Dec 15, 2013

Interface articles on the far right: Part one -- Autonomous Nationalists

The November 2013 issue of Interface includes two interesting articles about the far right. Interface is an interesting project -- an international, multilingual journal that brings together activists and academics to share knowledge "for and about social movements." The journal's politics are broadly leftist. It's freely available online and has been publishing for about five years.

In a statement titled "Who We Want to Reach," the Interface editors say that they don't want to produce either "pure" theory or simply descriptive accounts. Rather, they aim to contribute to "praxis-centered theorizing" on social movement activity. If the two articles that caught my attention are representative, then the results are promising but uneven. One of the articles does a much better job than the other at providing theoretical analysis that's useful for guiding political work.

The two articles are:
Both pieces are pretty academic in format and language, but both offer useful information and address issues that have been ignored by many leftists. This blog post will focus on the article about Autonomous Nationalists. I'll address the second article in a follow-up post.

Schlembach's article discusses an important sub-current within the German far right that has emerged over the past decade. Autonomous Nationalists are neo-nazi street fighters who have adopted many of the styles and symbols of anarchists and other leftists. They've replaced skinhead-style bomber jackets and combat boots with black hoodies and baseball caps, and favor hip hop graffiti art over German Fraktur. They also emphasize autonomy, decentralism, and DIY culture rather than discipline and honor, are skeptical of personality cults, and promote a "spontaneous aggressiveness" at demonstrations (303) that can put them at odds not only with anti-fascists and the police but even with more established fascist organizations. Autonomous Nationalists have an uneasy relationship with the National Democrat Party (NPD) and other established fascist parties. And, Schlembach reports, while far right violence in Germany has primarily targeted immigrants and asylum seekers, Autonomous Nationalist violence more often targets leftists.

Many far rightists denounce corporate globalization and even capitalism, but some Autonomous Nationalists "call for boycotts of well known neo-Nazi clothing brands that produce clothing abroad [and] attack them for selling out and turning into 'capitalist companies'" (303). And while international networking among fascists is common, "the Autonomous Nationalists make special efforts to integrate foreign activists into their activities in Germany. This, together with the use of new social media and the English language, results in a fast dissemination of ideas and repertoires to other European countries" (312).

The Autonomous Nationalists aren't very numerous (in 2009, the German government estimated they formed about 10 percent of the neo-nazi movement, with 400-500 activists) but they are important because they show vividly that it's dangerous to equate progressive politics with any specific style or even with more substantive values such as autonomy or internationalism. Autonomous Nationalists are the latest version, but fascists have been appropriating leftist politics in distorted form since the time of Mussolini. It's a basic part of what they do.

Schlembach's article is quite useful for its reportage about the Autonomous Nationalists. Ironically, given the article's academic tone, its analysis is much weaker. Despite a few references to other fascists, Schlembach does little to place the Autonomous Nationalists in a larger historical or political context. He makes no effort to relate Autonomous Nationalism to parallel developments such as National Anarchism, which also borrows heavily from current leftist movements. And while the article describes Autonomous Nationalists' racial politics as "ethno-pluralist," there's no mention of the European New Right, which is where the term ethno-pluralism comes from.

To Schlembach, "the principles of networked, decentralized and individualistic organization stand in complete opposition to the stated aim of a national organic order" and thus Autonomous Nationalists' means and ends are in "obvious conflict" (314). That's true if we assume that the fascist ideal is a centralized, totalitarian state a la Hitler's Germany -- in other words, if we overlook the European New Right, leaderless resistance, white separatism, National Anarchism, and many other developments in fascist politics over the past thirty years.

I'm glad that Interface published this article and is addressing current-day rightist tendencies such as Autonomous Nationalism. But as an example of practice-centered theorizing, Schlembach's article falls short. To explore these developments usefully requires a broader and deeper view of far right movements and a more inclusive and dynamic conception of fascism.

Oct 16, 2013

CrimethInc podcast on Fascism and Anti-Fascism

From CrimethInc:

Recently murdered Greek anti-fascist rapper Killah P is just the latest casualty in a worldwide surge of fascist violence. In this episode, we analyze contemporary fascism and the resistance anarchists have mounted to it, including the history of Anti-Racist Action. Interviews with the One People’s Project and New York City Anarchist Black Cross discuss the extreme right in the US today, tactics for fighting fascists, and the Tinley Park case. We also clear up a listener’s question about “National Anarchism,” roll out more Contradictionary terms, and share a ton of news and upcoming events.

Read (and hear) more

Oct 13, 2013

Anti-nazi protest planned for Philadelphia, October 19th

From Philadelphia Residents Against Racism:

For the past 7 years, the city of Philadelphia has played host to a gathering of Neo-Nazis right under the noses of its residents.

This gathering, known as "The Leif Ericson Day Celebration" is organized, promoted, and attended exclusively by members of Neo-Nazi organizations.  In past years the gathering has drawn upwards of 50 hardcore racists and fascists to Philly and served as an recruiting and organizing tool for the main organization involved, the Keystone State Skinheads (KSS)....

KSS has announced their event for October 19th in Fairmount Park.  If past years are any indication, they will do a very short march in formation down lemon hill at Noon and attempt to lay a wreath and make speeches at the statue of Thorfin Karlson along Kelly drive.

We plan to mobilize a huge contingent of Anti-Racists, progressives, and all good people of Philly to the Thorfin Karlson statue. THIS WILL BE A PEACEFUL PROTEST.  Please bring any signs, banners, noise makers or drums in order for our contingent to block/drown out the hate-speech of the Nazis....

Read more

The anti-nazi protest is also being promoted by One People's Project.

Anti-fascist prisoner to be released

From the NYC Anarchist Black Cross:

Alex Stuck of the Tinley Park 5 is due to be released from prison at the end of this month or by early November. So, Bloomington ABC [Anarchist Black Cross], NYC ABC, and Sacramento Prisoner Support have launched a campaign to start a release fund for Alex.

"Alex...was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for attacking and stopping an organizing luncheon of white supremacists. The meeting of white nationalists and neo-Nazis took place in Tinley Park, Illinois in May 2012...."

Please remember that prisoner support doesn't end when a comrade is released. Through halfway houses, supervised release, parole, or probation, there is usually state supervision beyond the initial sentence. Also, prison is traumatic. And of course there is the stigma of being a former prisoner that effects nearly every aspect of one’s life. All of this adds up to the less obvious, but equally necessary, support needed when our loved ones come home. Donate to your ability and show an anti-fascist comrade how we welcome folks home....

