Civil Rights group revealed to be investigated by FBI for 'Terrorism' while 'KKK' violence ignored

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In another case of completely absurd double standards by the wonderful protectors of law and order in the US, civil Rights group BAMN was put under investigation for 'domestic terrorism' after confrontation with white supremacists groups who stabbed them, yet didn't bother chasing the perpetrator while instead charging the victim for 'assault and rioting.'

The FBI opened a "domestic terrorism" investigation into a civil rights group in California, labeling the activists "extremists" after they protested against neo-Nazis in 2016, new documents reveal.

Federal authorities ran a surveillance operation on By Any Means Necessary (Bamn), spying on the leftist group's movements in an inquiry that came after one of Bamn's members was stabbed at the white supremacist rally, according to documents obtained by the Guardian. The FBI's Bamn files reveal:

- The FBI investigated Bamn for potential "conspiracy" against the "rights" of the "Ku Klux Klan" and white supremacists.

- The FBI considered the KKK as victims and the leftist protesters as potential terror threats, and downplayed the threats of the Klan, writing: "The KKK consisted of members that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda."

- The FBI's monitoring included in-person surveillance, and the agency cited Bamn's advocacy against "rape and sexual assault" and "police brutality" as evidence in the terrorism inquiry.

The FBI's 46-page report on Bamn, obtained by the government transparency non-profit Property of the People through a records request, presented an "astonishing" description of the KKK, said Mike German, a former FBI agent and far-right expert who reviewed the documents for the Guardian.

The report ignored "100 years of Klan terrorism that has killed thousands of Americans and continues using violence right up to the present day", German said. "This description of the KKK should be an embarrassment to FBI leadership."

Shanta Driver, Bamn's national chair, criticized the investigation in a statement to the Guardian, saying, "The FBI's interest in BAMN is part of a long-standing policy ... Starting with their campaign to persecute and slander Dr. Martin Luther King, they have a racist history of targeting peaceful civil rights and anti-racist organizations, while doing nothing to prosecute the racists and fascists who attacked Dr. King and the movement he built."

The FBI launched its terrorism investigation and surveillance of Bamn after white supremacists armed with knives faced off with hundreds of counter-protesters, including Bamn activists, at a June 2016 neo-Nazi rally in Sacramento. Although numerous neo-Nazis were suspected of stabbing at least seven anti-fascists in the melee, leaving some with life-threatening injuries, the FBI chose to launch a inquiry into the activities of the leftwing protesters.

The documents, though heavily redacted, did not include any conclusions from the FBI that Bamn violated laws or posed a continuing threat. Its members have not faced federal prosecution. The FBI declined to comment on Bamn.

"It's clear the FBI dropped the investigation having no evidence of wrongdoing. It never should have been opened in the first place," Driver said.

The 2016 rally was organized by two white supremacist groups: the Traditionalist Worker party (TWP) and an affiliated California entity, the Golden State Skinheads. California law enforcement subsequently worked with the neo-Nazis to identify counter-protesters, pursued charges against stabbing victims and other anti-fascists, and decided not to prosecute any men on the far-right for the stabbings.

The FBI appeared to have adopted a similar approach. In a redacted October 2016 document, the FBI labeled its Bamn investigation a "DT [domestic terrorism] - ANARCHIST EXTREMISM" case. The FBI's San Francisco office wrote that it was investigating allegations that "members of Bamn attended a Ku Klux Klan rally and assaulted a Nazi supporter". It summarized the Sacramento incident this way:

"In 2016, law enforcement learned that the Ku Klux Klan would be holding a rally at the State Capitol Building ... The KKK consisted of members that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda. In response, a number of groups mobilized to protest the rally. Flyers were posted asking people to attend in order to shut down the rally."

The KKK and Traditionalist Worker party have similar ideologies but are distinct groups. It's unclear why the FBI labeled the rally a KKK event.

The FBI's report also appeared to obfuscate details about the political affiliations of stabbing perpetrators and victims, saying: "Several people were stabbed and hospitalized." That's despite the fact that California police investigators reported that neo-Nazis were seen on camera holding knives and fighting with counter-protesters (who suffered severe stab wounds).

The FBI file said its research into Bamn found that the group "lawfully exercised their First Amendment rights by engaging in peaceful protests", but added that its "members engaged in other activity by refusing to disperse, trespassing in closed buildings, obstructing law enforcement, and shouting during and interrupting public meetings so that the meetings could not continue".

Bamn has long advocated for racial justice and immigrants' rights, frequently protesting at public events and organizing rallies.

