A response to Tim Calvert
In the interest of seeing the 'dialogue' so many have asked for, its nice to see Tim Calvert's recent statement regarding his organizing of an anti-semitic, racist event in Portland posted here. It actually offers an opportunity to pose clearly some of the questions which the recent hosting of Vladas Anelauskas by Calvert and PDX 9/11 Truth have brought up.
In the interest of seeing the 'dialogue' so many have asked for, its nice to see Tim Calvert's recent statement posted here. It actually offers an opportunity to pose clearly some of the questions which the recent hosting of Vladas Anelauskas by Tim and PDX 9/11 Truth have brought up.
Calvert's statement itself, however, seems to dodge the most pertinent issues which his acknowledged organizing and subsequent defense and relocation of an event for Anelauskas have brought forward.
While many of us find anti-semitic views appalling, its actually beside the point either whether Calvert has Jewish friends or whether he believes that he is anti-semitic. The record of his actions stands for itself. Calvert actively worked in building a platform for holocaust denial, despite being warned of the politics of the individual he was promoting ahead of time, and when he was warned, not only defied those who warned him, but accused them of being state agents as a way of avoiding accountabiliy for his actions.
In Calvert's letter of July 13th, he defends his actions, claiming ignorance,"I should say that we were not intimately familiar with all of Anelauskas's views and did not subject his background to heavy scrutiny. When the event was targeted by this outside group, whom we also really don't know, i.e. Rose City Anti-Fascists, we were defiant. "
The statement Calvert references (posted at http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2009/06/392268.shtml on June 25th) in his own letter explicitly points out Aneluaska's holocaust revisionist and white separatist history and views.
Calvert goes on to personally reference the controversy and the document itself in the spoken introduction he gives to Analeuskas' event (which can be seen either at the home page for the Portland 9/11Truth Alliance http://pdx911truth.org/ or at http://pdx911truth.org/ or at link to www.mefeedia.com)
Are we really to believe that despite Calvert's admission in his letter that he was aware of the controversy, and his admission during his introduction to Analeuskas specifically that he was aware of the debate on Portland Indymedia, and that he wasn't aware of Analueskas' politics when he twice organized to move the event after it was twice shut down because of Analeuskas' politics?
Calvert's declaration states that: "I don't deny the horrors of WWII including the Holocaust and the many forgotten details of that time." What does this awkwardly-constructed sentence actually mean? It appears to locate the Holocaust as a subset of "the horrors of WWII" alongside other unspecified "forgotten details". In viewing the Shoah as one horror amongst many in a blur of warfare, Calvert eviscerates its historical meaning and importance, explaining it away as merely a result of World War. Ironically, this itself is a classic Holocaust-denial strategy.
The statement by Calvert actually cites his involvement with the Pacific Forum, but leaves out crucial information about Anelauskas, about the history of the Pacifica Forum in Eugene, the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance, and Calvert's own complicity in Anelauskas' fascist speaking engagement. The declaration states that members of the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance "went to Eugene and met him [Anelauskas] after a Pacifica Forum event. The Pacifica forum itself has been under attack from various players, including the Southern Poverty Law Center."
The Pacifica Forum was reported on by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) due to its repeated hosting of Holocaust-denying, anti-Semitic and fascist speakers. Apart from Anelauskas himself--who Rose City Antifa has already written about and who is a central player in the Pacifica Forum—individuals who have been hosted by the Pacifica Forum over the past two years include:
Mark Weber, head of the Holocaust-denial organization the Institute for Historical Review, and a former member of the neo-nazi National Alliance organization.
David Irving, a neo-fascist who is one of the world's most notorious Holocaust-deniers.
Tomislav Sunic, an anti-Semitic author who collaborates with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens as well as the "American Renaissance" group.