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Oct 7, 2013

Greek fascism at a crossroads

About a week ago -- following the recent murder of antifascist musician Pavlos Fyssas -- Greek police arrested eighteen leading members of the neonazi Golden Dawn party, including party head Nikolaos Michaloliakos, on charges of participating in a criminal gang. A new law was passed cutting off government funding from parties whose parliamentary deputies are being prosecuted. The crackdown also targeted Golden Dawn's allies in the security services, as several high-ranking police officials either resigned or were fired or suspended.

photo of antifascist mural
Pavlos Fyssas, antifascist Rapper and left activist was killed by fascists in Piräus - Athens. 19.09.2013. This photo shows the Red Stuff Antifa store mural in Berlin Kreuzberg. Photo by Seven Resist.

Fyssas's murder followed years of physical attacks by Golden Dawn members and supporters against immigrants, refugees, leftists, LGBT people, and others -- attacks carried out largely with the state's acquiescence or active support. As I have discussed before, GD has enjoyed a close relationship with the police and has helped create political space for more "moderate" parties to implement their own anti-immigrant policies. A recently reported Financial Crime Unit investigation shows that GD has been funded largely by members of the ruling class, including several ship-owners (in Greece's most successful industry), other businessmen, and Orthodox bishops (major landowners). In return, despite its anti-establishment rhetoric and occasional support for militant workers, Golden Dawn has threatened and attacked labor unions, voted for government subsidies to big business, and, of course, helped deflect popular anger away from the capitalist system and onto dark-skinned immigrants.

So why a state crackdown against Golden Dawn now? Thrasybulus, writing on, identifies several factors: massive popular protests at Fyssas's murder, a desire by New Democracy (the conservative party that leads Greece's coalition government) to curb a political rival, and concerns about a potential coup d'etat by GD's friends in the military (as proposed recently by a group of special forces reservists). One commenter suggested that pressure from the European Union and International Monetary Fund (which are pondering a third debt bailout for Greece) may also have been a factor.

Leftist observers disagree on how serious the government's moves are or how severely they will affect Golden Dawn. Jerome Roos of ROAR Magazine writes that "arresting its leaders will undoubtedly cripple Golden Dawn's hierarchical organization and may temporarily paralyze the party's official actions," but Christoph Dreier on the World Socialist Web Site argues that "The court's decision to release leading Golden Dawn officials makes clear that the government's aim was to curb, but not to end Golden Dawn's criminal activities." Both agree that the crackdown is much too limited to uproot the extensive network of Golden Dawn supporters in the state apparatus, including both the police and armed forces.

Even an effective crackdown may have negative consequences. Thrasybulus notes, "If the party is banned out right its anti-systematic standing will only increase with its leader urging supporters to fight on from behind bars. Freed from the pretence of being a respectable party GD hit squads may be given license to increase the violence." And Dreier warns, "the state will seize upon the precedent set by measures against Golden Dawn, including a possible ban on the party, to prepare stepped-up attacks on the democratic rights of the entire population, above all, the working class."

In any case, fascism in Greece extends beyond Golden Dawn alone. In recent weeks, English-language reports have emerged about another Greek neonazi organization, known as Black Lily, which claims to have "a whole platoon of volunteers" fighting in Syria for the Assad government. Brian Whelan on reports that Black Lily is part of the European Solidarity Front for Syria (ESFS), an international network of far-right groups that has organized protests in support of the Assad regime. Claiming that "a massive part of the [Syrian] population is of Greek extraction," a Black Lily spokesperson praised the pro-Assad fighters of "heroic Hezbollah" while denouncing "the intoxicated addicts of the mercenary Salafists of Al-Qaeda" and "the expanding global dictatorship of the American-Zionist war machine."

Like other groups in the ESFS network, Black Lily embraces a third positionist version of fascism, emphasizing anti-capitalism and direct action. The Black Lily website features work by national-anarchist Troy Southgate and European New Right theorist Aleksandr Dugin, as well as photos of mystical and "left" fascist forefathers such as Julius Evola, Gregor Strasser, Corneliu Codreanu, and Francis Parker Yockey. The group has also expressed solidarity with the North Korean government and Venezuela's late president Hugo Chavez. These affinities set Black Lily apart from Golden Dawn, which upholds a more traditional brand of fascist politics. Black Lily condemns the crackdown against Michaloliakos and his followers but also criticizes Golden Dawn as a "right wing nationalist" effort to "invade [the] Nationalist/National Socialist movement to change the course and to impose its own views."

Related posts on Three Way Fight:
Golden Dawn's fascist ideology, 24 October 2012
Golden Dawn violence and police collaboration, 12 October 2012
White nationalists praise Golden Dawn, 8 October 2012

Sep 20, 2013

International animal rights gathering and the struggle against fascism

Les Panthères Enragées (the Rabid Panthers) is a Toulouse-based group. Their website says, "We fight for animal liberation in a comprehensive approach against all forms of exploitation and domination." They attended the International Animal Rights Gathering in Belgium in August 2013 and raised the issue of fascists within the movement. Here is an excerpt from their report:  

"The debate about anti-fascism exposed the particularly worrying situation in France on issues of animal rights' struggles which are gangrenous with the presence of racist, homophobic and fascist militants and groups. This situation may stem from different reasons, one of which being that the struggles on animal rights are not attracting anti-capitalist, anarchist or anti-fascist militants, which leaves room to the spreading of these sickening ideas without any powerful and united response. Another cause is that a vast majority of this struggle is made in the name of animal protection rather than animal liberation, which makes it into a single-issue campaign, devoid of any political project or intersectionality, which therefore accepts without any problem the presence, support, or funding from anyone, under the pretense that everything must be done and thought solely to protect animals."

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Sep 8, 2013

Syrian Anarchist Challenges the Rebel/Regime Binary View of Resistance

This interview with Nader Atassi, published on Truthout, has been getting some well-deserved attention. Atassi cites a number of voices in Syria concerned with self-determination between two unsatisfactory poles -- "not only anarchists, but Trotskyists, Marxists, leftists, and even some liberals." These passages stood out for me:  

"The mainstream coverage always tries to portray people as belonging to some kind of binary. But the Syrian revolution erupted as people demanding self-determination from the one party that was denying it to them: the regime of Bashar al Assad. As time passed, other actors came onto the scene who also denied Syrians their self-determination, even some who fought against the regime. But the position was never simply to be against the regime for the sake of being against the regime… The regime took self-determination away from the people, and any removal of the regime that results in replacing it with someone else who will dominate Syrians should not be seen as a success."

