Daily Archives: June 26, 2016

Anarchists and skinheads clash again in Sacramento — this time with stabbings

Updated below (on Monday, June 27, 2016)

Members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) stage a counter-protest against the Traditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads at the State Capitol on Sunday, June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

Members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) walk onto west steps of the State Capitol as they stage a counter-protest against the Traditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads on Sunday, June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

Sacbee.com photos

Above: Anarchists and other anti-fascists demonstrated against neo-Nazis at the California state Capitol in Sacramento today. I love the sign with the swastika with the dagger plunged into it, and I’m on board with stopping fascism, but we must spell correctly… Below: In a melee that was quite predictable but not prevented by law enforcement, five people (three of them shown here) were stabbed during the confrontation between the two groups at the state Capitol today. From what I can tell, most or all of those stabbed were anarchists or other anti-fascists stabbed by the neo-Nazis, and at least two of them were black.

Sean Moore, 23, of Sacramento waits for medics with a friends after being stabbed by neo-Nazi protesters at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on June 26, 2016. Medics later said it was a three inch incision.

A protestor is comforted after stabbed during a clash between members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) against theTraditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads at the State Capitol on Sunday June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

A victim is attended to by counter protesters after he was stabbed during a neo-Nazi rally at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on June 26, 2016.

Sacbee.com photos

So there was quite a ruckus here in Sacramento today.

Anarchists reportedly crashed a rally of white supremacists before the neo-Nazis could even begin their little pageant, and in the melee at least five people were stabbed.

We’ve had at least one anarchist-on-neo-Nazi clash at the state Capitol before; I wrote about it in February 2012, when it last happened, but at that time there weren’t any stabbings. Just anarchists (incorrectly identified not as anarchists but as members of the Occupy movement) throwing things at the retreating neo-Nazis.

More details of today’s melee will come out, at least in the local media, but have we really come to stabbings? Shootings can’t be far behind, can they?

Thing is, two of my co-workers had told me about the planned crashing of the white supremacist gathering by anarchists around two weeks ago. (No, these two co-workers aren’t anarchists, to my knowledge, but apparently are anarchist sympathizers, as I am, for the most part.*)

So the word was out there that the anarchists would confront the neo-Nazis at the Capitol today, and I knew immediately upon hearing that that would be a combustible mix, yet the state police (the California Highway Patrol) seemed ill-prepared for today’s violence.

I have to wonder if that’s because they’re OK with it.

Seriously — the one thing that the ne0-Nazis and the anarchists do have in common is that they tend to be younger and poorer and quite disgruntled over the sorry state of affairs here in the United States of America; they are quite anti-establishment (and, of course, law-enforcement officers are quite pro-establishment).

Of course, that’s where the similarities between the anarchists and the neo-Nazis end; the neo-Nazis blame all of the wrong people (non-whites, Jews and Muslims and other non-“Christians,” feminists, non-heterosexuals, socialists, et. al.) for all of our nation’s and world’s ills while the anarchists correctly identify our enemy: the plutocrats and the corporatocrats — and yes, the members of the right wing, including the neo-Nazis, who treasonously aid and abet the treasonous plutocrats and corporatocrats. (Indeed, the plutocrats and corporatocrats couldn’t commit their evil without the help of the right wing.)

Unshockingly, the neo-Nazis visited Sacramento today at least in part to show their support for Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, and indeed, the opposing camps of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are much like the opposing camps of the neo-Nazis and the anarchists: Both camps are comprised of justifiably disgruntled individuals, but, again, while the neo-Nazis and Trumpites have incredibly misidentified our true enemies, the Berners and the anarchists have identified them correctly.

Having been a Berner who refuses to cast a vote for pro-establishment sellout Billary Clinton, it’s difficult for me to criticize what the anarchists did today, although I do find it to be a bit disturbing that multiple stabbings occurred at the state Capitol today, where I have attended several protests myself (sans any stabbings) and which is within two blocks of my workplace.

(No, I was nowhere near the Capitol today, and nor would I have been, not with our triple-digit weather, which, I surmise, contributed to today’s heated tempers.)

