenous person who faces the reality of institutional racism in his daily life, being threatened with a conviction for a crime he did not commit is a precarious, life-devastating burden,” stated Klee Benally, a longtime Diné (Navajo) sacred lands advocate and organizer from Flagstaff, Arizona. “It is courageous of Loren to refuse to accept this atrocious deal. While it could free him from custody immediately, it would endanger organizers and activists in the future by further criminalizing speech. Loren is taking a powerful stand, and we need to stand right there with him.”

Reed, a rapper who is known as a sensitive yet enthusiastic jokester, adamantly denies that there was any threat implied in his posts. Anyone reading them[4] with an open mind would agree. And yet, the State wants to saddle a young Indigenous man with a felony conviction that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

“This is yet another attempt to control the speech and tone of a person of color amidst a year of heartbreaking – and increasingly fatal – racially-motivated police violence. Appallingly, in this situation the State has chosen to exploit a snitch’s biased complaint to police[5] in order to further perpetuate this cycle of violence,” said Regan.

“We are calling on the federal prosecutor to immediately dismiss the charge in the interests of justice. Mr. Reed has already served over 10 months in pretrial detention for speech that did not actually threaten anyone,” she added.

“As Indigenous justice advocates, we stand with Loren Reed. The criminalization of Loren — and his right to free speech — is an ongoing violation of Indigenous rights and overall justice,” said Morning Star Gali of the Pit River Tribe, a lifelong Indigenous rights advocate with Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples who is currently based out of Sacramento, California.

“We also need to talk about the racism at play here,” said CLDC Attorney Sarah Alvarez. “Already, the feds are declining to prosecute, electing to charge petty misdemeanors, and/or negotiating lenient plea deals[6] for the white supremacists that assaulted the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They have also entirely turned a blind eye toward the hundreds of far-right individuals who threatened politicians and police via social media. Meanwhile, an Indigenous man has been sitting in jail without due process for 10 months – all over a tongue-in-cheek social media post where no violence or property damage ever occurred nor was ever intended to occur. It’s difficult to prove this in court, but Mr. Reed’s case is a textbook example of race-based disparate treatment, and it needs to end with an immediate dismissal of the charge against him.”

Reed is scheduled for a jury trial starting May 4 but there’s still time for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice to do the right thing and immediately drop the charge to let him return to his life.

Notes

[1] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss Due to Likely Presentation of Inaccurate, Incomplete or Misleading Information to Grand Jury at 4, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021).

[2] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss for Inadequate Indictment at 6, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021)

[3] “Jail footage shows Kyle Martinson yell for help before death,” Arizona Daily Sun, June 17, 2019. https://azdailysun.com/news/jail-footage-shows-kyle-martinson-yell-for-help-before-death/article_ea48524d-8991-50cd-91a9-8f67ae8ec3c8.html

[4] “Indigenous man faces 10 years for Facebook comments,” Al Jazeera, January 19, 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/19/holdindigenous-man-faces-10-years-for-facebook-comments-during-b

[5] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss for Selective Enforcement & Selective Prosecution; Mot. for Discovery at 5, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021)

[6] “Many Capitol rioters unlikely to serve jail time,” Politico. March 30, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/30/jan-6-capitol-riot-jail-time-478440