"There is consensus across the board, from US to Russia to Iran, that no matter what happens in Syria, regime institutions should remain intact. The same institutions that were built by the dictatorship. The same institutions that plundered Syria and provoked the popular discontent that started this uprising. The same institutions that are merely the remnants of French colonialism. Everyone in Syria knows that the US's preferred candidates for leadership roles in any future Syria are those Syrians who were part of the regime and then defected: Ba'athist bureaucrats turned neoliberal technocrats turned 'defectors.' These are the people the US would have rule Syria."

Aug 23, 2013

Aug 2, 2013

Anti-Racist Action benefit compilation CD now available

Reposted from Anti-Racist Action, July 28, 2013:

It's been a long wait but the Anti-Racist Action (ARA) compilation CDs have finally arrived and are ready to be sold. The funds from this CD go to the ARA warchest. 15% of the warchest goes directly to our long term prisoners such as the Tinley Park 5, and the rest is put aside to support antifascists who may be victims of state harassment in the future. The compilation CD features Wretched of the Earth, Konstrukt, Adelitas, Appalachian Terror unit, Divergent, Oi Polloi, Welkin Dusk, the Last Chance Boys, Brillen Baggage, We must Dismantle All This, A- Truth, DSI, Let the World Die, Macula, and Tom Morello.

To order this CD, send a total of $13 ($10 for CD + $3.00 postage and handling) in the form of well concealed cash, a check, or money order, payable to Anti-Racist Action PO Box 1055, Culver City 90232. If any record labels, distros, or antifa chapters are interested in selling these contact us at for bulk prices.

Jul 26, 2013

Support California prisoners on hunger strike

"California holds nearly 12,000 people in extreme isolation at a cost of over $60 million per year. The cells have no windows, and no access to fresh air or sunlight. The United Nations condemns the use of solitary confinement for more than 15 days as torture, yet many people in California state prisons have been encaged in solitary for 10 to 40 years!
"In 2011, over 12,000 prisoners and their family and community members participated in statewide hunger strikes protesting the inhumane conditions in the SHU [Secure Housing Unit]. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) promised meaningful reform. In February 2013, prisoners announced that another hunger strike would begin July 8th because of CDCR's failure to fulfill that promise." (from the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity website)

30,000 California prisoners joined the hunger strike on July 8th. Nineteen days later, despite retaliation by prison officials, over 700 hunger strikers continue this nonviolent resistance action. The hunger strikers' demands are clear and specific, for example: end collective punishment for individual rule violations, end long-term solitary confinement, stop requiring prisoners to inform on each other in return for better food or release from solitary, and provide all prisoners with adequate and nutritious food.

The California prisoners' fight is a matter of basic human decency. It's also strategically important, because the prison system in the United States is a major tool of political repression and social control, and thus a pivotal arena of political struggle.

There are a number of immediate ways to support the California prisoners hunger strike, from signing petitions to calling Governor Brown's office to organizing local demonstrations.

For more information about the strike and how to support it, see Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity, California Prison Focus, and Solitary Watch.

For detailed background about the 2011 hunger strikes, see Karl Kersplebedeb's article, "The 2011 Hunger Strikes Remembered: Resistance Against Neocolonial Imprisonment and Torture." And for an extensive list of related websites, documents, and articles, see Kersplebedeb's "2013 Prisoners Strikes" page.

Jul 15, 2013

May 18, 2013

Matthijs Krul on Nazi settler colonialism

It's no secret that Nazi Germany set out to create a settler colonial empire in eastern Europe. But what role did this effort play in the larger Nazi project? How was it connected with Nazi economic, military, and racial policies -- including the annihilation of European Jews? Matthijs Krul's essay "What was Nazi Germany?" (in Parts I, II, and III) explores these questions in more detail than I have seen in other anti-fascist discussions. I don't completely agree with Krul's conclusions, but I think he offers an important piece of the picture, which has larger significance for understanding fascism more generally.

Krul is an independent Marxist who runs the blog Notes & Commentaries. "What was Nazi Germany?" appeared there in 2010, but I only discovered it this year.

Resettlement of German colonizers to annexed Polish territories. Bundesarchiv, R 49 Bild-0705 / CC-BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons
As Krul recounts, Nazi settler-colonialist ambitions involved military conquest of Poland and large sections of the USSR, forced removal of non-Germans from these lands, and their replacement by German settlers. This vision was inspired partly by earlier genocidal conquests elsewhere -- notably Imperial Germany's war against the Herero in what is now Namibia, and the United States' conquest of Native America -- but unlike most previous examples directed settler conquest against Europe itself. (Krul doesn't mention it, but the British also practiced settler colonialism in Europe, specifically Ireland, centuries earlier. See Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Volume One.)

Krul is hardly the first writer to discuss German Nazism in these terms, but he analyzes Nazi settler policies in more detail than I have seen previously. For example, he discusses Nazi laws that barred German women and first-born sons from inheriting farms -- and thereby created a large pool of potential settlers. More eastern settlers were to be recruited (or forcibly transplanted) from poorer German cities, other "Aryan" countries such as the Netherlands, and ethnic German communities in the Baltic countries and elsewhere. Some 200,000 eastern Germans were in fact relocated in this manner in 1940, although it is unclear from Krul's account how many of them made it out of transit camps onto farms.

Krul also explores the connections between settler colonial policies and the Nazis' economic and military program, drawing heavily on Adam Tooze's excellent book, The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. Krul outlines Germany's starkly uneven development in 1933, with advanced big industry offset by backward agriculture and small industry, coupled with steep inequality and a low standard of living for most people. As he notes, Nazi rearmament in the 1930s was at one and the same time (a) the main engine for economic growth, (b) preparation for colonial conquest, and (c) a source of tension with industrial capitalists. In 1936, Hitler's assistant Hermann Goering "took over control of the economic as well as the military spheres, since the contradiction between the needs of rearmament (import of raw materials, manpower to the army) and those of industry (restriction of imports, labor for industry) had become unresolvable without dictatorial intervention…" (II -- All citations here from Krul's essay indicate whether the quote is from Part I, II, or III.)

