portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts oregon & cascadia

anti-racism | police / legal

fascists on the move in cascadia

we need to understand that we are not facing the same circumstances that we were just a few years ago. this is a new, much more dangerous time for anti-racist, anti-corporate, earth and animal liberation, and other radical activists. the hammer is ready to fall on us, after the fascists have started the process by destabilizing communities through violence.
from vancouver to eugene, fascists have been boldly stepping forward.

they been holding weekly public events at the university of oregon - the pacifica forum - despite the objections of the students and members of the community.

fascists are suspected of several attacks on the homes of anti-racist activists. they've been following gay people home from clubs, meetings and parties, and sometimes even assaulting them. fascists have turned up at anti-racist activist's places of work and threatened them. an anti-racist activist was shot and paralyzed for life, very likely by a fascist.

of course, there are no arrests or investigations into the many, many crimes fascists are suspected of committing. police know very well that if they investigate such incidents, they may well find one of their own connected to it.

historically, fascist movements are allowed to fester and grow in communities when people are beginning to assert themselves as communities of resistance - to oppressive government policies or illegal corporate activities. the fascists main tool is violence. they intimidate their targets. they physically attack their opposition. and they win followers among the many frustrated people left out of the economic plans of the ruling class.

when people organize to fight back against the fascists, the police come running in to "restore peace." oftentimes, the fascists are then absorbed into the police. either by paying them to continue doing what they do, and informing the police about anyone who might stand up to them, or by actually employing them as new recruits or as "auxillary" personnel. have you seen the "volunteer" police vehicles driving around your neighborhood?

the recent controversy surrounding the red and black cafe (see previous post) reeks of a set-up. the fact that the story only appeared in the media weeks after it happened is extremely suspicious. why was it suddenly newsworthy? were there new developments? no. it seems to me that it took that long for the blogger, the cop and their overlords to get their story straight.

now, there are outraged people in the community who suck-up to cops - or any figure of authority - who may target the red and black for attack, knowing now that the police will not hold them accountable for their acts. this is a dangerous development.

whether intended or not, this situation has put the red and black employees and customers at risk of attack by fascists. and if they dare to fight back in defense, the police will be there to arrest the ones defending themselves.

this has happened over and over again - in italy, argentina, and germany during the last great economic depression, for instance.

during world war one, the many, many people who refused to support the american war effort, and refused to register for the draft, were targeted for attack by "civic" groups and organizations of patriotic citizens. these groups would stop men on the streets and demand they show proof of identification or that they had registered for the draft. if they could not, they were taken to holding pens and held until their identification could be confirmed, or their draft status ascertained. after the war, some of these groups were absorbed into a new federal organization - the federal bureau of investigation.

we need to understand that we are not facing the same circumstances that we were just a few years ago. this is a new, much more dangerous time for anti-racist, anti-corporate, earth and animal liberation, and other radical activists. the hammer is ready to fall on us, after the fascists have started the process by destabilizing communities through violence.

watch your backs!

homepage: homepage: http://roblosricos.wordpress.com


excellent post 07.Jun.2010 23:52

dex

many great points.

the main message as I see it: get serious and organize yourselves.

Confusing the police and fascists doesn't help us fight either. 08.Jun.2010 22:48

Not an anarchist

This is not a very thoughtful or well-written piece.

Anyone familiar with the reality of Portland's or Oregon's politics of the last two decades would know that there has been a persistent fascist/bonehead presence. These are real neo-fascists, building on the heritage of white nationalism in the U.S., the remnants of European fascist groups and the dregs of punk music.

But that's not the police.

Rob los Ricos lumps them both together. They're not the same. They don't even like each other. E.g., Volksfront is/was not the Portland Police Bureau.

It's like saying that Saddam Hussein and bin Laden were buddies, when, in fact, they opposed each other and had vastly different politics. Just because the Republican Party can't figure out a secular Baathist from an Islamic fundamentalist doesn't mean it's okay for us to be sloppy in our thinking and writing.

Further lending to the vagueness of the post was the listing of several incidents without spelling out who, what, where and when. That lack of clarity allows the writer to produce nonsense like "of course, there are no investigations into the many, many crimes fascists are suspected of committing..." and "...oftentimes, the fascists are then absorbed into the police..."

That's just garbage. Read an authentic investigation into the relationship of Portland's neo-fascists with the police, Elinor Langer's One Hundred Little Hitlers. It makes the case that Portland's and Oregon's ruling elites were genuinely threatened by the rising bonehead movement of the 1990's and responded accordingly. Of course, the forces on the ground - queer youth, Asian youth, Black youth and young white punks - did the most to respond to groups such as WAR and American Front. But it's foolish and inaccurate to say that the police coddled neo-fascists in Oregon. Tell that to Ken Mieske.

Has the situation changed? Nothing in this essay makes that case. It is undoubtedly the case that 2010 is not 1990, but I don't think Ricos or anyone else can cite the absorption of fascists into the police in modern U.S. society. Where? The Klan openly and covertly held police positions in the South during the 1950s-1980s, but is that what this is referring to? And I would challenge all of his 'examples' from Italy, Germany and Argentina as well, since his sloppiness doesn't allow us to know if he's talking about Peron, Mussolini or Hitler or something that happened at Genoa in 2001 when neo-fascist groups in all probability infiltrated the Italian police.

The incident at the Red and Black was not related to fascists. Arguing that they will use the recent incident is quite a stretch, since local neo-fascist groups don't coordinate their activities with the cops.

Was it a state-provoked set-up or an attempt by autonomous police forces (which are distinct from the state, as the recent police march in Portland should have made clear)? We may never know.

We don't need to know the exact circumstances to defend the Red and Black, which should occur with simple acts like going out of the way to buy coffee and food there, as well as more direct forms of self-defense, such as was done with house defenses in the early 1990s in Portland. There are real anti-fascist groups in Portland, notably Rose City Antifa, which is associated with ARA. To not mention the group that has been leading the struggle is indicative of how out of touch this article is. Let us hope that the forthcoming ARA conference will produce better analyses than this work and also make a point of eating a lot of meals at the Red and Black.

Finally, those of us who helped drive the neo-fascists out of Portland in the early 1990s did not truly engage in the essential task of recruiting and organizing the poor and working class youth who were attracted to the boneheads. We did it in a hit-and-miss fashion. Those youth will be part of the force that will bring U.S. capitalism to a halt. Anyone who just dismisses them as potential boneheads without understanding that they are also potential revolutionaries won't be able to compete with either the boneheads or the cops for the hearts and minds of anyone.

PS I don't believe those who dismiss boneheads as "cowardly" or talk about "beating them to death" have ever faced scores of them. Macho talk - and that is exactly what that is - is always easier on the internet.