Contributed by: Rose City Antifa
This July, David Irving, a British neo-fascist and fraudulent historian, goes on the road in the United States, planning to hold approximately one and a half dozen speaking engagements over the course of a month. As militant anti-racists and anti-fascists, we are making a public call for resistance at each stop along the way of this tour.
Who is David Irving?
David Irving is a British writer of histories who has been involved with the fascist political scene since the 1960s. Always known for the pro-Hitler bias of his books, approximately two decades ago Irving made the transition to being a fully-fledged Holocaust-denier, when he testified at the trial of neo-Nazi Ernst Zündel in Canada, and also arranged the publication of ’s widely-refuted report on gas chambers at Auschwitz. In addition to spreading blatant historical lies, Irving has publicly stated that “The Jews are the architects of their own misfortune”. Unsurprisingly, Irving has been an extremely popular speaker at neo-Nazi rallies in Germany.
In the British libel case Irving v. Penguin Books and Lipstadt, the final ruling in favor of the defendants confirmed that Irving “is an active ” and that “he is anti-Semitic and racist and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.” In 2006, Irving was jailed in Austria after pleading guilty to a charge of “trivializing the Holocaust”, which is a crime in that county. Since his release, Irving has been marketing himself as a former “political prisoner”.
Why Oppose These Events?
Irving’s current tour focuses on “"Re-writing history, using the decoded Nazi messages" (see: http://www. focal. org/speaks/index. html). The re-writing of Third Reich history—especially in relation to the Nazi “Final Solution” for Europe’s Jewish population—is a major preoccupation for modern neo-Nazis and neo-fascists, who correctly believe that memory of the Holocaust is a significant barrier to the mainstreaming of their beliefs. The Holocaust is denied so that, paradoxically, it can be repeated. Wherever Irving appears, he is backed and promoted by virulent anti-Semites and fascist organizers.
Irving’s bogus history is both blatantly offensive and incorrect. However, we oppose Irving not for what he thinks, but rather for what he does. As the name of his own publishing project suggests, Irving serves as a “focal point” to bring Jew-haters and goose-steppers together. He is part of a political tendency that is actively organizing for ethnic and racial hostilities, and in particular to persecute Jewish people. (James von Brunn’s murder of a security guard at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is one recent example of where this anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi tendency can lead. Von Brunn moved within many of the same circles that promote Irving’s work.)
We believe that fascist activism and movement-building should meet with organized resistance. As the Anti-Racist Action Network states in its Points of Unity:
“Whenever fascists are organizing or active in public, we're there. We don't believe in ignoring them or staying away from them. Never let the nazis have the street!”
We invite you to help this effort along, by organizing in your own community.
When and Where?
At present, the dates for Irving’s speaking tour are as follows:
July 3 Friday: Kansas City, 19:00
July 6 Monday: Oklahoma City, 19:00
July 8 Wednesday: Albuquerque, 19:00
July 10 Friday: Phoenix, 19:00
July 12 Sunday: Las Vegas, buffet, 19:00
July 13 Monday: Salt Lake City, buffet, 19:00
July 15 Wednesday: Boise, buffet, 19:00
July 16 Thursday: Spokane, buffet, 19:00
July 18 Saturday: Seattle 15:00
July 19 Sunday: Portland, OR, buffet, 15:00
July 22 Wednesday: Sacramento, buffet,18:30
July 23 Thursday: San Francisco, buffet 18:30
July 25 Saturday: Costa Mesa, 18:30
July 26 Sunday: Sherman Oaks, 15:00
July 29 Wednesday: Denver, 19:00
July 30 Thursday: Omaha, 19:00
July 31 Friday: Chicago incl. de luxe dinner, 19:00
The exact location of Irving’s talk in each city has not been made public, due to Irving’s fear of encountering the opposition he so richly deserves. Any determined group of individuals ought to be able to pinpoint the event location in their city, however. Many of these events are probably booked under false pretexts, and venue owners may not necessarily know who they are hosting.
Further dates may be added (or subtracted!) as the tour progresses. Irving also plans to speak on the East Coast later this year, although dates have not been announced for this yet. Let’s set the tone for the East Coast wing of Irving’s tour right now!
No platform for fascists, no compromise!
- Rose City Antifa / Portland ARA
Old history, but here is a reposting of the Chicago ARA press release from 2000 of an action against one of Irving's last visits to Chicago:
ANTI-RACIST ACTION CHICAGO
1573 N. Milwaukee, PMB 420
Chicago, IL 60622
E-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
- Friday, 22 September 2000 -
CHICAGO ANTI-FASCISTS DISRUPT APPEARANCE BY DAVID IRVING
On Tuesday, September 19, the internationally despised Holocaust denier and
historical revisionist David Irving was scheduled to speak at a secret
meeting in Chicago regarding "Truth in History." The topic of Irving's
scheduled appearance is ironic, given that his reputation as a historian
was thoroughly shredded by a judgement placed against him in a British high
court earlier this year. In this case, where David Irving's beliefs and
"evidence" were placed on trial, the judge found that "Irving has for his
own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and
manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed
Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his
attitude towards, and responsibility for, the treatment of the Jews."
For the past 15 years, David Irving has pushed doctored historical evidence
exonerating the Nazis from the extermination of Jews during World War II.
He has peddled his ideas to the extreme right, consistently making
appearances and speeches on behalf of fascist and right-wing groups in a
number of countries, including the US, Canada and Germany. According to the
British courts: "The content of his speeches and interviews often displays
a distinctly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish bias." There is no question that
David Irving is an apologist and proponent of fascism.
A short time before David Irving was scheduled to speak in Chicago, the
progressive right-wing monitoring group the Center for New Community (CNC)
learned of the event and put out a call to anti-fascists around Chicago to
respond and protest. Over 70 people turned out on only a day's notice,
including a sizable contingent pulled together by Anti-Racist Action (ARA)
as well as student activists from Depaul University. The activists gathered
at DePaul University, only a few blocks away from Stefani's, the bourgeois
restaurant hosting Irving's event. The anti-fascists then marched to the
restaurant and staged a spirited protest out front. This rowdy protest was
blocked from getting in the front door, but the highly visible and loud
presence drew crowds of onlookers from the surrounding neighborhood,
restaurants and workplaces.
At the same time, a group of masked anti-fascists stormed into the
restaurant through the rear kitchen entrance. This militant action further
disrupted Irving's presentation, as tables were knocked over, food was
thrown and Irving's literature ripped and scattered. Irving himself was
struck with a chair! The antifas withdrew from the restaurant before police
arrived, and no arrests were taken. Irving and his audience of 20 or so
were forced to retreat to the basement of the building.
The protest outside the restaurant continued for 45 minutes, before it left
the area in the face of a growing police presence and escalated police
threats. The entire night was undoubtedly a victory, as it showed that
anti-fascists could organize on extremely short notice to disrupt a
clandestine fascist affair and hand them a lesson they won't soon forget.
The anti-fascists themselves were a diverse bunch, including religious
activists, Jewish students, Latino punks, white anarchists and class war
skinheads. The action was also successful because it incorporated space
both for activists who merely wished to make a presence and expose the
affair as well as militants who wished to take direct action and attempt to
shut it down. Both played their part, and delivered a message that fascists
will not be allowed to secretly spread their lies and organize without
being directly confronted and opposed.