Contrary to the vulgar Marxist view that Nazism simply acted on behalf of big business, Krul outlines German capital's initial ambivalence and factional divisions in the face of Nazi plans, and argues that the Nazi dictatorship (for example, imposing state-controlled cartels on industry and agriculture) reflected the economic elite's weakness and inability to solve problems by the usual means. Tooze goes further in this regard, detailing numerous ways that Nazi state took policymaking power away from capitalists, even as it helped them restore profitability and power within the workplace. All of this echoes (and provides strong confirmation for) the argument Timothy Mason advanced 45 years ago in "The Primacy of Politics - Politics and Economics in National Socialist Germany."

Krul also outlines the gradual unfolding of Nazi racial policies in relation to both the settlement program and the economic demands of a large-scale war of conquest. As he notes, "the final goal was not just to get rid of Jews and other undesirables and to win the war through production, but overall to 'cleanse' Eastern Europe altogether for German settlement" (III). Not only Jews, but non-Jewish Poles and others considered racially inferior were systematically worked to death. Nazi racial terrorism went through several stages -- from expropriation of property and forced migration, through greater and greater concentration under harsher and harsher conditions, to large-scale mechanized murder -- which correlated with the stages of the settlement program. Property looted from Jews was used to compensate German settlers who had been forcibly relocated, and Jews were squeezed into a smaller and smaller area of Poland as the land reserved for colonial settlement was increased.

It's clear that settler colonialism was a major part of the German Nazi program and is crucial for understanding many Nazi policies -- for example, why the Nazis killed some two million non-Jewish Poles. But it doesn't explain all major policies, and Krul overreaches when says that Nazi Germany was a settler state and a colonialist state "above all else" (III). Settler colonialism doesn't explain the ferocity of Nazi anti-Bolshevism, as embodied for example in Hitler's orders that the invasion of the USSR be fought as a war of "extermination" against Bolshevik commissars and the Communist intelligentsia. (See Lorna Waddington, Hitler's Crusade: Bolshevism and the Myth of the International Jewish Conspiracy, p. 170.)

Above all, settler colonialism doesn't explain the overriding centrality of Nazi antisemitism. Krul argues that, from the Nazis' perspective, the settler program required getting rid of Jews (and other "undesirables," such as Roma) to ensure the German people's purity and safety. This is no doubt true, but it begs the question of why the Nazis regarded the Jews as an existential threat in the first place. As the U.S. example demonstrates, settler colonialism doesn't inherently require anti-Jewish discrimination, let alone expulsion or mass murder. In fact, French settler colonialism in Algeria involved granting French citizenship to Jewish Algerians, raising them legally and socially above their Muslim compatriots.

Even if we somehow accept the idea that Nazi settlerism had to target Jews, this at most explains the Nazi killing of Jews in Germany and the areas slated for eastern colonial expansion. It doesn't explain why the Nazi state devoted scarce resources to rounding up and murdering some one million Jews from other parts of Europe -- the Balkans, Hungary, France, Italy, the Netherlands, etc. This part of the Final Solution only makes sense if we recognize that annihilation of the Jews was for the Nazis an end in itself that did not serve any other instrumental purpose.

But Nazi settler colonialism doesn't have to explain all that to be an important part of the story. As long as we don't treat settlerism as the overarching principle that covers all of the Nazi state's main features, exploring its meaning and implications can teach us a lot. For example, what can we learn about generic fascism by looking at Nazi settlerism in relation to Fascist Italy, which had its own settlerist program in Africa? And what were the implications of Nazi settlerism for Germany's (and Europe's) class and socio-economic structure?

Here I suggest relating Krul's analysis to arguments posed by two different authors in the book Confronting Fascism: Discussion Documents for a Militant Movement. J. Sakai (in "The Shock of Recognition") argues that Nazism "de-proletarianized Aryan society" by elevating "newly Aryanized men…into military & police service and into being supervisors, office workers, foremen, straw bosses and minor bureaucrats of every sort," and creating a "new proletariat that…was heavily made up of involuntary foreign & slave laborers, retirees, and -- despite Nazi ideology about women's 'natural' place in the kitchen and nursery -- women" (p. 121).

Taking a different approach from Sakai, Don Hamerquist (in "Fascism & Anti-Fascism") argues that while  "normal" capitalist development involves genocide "against pre-capitalist populations and against the social formations that obstruct the creation of a modern working class," German Nazism undertook "the genocidal obliteration of already developed sections of the European working classes." Not only labor power, but workers themselves were "consumed in the process of production just like raw materials and fixed capital," which broke with capitalist principles (p. 28). There's a lot of room for useful dialog between both Hamerquist's and Sakai's arguments and Krul's settlerism analysis.

In addition, while working on this post I came across two other scholars who are writing about Nazi settler colonialism. Carroll P. Kakel III has published a book comparing The American West and the Nazi East, while Elizabeth Harvey's Women and the Nazi East examines women's role in the "Germanization" of Poland. I look forward to reading what these authors have to say and comparing their findings with Krul's.

Mar 24, 2013

Far rightists divided over Hugo Chávez

Far rightists are of two minds about the legacy of Hugo Chávez, who died on March 5th after leading Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Revolution” for over fourteen years. Chávez was a left populist whose “anti-imperialist” friends and allies included not just Fidel Castro and Evo Morales but also Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, and Belorus’s neo-stalinist president Alexander Lukashenko. Some far rightists applaud this kind of left-right alliance, others don’t.

(For more on Chávez’s deeply flawed politics, see Bill Weinberg’s “Contradictory legacy of Hugo Chávez,” and Bromma’s “Notes on XXIst Century Socialism.”)

“Reasons to like Chavez”
Attitudes toward Chávez on a recent discussion thread on Stormfront, a leading neo-nazi discussion forum, were mostly but not entirely positive. The thread began with a 2010 video clip in which Chávez claimed that Israel was funding the Venezuelan opposition and that Mossad agents were trying to kill him. A Stormfront forum member favorably quoted several mainstream articles accusing Chávez of antisemitism (see note below), and offered the following “reasons to like Chavez”:
“-He increased the living standards of his countries poor brown masses, meaning less of them emigrating to Western nations.
 -He cut into the profits of the big Jew banks by encouraging barter trade… This was seen especially in his trade with Russia.
 -He undermined the crypto-Jews that control Venezuela greatly.
 -He was against Zionism, and helped those who also opposed Zionism. He also spoke out against the Jewish Power Structure.
 -He was a nationalist. Nationalist’s should support one another in this globalist Jew world, as long as interests do not conflict, irrespective of brand or race.”
Another commenter on the same thread wrote simply, "Have observed that jewish neo-cons hated this guy. That has to mean there's some good!" But not everybody agreed with this “enemy of my enemy is my friend” logic. One person wrote that Chávez's opposition to Israel “proved nothing save for a common cause which is as toxic as any type of neo-con zionism.” And another commenter declared that “Chavez hated whites.”