The FBI report said it was "possible the actions of certain BAMN members may exceed the boundaries of protected activity and could constitute a violation of federal law".

The "potential violations of federal law", the FBI said, included "conspiracy against rights" and "riots". The FBI cited Bamn's website, which encouraged supporters to protest against the KKK, featured slogans like "SMASH FASCISM!" and "NO 'FREE SPEECH' FOR FASCISTS!", and celebrated the "mass, militant demonstration" that "shut down" the neo-Nazi rally. The FBI also included screenshots of Bamn pages that referenced a number of the group's other advocacy issues, including campaigns against "rape and sexual assault" and "police brutality".

The FBI files further included mentions of Yvette Felarca, a Bamn member who was stabbed at the rally, but is now facing state charges of assault and rioting. (Her lawyers have argued in court that the police investigators and prosecutors were biased against anti-fascists and worked to protect neo-Nazis).

Driver, who is also Felarca's attorney, said the FBI should have mentioned that Felarca was "stabbed and bludgeoned by a fascist in Sacramento". She added: "Instead of finding the person who assaulted anti-racist protesters, the FBI chose to target BAMN, which by their own admission holds demonstrations that are protected by the First Amendment."

The bureau's justifications of the investigation and surveillance were disturbing, said Ryan Shapiro, executive director of Property of the People. "The FBI discovered that these protesters once shouted at a meeting and somehow that evidence was mobilized to support a full-fledged terrorism investigation," he noted.

In November 2016, the FBI engaged in surveillance of a protest outside the Berkeley school district, according to the Bamn files. Due to the redactions, it's unclear whom the FBI was watching, though the report noted that the FBI observed "several children ... sitting outside ... with signs next to them".

The FBI report said its investigation and surveillance were not "intended to associate the protected activity with criminality or a threat to national security, or to infer that such protected activity itself violates federal law". The report continued:

"However, based on known intelligence and/or specific, historical observations, it is possible the protected activity could invite a violent reaction towards the subject individuals or groups, or the activity could be used as a means to target law enforcement. In the event no violent reaction occurs, FBI policy and federal law dictates that no further record be made of the protected activity."

Property of the People's records requests broadly sought FBI documents on anti-fascists. The FBI did not release additional Bamn records beyond 2016.

The FBI's insinuation that Bamn's actions could provoke violence was odd, said German, the former FBI agent, who is now a Brennan Center fellow. He noted that it was white supremacists "who have used this tactic for decades" and said the violent provocations of rightwing groups were well known when he worked on domestic terrorism for the FBI in the 1990s. The Bamn report, he said, gave the "appearance of favoritism toward one of the oldest and most active terrorist groups in history".

He added that the report should have made clear that the "KKK consists of members who have a bloody history of racial and antisemitic violence and intimidation and is known for staging public spectacles for the specific purpose of inciting imminent violence".

Asked whether the Bamn investigation was ongoing and whether the FBI had opened any equivalent inquiry into the neo-Nazis in California, an FBI spokesperson said the bureau does not confirm or deny the existence of specific investigations. "We cannot initiate an investigation based solely on an individual's race, ethnicity, natural origin, religion, or the exercise of First Amendment rights," the FBI said in a statement. "The FBI does not and will not police ideology."

The bureau "investigates activity which may constitute a federal crime or pose a threat to national security", the statement added.

The Bamn case follows numerous recent controversies surrounding the FBI's targeting of leftist groups, including a terrorism investigation into Standing Rock activists, surveillance of black activists, and spying on peaceful climate change protesters.

The justice department inspector general previously criticized the FBI for using non-violent civil disobedience and speculation of future crimes to justify terrorism investigations against domestic advocacy groups, German noted, adding that the Bamn files suggest the FBI "seems to have learned nothing from these previous overreaches".

Even knowing the FBI's legacy of going after activists, the report was still shocking, said Shapiro.

"A bunch of anti-fascists showed up at a Nazi rally and were attacked by Nazis, and the response form the bureau was to launch a domestic terrorism investigation into the anti-fascists," he said. "At its core, the FBI is, as it has always been, a political police force that primarily targets the left."

Not sure what anyone else thinks, but I personally can't see how any of this 'stupidity' could occur without certain people in FBI positions having strong connections to white supremacist groups or 'sympathisers' of those groups. Holy fuck.

(Unfortunately had to use 'KKK' in the title cause of character limit not allowing the less specific term 'white supremacists,' even though the FBI incorrectly used it in their report also).

When terrorists run the country, go figure that terrorists are mislabeled.

Well, you aren't doing yourself any favours by calling your organisation "By any means necessary". Just saying.