I am of two minds on the recent spate of violence that we have seen between those on the left (anarchists, Berners and others) and those on the right (Trump supporters and other assorted neo-Nazis): Had the budding Nazis in Germany faced significant violent pushback from good Germans (were there any good Germans?), Nazi Germany might never have risen.

I don’t see why history couldn’t repeat itself today in the United States of America. If the American neo-Nazis of today didn’t get violent pushback, how far would they go? Are they not dipping their white-supremacist toes in the water to see how far they can go?

We just might have the anarchists to thank for keeping the treasonous skinheads in check.

On the other hand, I don’t know how much political power the neo-Nazis actually have and thus what actual threat they pose. For my entire life they haven’t had much power, not nationally, anyway — most Americans consider (correctly) the neo-Nazis to be maladjusted social fucktards, like Trekkies and fantasy gamers (although, of course, generally more armed and thus potentially dangerous) — and so I don’t know how important it was for the anarchists to confront them today.

Thing is, where it comes to fascism and the rise of Nazi Germany 2.0 here in the United States of America in the present, I would rather overestimate than underestimate the risk.

And I have the sentiment that it’s too bad that some young anarchists today were knifed by a domestic enemy that too many of the rest of us “good” Americans won’t significantly confront.

P.S. At this point I’d be fine with a ban on neo-Nazis appearing at the state Capitol, now that we’ve had stabbings, most or all of which appear to have been perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

This isn’t free fucking speech anymore. This is just hate speech, and hate speech predictably ends up in violence — as I noted, today’s violence in Sacramento was completely predictable and thus probably preventable — and therefore, in my book, hate speech, which exists in order to deprive others of their constitutional rights, is not protected by the First Amendment.

And, of course, I hope that they catch the cowardly skinheads who stabbed the true patriots today and throw the scumbags into prison, where they belong — behind bars, like the animals that they are.

Update (Monday, June 27, 2016): The Los Angeles Times reports that seven people were stabbed during yesterday’s melee in Sacramento, and The Sacramento Bee reports today:

Protesters on both sides of [yesterday’s] bloody riot at the state Capitol say police intentionally held back from intervening as a planned neo-Nazi rally spun out of control and left 10 people injured, including at least five who were stabbed.

The claims come despite statements by Sacramento police and the California Highway Patrol that officers knew in advance of the potential for a confrontation and that more than 100 police and CHP officers were standing watch on the perimeter of the Capitol grounds.

The flurry of violence began before the scheduled start of the noon rally organized by the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party, which had fewer than 30 members set to hold their event on the west steps of the Capitol. Confrontations between the two groups began before the event. More than 350 anti-fascist protesters descended on the Capitol grounds, vastly outnumbering the others and police.

Sacramento police say at least 10 people were injured in a series of melees. A bystander later turned in a loaded pistol found on the Capitol grounds.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening and no arrests have been made. …

Again, I wasn’t there, but as I noted yesterday, I have to wonder how quickly the cops intervened and how well they were prepared; after all, the probable combustibility of the situation indeed had been known well in advance.
That said, while I agree with the anarchists on much, such as their anti-fascist and anti-rascist philosophies, I can’t say that I condone all of their actions, and it seems pretty clear that at least some of them went to the neo-Nazis’ little public appearance wanting a fight.
Admittedly, the line between fighting (literally) for social justice and just thuggery can be thin and/or blurry.

*I wrote back in February 2012:

… I have nothing against the anarchists. Anyone who goes after white supremacists who dare to spew forth their filth in the public square is fine with me, and the imagery of a bunch of supposedly bad-ass white supremacists fleeing from a mob of Occupy/“Occupy” protesters (most if not all of them actually anarchists) — the way that blacks have had to flee from mobs of white supremacists — is gratifyingly amusing.

And who knows? When/if the shit really hits the fan, I might join the anarchists’ ranks. (Black is slimming anyway…) …

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Keep calm and carry on; we’ll probably thank the Brits for braking globalization

I’m not an expert on economics or on British history, but lack of expertise on a topic almost never stops us Americans from voicing our opinions on it anyway.