Similar discussions can be found on other fascist discussion boards, such as Vanguard News Network Forum (a split off from William Pierce’s National Alliance) and On Iron March Forums, one person disparaged Chávez’s “verbal bluster” and criticized “his support for Colombian FARC rebels who are a bunch of Marxist clowns,” but conceded that “he was a problem for globalism and capitalism. While I would not have seen him as an ally, I give him cred for that.” Another commenter on the same thread wrote, “Now while I would call him far from perfect he embraced his political myth (Simon Bolivar), gave the land back to the people (in a hap hazard way), fought of[f] the globalists and over all contributed to the quality of life of his citizens. While he was not perfect… he could have been a friend to states such as ours.”

"Put in power through the British embassy"
The Lyndon LaRouche network, whose idiosyncratic fascist ideology draws heavily on anti-British conspiracy theories, claimed that “Chavez was originally put in power in Venezuela through actions of the British embassy… Chavez in that sense was following in the footsteps of his hero, South American liberator Simon Bolivar, who was a wholly-owned asset of British intelligence’s Jeremy Bentham, until he broke with him at the very end of his life.” The LaRouchites conceded that Chávez “had positive and negative features” and “on occasion broke profile with this British imperial game” by promoting closer collaboration with other South American leaders. But LaRouchites considered his support for the FARC (supposedly “the world’s leading cocaine cartel”) especially damning.

Riding the Tiger, which embraces Julius Evola’s “Traditionalist” brand of far right ideology, praised Chávez as “a staunch opponent to neoliberal globalist imperialism” who “institut[ed] social programs to benefit the poor of his own country rather than line the pockets of the rich.” The article continued,
“Some traditionalist minded people may question our support for leftist governments like that of Venezuela and Cuba today, but such support is necessary, and opposition is nitpicking. As Chavez himself told a reporter in 1998, ‘I am not a communist, not a fascist. I am a Bolivarian, whose ideology exists as an ideology of liberty.’ Chavez was one of the few leaders who had the bravery to stand for an alternative to American neo-liberalism in South America. His government (as with any government) was not perfect and there certainly were errors made, and he certainly wasn’t a Traditionalist to be sure. His movement could be described as socialist or Third Positionist.”
"Common interests and a common enemy"
Two of the most in-depth (and widely quoted) rightist tributes following Chávez’s death have come from Counter-Currents Publishing, which promotes European New Right (ENR) ideology blended with explicit white nationalism and antisemitism. Counter-Currents’ Gregory Hood offered “Two Cheers for Chávez.” Hood wrote that he wouldn’t want to live in Chávez's Venezuela, citing rampant crime, corruption and other problems, but focused mainly on reasons to admire the deceased leader:
“Chávez’s ‘socialist’ revolution always contained powerful nationalist and even traditionalist overtones. ‘Bolivarianism’ emphasized Latin American unity, strength, and above all, sovereignty as an independent economic and political bloc against the new order of globalization. He attempted to mobilize the masses behind a patriotic identity, imbuing them with a sense of mission and national pride that transcended class. While Chávez’s opponents conspired with foreigners to overthrow him, Chávez broke with neoliberal orthodoxy to build what he called a ‘Third Way’ that would put Venezuela first.”
Hood also took it as a good sign that “the Tribe [i.e., Jews] was famously hostile to Chávez.” “For their part,” he noted approvingly, “pro-Chávez groups and newspapers have distributed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, called for the ‘expulsion’ of Zionist organizations from the country, and monitored the ‘subversive activity’ of Jewish organizations.”

Hood argued that “White Nationalists and Hugo Chávez share common interests and a common enemy: global capitalism,” and that white Americans specifically had good reason to align themselves with Chávez and his movement: “It is Wall Street and the capitalist elite – not so called ‘anti-Americans’ like the late Hugo Chávez – that are importing the non-white masses to serve as cheap labor and dispossess Western peoples from their homelands. Americans should sympathize with Third World anti-colonialists like Chávez, since our country too is now merely a colony of global capital.” He concluded that “Hugo Chávez was an ally in that fight [against the neoliberal financial order]. His Bolivarian Revolution is not something we would wish to emulate. But it does deserve our support and respect.”

Dugin's Eurasianism, for and against
Two days after publishing Hood’s essay, Counter-Currents published a much longer and even more glowing assessment of Chávez by Kerry Bolton. Leading off with a 1961 quote from red-brown alliance guru Francis Parker Yockey, Bolton emphasized two points: Chávez's kinship with Peronism on one hand and with the geopolitical thinking of ENR theorist Alexander Dugin on the other. Bolton described Chávez as “the first Latin American leader to fill the shoes of the great Juan Perón,” as a non-Marxist leftist who sought Latin American unity against U.S. imperialism (and who referred to himself as “really a Peronist” in a 2008 meeting with Argentine President Kirchner). Bolton emphasized Chávez’s intellectual debt to Peronist and antisemite Norberto Ceresole, who was for a time Chávez’s close advisor and who as recently as 2006 Chávez described as a “great friend” and “an intellectual deserving great respect.” “The influence certainly endured through Ceresole’s ideas on geopolitics [such as physical integration in Latin America], his opposition to Zionism and the influences of Judaism, and his conception of a civil-military state.”