Although the SPLC deserves criticism and has at times have politically mischaracterized its opponents--it is clear that the Pacifica Forum is a grouping which promotes anti-Semitism, and that the group itself has not been mischaracterized in this instance. As well as Anelauskas, a frequent participant in Pacifica Forum gatherings during 2008 was Jimmy Marr, last seen protesting alongside the National Socialist Movement in Medford, OR.
There can be no plausible denial that the Portland 9/11 Truth group was not fully aware of the nature of Anelauskas' presentation. Regarding the speaker himself, the organization did not need to "subject his background to heavy scrutiny" to know about his politics—a simple Google search would suffice. Besides, Calvert and his organization had more than enough information about Anelauskas when Laughing Horse was asked to cancel the event. Again-Calvert acknowledges his awareness of the debate already occurring on Portland Indymedia when he introduces Anelauskas and explains why the event was moved twice. Its there, on video, at the PDX 9/11 Truth website.
When the Anelauskas event was cancelled at Laughing Horse, Calvert purposefully lied to others that the Portland date had been entirely called off. Calvert was adamant that the event would go on, and labeled his critics as "Zionists" and even state agents. If Calvert or any of the other event organizers had criticisms of Anelauskas, they were certainly not revealed at Anelauskas' speaking engagement. In fact, Calvert gave a glowing introduction to Anelauskas, and stayed entirely silent as Anelauskas argued for fascist political stances. While in Portland for the event, Anelauskas stayed at Calvert's house.
It is ludicrous that Rose City Antifa should be asked to have a dialog with Calvert. Rose City Antifa is, as the name implies, an anti-fascist and anti-racist organization. It does not exist to coddle anti-Semitic organizers, or those who insist on propagandizing for and giving a platform to fascists. This is the heart of the debate here. Not whether Calvert has Jewish friends, of considers himself and antisemite. The answer which Calvert has avoided, and which is needed from Calvert, is whether he thinks it is acceptable to use so-called,"free-speech," to provide a platform for the views promoted in Analeuskas' talk.
In Calvert's public letter, he states,"The 9-11 Truth group has a fairly long history of taking on controversial issues and positions. The group has invited other speakers that it has not agreed with. I would say that the 9-11 group values Free Speech in the highest way, as we have watched the narrative of the 9-11 attacks " Calvert should be clear-does he think it was acceptable to provide a platform or these politics, or will he join in condemning them not only within the left, but within our society as a whole?
Calvert says ,"In summary, I do not agree with most of Valdas Anelauskas's politics, some of which I agree is offensive. Does this mean he never makes any good points? He was invited to talk about the Frankfurt School and he did so. " I'd actually press Calvert to clarify what WAS good about Analeuskas' presentation. I've watched it, and its pretty solidly anti-Semitic conspiracy theory laced with anti-woman, anti-queer, and racist overtones. Theres not much else there.
By claiming to be the victim of a "smear campaign" Calvert is actually smearing those who have brought the details of his involvement in this organizing event to light. It should be noted that the event is still promoted and can be watched via the website of the PDX 9/11 Truth grouping that Calvert speaks so fondly of in his own defense. Is this really accountability? Analeuskas' dirty politics are still being given a platform by the same groups Calvert is praising, while in the same breath he tepidly tries to distance himself from those politics.
If Calvert wishes to make amends, then he should begin by actually taking responsibility for his actions and speak honestly about how events have transpired up to this point. If Calvert really believes he made a mistake, he should be clear about it and take clear actions to remedy it-his vague response so far leaves more questions than answers.
If Citybikes is really a collective with radical political values, they need to hold a member of their collective accountable for his actions within the community in which they exist. If they choose not to, then they shouldn't be surprised when people choose not to patronize or support them.
Rose City Antifa shouldn't be blamed for this-they didn't organize the fascist event, and they don't have the power to force people to shop or not shop at Citybikes. They've merely shined light on a seedy corner of close-in Southeast Portland. Its disingenuous to blame Rose City Antifa if, when presented with the facts, Citybikes patrons choose not to associate with Citybikes for sheltering someone who is organizing and promoting fascist politics.
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