Updated below (on Monday, June 27, 2016)
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.
So there was quite a ruckus here in Sacramento today.
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. …
… 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…) …