Bolton also highlighted the Chávez-Dugin connection:
“In opposing the USA and globalization Chávez countered with an alternative that accorded with a growing body of political and academic opinion in Russia, based on ‘Eurasianism’ and the ‘Fourth Political Theory,’ the most well-known exponent of this in Russia being Professor Alexander Dugin of the Center for Conservative Studies, Moscow State University. The theory is broadly advocated by President Putin, and Chávez sought a close relationship with Russia as the axis for a global reorganization based on geopolitical blocs and alliances or what Dugin calls ‘vectors.’” In 2010, “Putin visited Venezuela to sign an energy accord. Chávez, who visited Russia many times, stated of the Putin visit: ‘We’re forging a new multipolar world and Russia plays a big part in that process.’”
Bolton’s conclusion emphasized Venezuela’s importance for the future of left-right alliance-building:
“Venezuela stands at the crossroads. The Bolivarian regime provides the nexus for the Latin American bloc that is forming in alliance with Russia and Iran against the ‘new world order.’ Its demise is crucial to the recapture of Latin America for the plutocrats and globalists and will delight World Zionism. Chávez was the pivotal figure in this new bloc. Will Venezuela produce another great leader, or will another arise from elsewhere in Latin America? Or will the region revert to colonial status behind the façade of ‘democracy,’ ‘human rights,’ and the market economy that is regarded as their necessary pillar?”
A direct counter to Bolton’s approach came from white nationalist Colin Liddell at
“It seems, though no one told anyone else about this, that there exists a Grand Invisible Alliance that will ultimately save us from our common enemy. This enemy is apparently the evil globalist clique that is bent on turning our planet into a multicultural materialistic Orwellian-Huxleyian hellhole, etc. etc. Although this enemy may or may not exist in the form speculated, I have serious reservations about the existence of this supposed Grand Alliance, of which the burly mulatto populist strongman of Venezuela was a leading light – along with Fidel Castro, President ‘I’m a Dinner Jacket’ of Iran, the ghost of Muammar Gaddafi, and Bigfoot.”
Liddell traced this alliance-building strategy to Alexander Dugin’s Eurasian theory, which he dismissed as “nothing more than a rehash of Soviet/Russian Imperialism and its Machiavellian tendency to seek strange bedfellows in any tent, mud hut, or igloo on the planet.” Liddell concluded, “An ally, remember, is someone who acts in concert with you and makes sacrifices for you. Chavez was none of these things; in fact, quite the reverse. A leader who redistributed wealth to the less-White sector of his nation’s population and is mourned by the ANC, is hardly a fitting coffin-fellow for White Nationalists.”

The disagreement between Liddell and Bolton represents an important strategic choice for far rightists. Anticommunism and racial animosity have historically discouraged many rightists from even considering an alliance with leftists, and these barriers remain strong. At the same time, European New Right and national bolshevist influence have been growing in recent years among U.S. and other English-speaking fascists, and are cross-pollinating with other rightist doctrines. This is a dangerous development that could strengthen the right’s ability to present itself as the main insurgent challenge to the existing order. Leftists — whatever we think of Hugo Chávez and his impact on Venezuela — would do well to pay close attention.

                    *                    *                    *

Note on Chávez and antisemitism
Many Jew-hating far rightists believe that Hugo Chávez was a fellow antisemite. In this, ironically, they rely largely on accusations against him by some mainstream Jewish groups. But many of these accusations are based on wrongly equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism or, in some cases, distorting Chávez’s public statements, as Chávez defenders on the left and even Venezuela's Jewish community leaders have pointed out. So far, I have not seen clear evidence that Chávez himself intentionally attacked or scapegoated Jews. However, some of Chávez’s supporters and close associates, such as Ceresole, have certainly done so, and Chávez (as far as I can determine) failed to criticize such bigotry from within his movement. He also used rhetoric that trivialized antisemitism (for example, equating Israel with Hitler) and — intentionally or unintentionally — played into anti-Jewish stereotypes and myths (for example, claiming without providing evidence that Israel was secretly bankrolling the Venezuelan opposition). For useful but flawed discussions of this issue, see Claudio Lomnitz and Rafael Sánchez’s “United by Hate” and “A Necessary Critique,” and Max Ajl’s rebuttal.

Mar 4, 2013

North American Anti-fascist speaking tour by Greek Antifa

Several Greek anti-fascists are in the middle of a speaking tour of North American cities. For the schedule, information about the speakers, and other details, go to

The following is excerpted from the flyer for the March 10 event in Detroit:

"Fascism in Greece
As has been well documented in the media, the nation of Greece is in the throes of an economic
meltdown.  Austerity measures aimed at paying off an astronomical debt load have plunged the
economy into a death spiral, and sparked nationwide protests and strikes.  Unemployment is at 27
percent and climbing.

Much as the Nazis arose in Weimar Germany by exploiting similar economic conditions, Golden Dawn, an avowedly fascist political party, has been rapidly gaining power in Greece.  Once an
unimportant fringe group, Golden Dawn captured seven percent of the seats in parliament in the
most recent election.  Armed with government funding and the tacit cooperation of the police (many
of whom are Golden Dawn members), fascists have adopted a strategy of terrorizing Greece's
immigrant population while offering rudimentary social services restricted to Greek  citizens.

Ordinary Greeks are mobilizing to prevent the fascist takeover of their country.  Neighborhood
assemblies, immigrant solidarity groups, labor unions and other civil society organizations are
resisting both Golden Dawn and the destructive government policies that created the economic
collapse.  Greek activists Sofia Papagiannaki, Thanasis Xirotsopanos and Vangelis Nanos are here
to speak about fascism and resistance in their country."

Feb 10, 2013

Rape, the state, and the far right in India

The December 16, 2012 gang rape/murder of a female student on a Delhi bus helped spark a major upsurge in anti-rape activism across India. This activism has continued despite a harsh police crackdown and has targeted not only India's epidemic of sexual violence against women but also, to a more limited extent, the entrenched patriarchal beliefs, practices, and institutions that foster it. Some critics, such as Soma Marik of the Forum Against Oppression of Women, Calcutta, have also highlighted the ways that both the state and the Hindu nationalist far right in India use rape as a weapon against specific groups of women. That's what I want to focus on in this post.

Writing some eight months before the recent anti-rape protests, Kavita Krishnan, national secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (which is affiliated with the maoist CPI[ML]), argued that rape must be seen as "part of a larger web of violence and subjugation of women" and "we need to assert the nature of rape as a crime of power rather than a crime against innocence, chastity, or property" [i.e., women as sexual property of someone else]. She also pointed out that "safety" for women "is often tied up with the patriarchal ideology of masculine guardianship" and typically means restrictions on women's freedom of movement, although most rapes are committed by family members, friends, and neighbors -- not by strangers. Although the details vary, most of Krishnan's basic points apply not just to India but also to the United States and other patriarchal societies.

While emphasizing that "rape and other forms of sexual violence are an assertion of patriarchal dominance and power," Krishan also noted that "other centres of power -- caste, religion, and State -- also draw upon this form of patriarchal violence to assert their own dominance, and so we have rapes as part of caste and communal violence, and custodial rapes by police or army."