On the economics of the Brexit — the United Kingdom’s 52-percent-to-48-percent vote on Thursday to leave the European Union — I tend to trust the opinion of left-leaning economist Robert Reich, who recently wrote on Facebook:

Britain’s exit from Europe hit the stock market hard yesterday, with the largest decline in stock values since late August last year – wiping away all the year’s stock market gains.

Don’t panic. Brexit won’t take effect for a while, and its economic consequences won’t be fully known for years. In reality, the U.S. stock market has been overvalued, and traders have been looking for an excuse for a selloff.

What worries me most is the global economy is in deep doo-doo – not just Europe but also China and much of Asia, and the U.S. economy has basically stopped growing.

Big American corporations aren’t investing in research or plant and equipment. And the 401(k) plans and IRAs that boomers are counting on for the retirements aren’t going anywhere, just as their wages haven’t gone anywhere.

We’re in a big stall – which exacerbates the anxiety fueling nationalism, Trump, Brexit, and much else.

I have a major problem with the nationalist/far-right-wing/fascist/white supremacist/xenophobic elements of the United Kingdom who supported the Brexit for their own odious personal political reasons, but it seems to me that this isn’t the only element of the Brexit — and that it isn’t the largest element.

The Brexit, it seems to me, also involves questions of national sovereignty and the age-old debate of whether centralized control or local control is preferable; that is a debate that in my eyes is not essentially a left-wing or a right-wing debate and that has been raging in the United States since its founding, with “states’ rights” still being an “argument” today (it’s an “argument” that usually is made so that backasswards states may continue their wrongdoing, such as the violation of individuals’ civil rights and the despoliation of the environment for profiteers without interference from the federal government).

The United States never significantly would cede its sovereignty to a group of (neighboring) nations (there are even those, mostly on the right, who say that the United States’ involvement in the United Nations is too much), so Americans who criticize the Brits who voted for and won the Brexit might want to check themselves.

The U.S. and the UK also take a lot of criticism for not throwing their borders wide fucking open, when, in fact, they’re already in the top five nations with the most immigrants (the U.S. is No. 1 and the UK is No. 5) and when there are many developed nations that are much more restrictive on immigration than are the U.S. and the UK (such as China, Japan and Switzerland).

Why should the burden of world immigration fall on only a handful of developed nations? (Of course I understand and agree with the argument that those who have more can and should do more, but is there no limit, no breaking point?)

And the fact is that national sovereignty — national self-determination — gives a nation the right to have as draconian an immigration policy as it pleases. It’s up to that nation to determine its own immigration policy, no matter what other nations think of it.

Also, of course, there is the issue of globalization, of which the European Union is a part.

Globalization is just the argument of centralized vs. localized control writ large, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both localized control and centralized control.

Globalization helps many but at the same time the fact that it’s pushed for so hard by the plutocrats certainly indicates that it’s meant to benefit them much more than it’s meant to benefit us commoners.

Indeed, globalization as it is practiced makes it easier for transnational corporate weasels to rape, pillage and plunder the entire fucking planet with impunity, leaving their victims relatively powerless to fight back, as their own nations’ governments are weaker than are the transnational corporations, especially if their own nations’ governments are part of something like the European Union, which the transnational corporate weasels can hijack with relative ease.

While many if not most Westerners tend to see the Brexit as the result of xenophobic nationalism — and again, that’s an element of the Brexit, for sure — it strikes me that it’s probably more likely that the larger issue for most of those who voted for the Brexit is that they’ve had enough of globalization and its effects, especially its economic effects.

Hopefully the Brexit is not a harbinger of a President Donald Trump — I rather doubt that it is, as I see anti-globalization and national sovereignty (and not xenophobia and fascism) to be the largest elements within the successful Brexit — and it’s quite possible that we Americans will come to thank our British cousins for having put the brakes on globalization, which harms us commoners more than it helps us.

There’s a lot to be said for local control and national sovereignty.

P.S. Calls for a second vote on the Brexit are blatantly anti-democratic. You don’t keep forcing a vote until you finally get the result that you want. That’s not democratic. That’s tyrannical. (And yes, there is plenty of tyranny on the so-called “left.”)

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