The Indian state is a major perpetrator of rape. In recent decades, Indian security forces have used rape extensively as part of counterinsurgency operations in regions such as Kashmir. A 1993 report by Asia Watch and Physicians for Human Rights, entitled "Rape in Kashmir: A Crime of War," found that "the use of rape [by Indian army and paramilitary forces] is common and routinely goes unpunished" (p. 3). The main targets have been women civilians who are suspected of sympathizing with the insurgents. In nearly all such cases, the government has rejected the evidence and tried to discredit the accusers, for example regarding the 1991 Kunan Poshpora incident, in which soldiers reportedly gang-raped at least 53 women in the Kashmiri village of Kunan Poshpora. In 2005, according to Wikileaks, almost one-fourth of the 1,296 Kashmiri detainees interviewed by the International Committee of the Red Cross said they had been sexually abused by Indian security forces (out of a total of 681 who reported some form of torture).

Looking more broadly, the following passage from the AW/PHR Kashmir report probably describes the situation today as well as it did in 1993:

"Rape by Indian police is common throughout India; the victims are generally poor women and those from vulnerable low-caste and tribal minority groups. In some cases, women are taken into custody as suspects in petty crime or on more serious charges; in others, women are detained as hostages for relatives wanted in criminal or political cases; in still others, women are detained simply so that the police can extort a bribe to secure their release. In all of these cases, women in the custody of security forces are at risk of rape. Rape has also been widely reported during counter-insurgency operations elsewhere in India, particularly in Assam and other areas of conflict in northeastern India. In both conflict and non-conflict situations, the central element of rape by the security forces is power. Soldiers and police use rape as a weapon: to punish, intimidate, coerce, humiliate and degrade" (p. 3).

The Asian Center for Human Rights has documented 45 cases of Indian women being raped by police officers while in custody between 2002 and 2010, according to Jason Overdorf in the Global Post. Given that rape is heavily under-reported even when the police are not involved, the real figure may be much higher.

Rape is commonly perpetrated not only by soldiers and police officers, but also by members of India's political class itself. According to the watchdog group National Election Watch (as cited by Overdorf), over the past five years 260 candidates from all the major political parties in India have faced charges for rape, sexual harassment, or other crimes against women. Two current members of the national parliament and six members of state legislatures are facing rape charges.

India's far right Hindu nationalist movement promotes rape in ways that are closely bound up with the movement's anti-Muslim politics and dream of a culturally pure hierarchical society. Hindu nationalists demand Hindu cultural and political dominance of India and have perpetrated some of the most horrific mass violence of recent decades, including the torture and murder of thousands of Muslims. The movement includes India's largest opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as well as the country's biggest labor union, biggest student organization, and many other groups. Most of these groups are part of a network centered on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an all-male cadre organization that aims to reshape Indian society along authoritarian corporatist lines. (See my "Hindu nationalism: an annotated bibliography of online resources.")

During the recent public outcry about rape, the BJP called for the death penalty in many rape cases while some of its leaders trivialized rape or engaged in victim-blaming. A more sophisticated response came from Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist political party in Maharashtra state, which handed out knives to thousands of women in Mumbai for self-defense, to show that "women are empowered and they can take care of themselves." Like the fascist Golden Dawn party in Greece offering self-defense classes for women, Shiv Sena's "symbolic gesture" (as they called it) appropriated an element of feminist politics in the service of a violent ethnic-chauvinist program.

But Shiv Sena's progressive-sounding response was unusual among Hindu nationalists, and it's probably no coincidence that Shiv Sena is the only major Hindu nationalist organization in India not affiliated with the RSS. By contrast, RSS head Mohan Bhagwat, who is arguably the most influential Hindu nationalist in the world, blamed rape on the decline of traditional patriarchal relations, as quoted by Devika Narayan:

"A husband and wife are involved in a contract under which the husband has said that you should take care of my house and I will take care of all your needs. I will keep you safe. So, the husband follows the contract terms. Till the time, the wife follows the contract, the husband stays with her, if the wife violates the contract, he can disown her. Crimes against women happening in urban India are shameful. But such crimes won't happen in Bharat [roughly: idealized traditional Hindu society] or the rural areas of the country. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. Besides new legislation, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values. Where Bharat becomes 'India' with the influence of western culture, these types of incidents happen."

Many critics, such as Narayan, have pointed out the utter fallacy of Bhagwat's claim that rape does not happen in traditional Indian villages, and have argued that sexual violence against women is in fact integral to the kind of patriarchal traditionalism that Bhagwat and his followers glorify. Yet Bhagwat's view was echoed by Ashok Singhal, of the Vishad Hindu Parishad (VHP), an RSS-affiliated cultural organization. Singhal claimed that the rise of sexual assault on women reflected the growth of a western lifestyle in Indian cities. "This western model is alarming. What is happening is we have imbibed the US. We have lost all the values we had in cities," notably virginity.

The Hindu nationalist movement doesn't just rationalize or hide rape -- it has actively promoted it on a large scale. Rape and other violence against women and girls have been central to a number of the anti-Muslim pogroms that Hindu nationalist groups have fomented or organized over the past twenty-plus years. The largest and most horrific example was the month-long Gujarat pogrom of 2002, when Hindu nationalist mobs killed at least 790 and probably more than 2,000 Muslims. Many women were raped, tortured, and then hacked to death or burned alive.

In an important analysis entitled "The Semiotics of Terror: Muslim Children and Women in Hindu Rashtra," historian Tanika Sarkar highlights three aspects of the Gujarat pogrom: "One, the woman's body was a site of almost inexhaustible violence, with infinitely plural and innovative forms of torture. Second, their sexual and reproductive organs were attacked with a special savagery. Third, their children, born and unborn, shared the attacks and were killed before their eyes." The focus of this violence, Sarkar argues, reflected Hindu nationalists' fears of the supposedly super-fertile Muslim woman as well as "a more virile Muslim male body that lures away Hindu girls."

Sarkar also emphasizes that the pogrom followed "months of systematic planning," such as compiling lists of Muslim addresses, and pointed to Hindu nationalists' extensive "penetration of state and grass roots institutions -- from police to hospitals" in Gujarat. The Gujarat state government was controlled by the BJP, and state organs protected and sometimes actively participated in the pogrom. Narendra Modi, Gujarat chief minister and a leader within both the BJP and RSS, rode the pogrom's success to victory in the state elections a few months later, and is still in power today.

Both the Indian state and the Hindu nationalist movement have used rape to terrorize and control specific groups of women. But Hindu nationalism has gone much further -- both in its level of cruelty and in its use of rape to mobilize and build up supporters. As the International Initiative for Justice in Gujarat declared in its interim report about the 2002 pogrom, "We find chillingly unique the incitement to sexual violence as a means of proving the masculinity of the 'Hindu' man, as reflected in the political propaganda of the forces of Hindutva [Hindu nationalism] prior to, during and after the violence in February/March 2002..." (See also the Initiative's full 197-page report, "Threatened Existence: A Feminist Analysis of the Genocide in Gujarat.")

Yet the same report also noted, "The use of systematic rape and sexual violence as a strategy for terrorizing and brutalizing women in conflict situations echoes experiences of women in Bangladesh in 1971, and in countries such as Rwanda, Bosnia and Algeria. In Gujarat, as in all these other countries, women have been targeted as members of the 'other' community, as symbols of the community's honor and as the ones who sustain the community and reproduce the next generation. This has become an all too common aspect of larger political projects of genocide, crimes against humanity and subjugation."

All of these political projects feed on and feed back into the larger, global system of male power and violence against women -- violence that is often less visible and less "newsworthy" than what happened on that Delhi bus.

Jan 16, 2013

A call for international solidarity: with Greek anti-fascism

From the Organizing Committee of the “19 January – Athens Antifascist City” (

"We appeal to the antifascists who have been alerted by the rise of the neonazi Golden Dawn and to those who stand in solidarity with the greek people. Our call for international solidarity has now grown into an international antifascist movement.

Demos outside greek embassies and consulates are now being organised in London (UK), Dublin and Derry (Ireland), Barcelona and Ossona (Catalunya), Lyon (France), Tampere (Finland), Chicago and New York (USA) and news for initiatives in other countries are streaming in.

We ask for more demos in solidarity with the greek movement, that is preparing for a big show of strength in Syntagma Square on the 19th of January. It is not just an international affair, it is part of a concerted effort to build a movement that will target rising fascism and racism in Europe and in the whole world.

We ask you:

1) to contact us and give us details for your activities on the day, through facebook, twitter or email:

2) to send us photos and videos of support, holding plackards, stating your solidarity.

3) to send us statements of support that will be read from the platform the day of the demo and concert in Syntagma.

4) to take photos from your solidarity events and send it to us, in order to publicise the size and breadth of our movement."

Read more

Jan 15, 2013

Red Skies at Night: new revolutionary journal

"Red Skies at Night is intended as a humble and limited contribution to the project of building a revolutionary left that can think and write as well as act and fight. We are interested in being one tool in developing a revolutionary communist pole by building comradely dialogue and debate between class struggle anarchists, anti-state communists, autonomist marxists, revolutionary feminists, critical leninists, and others about the questions facing us."

Red Skies at Night expects to print their first issue in about a month. They are looking for groups to help with distribution, submissions for Issue #2, and donations of funds to help keep the project afloat.

Check them out at

Jan 7, 2013

Tinley Park Five: Anti-fascists accept non-cooperating plea bargain

The Tinley Park Five are a group of anti-fascists who were arrested for allegedly assaulting a number of neo-nazi organizers in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Illinois, on May 19, 2012. 

From the Tinley Park Five blog: 

"On January 4, 2013 all members of the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea bargain in which they each plead guilty to three felony counts of Armed Violence in exchange for “lenient” sentences and the guarantee of ‘day-for-day’ good behavior. Jason Sutherlin was sentenced to 6 years. Cody Lee Sutherlin and Dylan Sutherlin were sentenced to 5 years. Alex Stuck and John Tucker were sentenced to 3 1/2 years due to their youth and complete lack of criminal history. Each will be placed upon two years of supervised release upon release from prison.

"Before the plea was accepted, the State offered the Tinley Park Five one last chance to betray their comrades in exchange for their freedom. What a waste of time! As anarchist and antifascists, the Tinley Park Five are no more capable of selling out the struggle than their broken system is capable of reforming itself! They laughed at the offer and bravely accepted their fate."

Read more

For background information, see the Tinley Park Five blog's "News" page, with links to articles on several other websites.

Jan 1, 2013

Feds + Corporate America versus the Occupy movement

This post was originally titled "FBI versus the Occupy movement" but has been retitled based on a reader's comment below.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) recently released federal documents showing that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) coordinated not only with local police but also with universities, banks, private security firms, and other corporate bodies to monitor, disrupt, and suppress the Occupy movement. The PCJF obtained these documents through Freedom of Information Act requests and has made them available online together with commentary. Many mainstream and leftist media outlets have picked up the story, for example Naomi Wolf at the Guardian, Dennis Bernstein at Consortium News, and David Lindorff at Counterpunch.

PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard declared, "These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America."

The PCJF notes that "FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country," and that the FBI "treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did 'not condone the use of violence' at occupy protests." At the same time, the FBI learned of a plan to assassinate Occupy movement leaders in Houston (which fortunately was not carried out), but the agency arrested nobody for this and did not warn those targeted.

In an interview with reporter Dennis Bernstein, Verheyden-Hilliard also highlighted the fact that this operation took place under President Obama. "People think if you shift the Democratic, Republican administration that somehow these abuses are not going to occur. But, of course, this is full license to have this type of activity going on under the Obama administration."

The operation involved FBI offices in at least ten states, from New York to Colorado and from Alaska to Florida, as well as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the DHS's fusion centers, and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and Campus Liaison Program. PCJF reports, "The Memphis FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force met to discuss 'domestic terrorism' threats, including 'Aryan Nations, Occupy Wall Street, and Anonymous.'"

The released federal documents include a report by the little-known Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), which describes itself as "a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector." A "handling notice" in the report warns that its contents are "meant for use primarily within the corporate security community. Such messages shall not be released in either written or oral form to the media, the general public or other personnel…"

The DSAC, according to its website, was formed in 2005 and includes more than 200 companies, accounting for over one-third of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. The DSAC's Leadership Board represents 29 major companies such as Walmart, General Electric, Walt Disney, Merck, United Airlines, and ConocoPhillips.  Over one-third of the board's members are from firms in banking and financial services -- the capitalist sector most directly targeted by the Occupy movement -- such as Citigroup, Barclays, and Ernst & Young.

In my previous post, I warned that counterinsurgency operations against the paramilitary far right can and will be used to bolster ruling-class power against the rest of us. The federal government's campaign against the Occupy movement underscores this point. Like the anti-rightist operations envisioned by the New America Foundation and other liberal think tanks, the anti-Occupy operation involved the same network of security agencies, the same framework of "fighting terrorism," and the same preemptive, interventionist approach. Above all, the campaign makes clear that -- whether directed against the left or the right -- the security services' fundamental role is to protect the capitalist elite.