I've made my thoughts on the counter-protest tactic known before round these parts, not worth digging into that can of worms again...

Saying that the KKK consists of "members that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda" is like saying the National Socialist Party consisted of "members that some perceived to be supportive of an antisemitism agenda". It not only massively downplays what the KKK has done in the past, but flies in the face of easily accessible data, with a bonus of treating anyone who calls out these racists as misinformed or otherwise wrong.

WAD policing.

The police have fundamentally always been about order and enforecement of order. When a bunch of Nazis march in quasi-military lockstep down the street, many will feel they're looking at an orderly, organised group of hard-working, reputable citizens who are prepared to get blood on their knuckles. Nazis hate groups like racial minorities, anarchists, hippies, namby-pamby bleeding heart liberals, etc... who are exactly the sorts of people the police predominantly arrest or don't much like.

In other words, plenty of police officers will look upon Nazis and see people perhaps substantially like themselves. We can hardly surprised if they're inclined to give them plenty of sympathy.

Yeah, this is not really news. Within a couple of months, Trump was already changing the mandate of who to identify as terrorist and has regularly been feeding info through Homeland to the FBI about threats from the left.

Edit: During Charlottesville, the police were told the Left was a bigger theeat than the Right by the FBI

Saelune:
When terrorists run the country, go figure that terrorists are mislabeled.

And this was before we elected the guy who says the quiet parts loud.

The FBI opened a "domestic terrorism" investigation into a civil rights group in California, labeling the activists "extremists" after they protested against neo-Nazis in 2016, new documents reveal.

The FBI launched its terrorism investigation and surveillance of Bamn after white supremacists armed with knives faced off with hundreds of counter-protesters, including Bamn activists, at a June 2016 neo-Nazi rally in Sacramento

The FBI appeared to have adopted a similar approach. In a redacted October 2016 document, the FBI labeled its Bamn investigation a "DT [domestic terrorism] - ANARCHIST EXTREMISM" case. The FBI's San Francisco office wrote that it was investigating allegations that "members of Bamn attended a Ku Klux Klan rally and assaulted a Nazi supporter". It summarized the Sacramento incident this way:

In November 2016, the FBI engaged in surveillance of a protest outside the Berkeley school district, according to the Bamn files. Due to the redactions, it's unclear whom the FBI was watching, though the report noted that the FBI observed "several children ... sitting outside ... with signs next to them".

I mean, honestly, is anyone surprised?

Even putting aside the very real possibility that individual members of the FBI harbour white supremacist views, we're still left with the fact that the kind of overt, visible white supremacists we're talking about are only really an immediate, violent threat to POC, LGBT and Jewish people, and violence against those groups is so normalized that people won't even react.

We've all seen that self-appointed moderates will crawl through miles of shit just to die on the hill where Richard Spencer got punched in the face one time, but will quietly avert their gaze from the victims of racist violence because they weren't targeted for their pro-genocidal political views, only their skin colour, which is obviously much less authoritarian and more rational.

Catnip1024:
Well, you aren't doing yourself any favours by calling your organisation "By any means necessary". Just saying.

"By any means necessary" is a common anti-fascist slogan which implies a willingness to do whatever is required to prevent fascism coming to power.

Considering that if fascists did gain power, they would systematically kill, rape, enslave and torture literally millions of people, including antifascist actors, I think it's a pretty reasonable sentiment. For anyone who isn't white, cishet, able-bodied, non-Jewish and willing to go along with a fascist political program, preventing that outcome is a matter of survival. If you don't see yourself in that camp (pun intended), where do you see yourself?

Seanchaidh:

And this was before we elected the guy who says the quiet parts loud.

That's kind of the problem. Nothing is really new under Trump. He just said the shit that was already quietly policy.

Something Amyss:

Seanchaidh:

And this was before we elected the guy who says the quiet parts loud.

That's kind of the problem. Nothing is really new under Trump. He just said the shit that was already quietly policy.

Mostly, yeah.

evilthecat:
"By any means necessary" is a common anti-fascist slogan which implies a willingness to do whatever is required to prevent fascism coming to power.

Considering that if fascists did gain power, they would systematically kill, rape, enslave and torture literally millions of people, including antifascist actors, I think it's a pretty reasonable sentiment. For anyone who isn't white, cishet, able-bodied, non-Jewish and willing to go along with a fascist political program, preventing that outcome is a matter of survival. If you don't see yourself in that camp (pun intended), where do you see yourself?

And the binary argument is great and all, except that a lot of people get tarnished with the whole "fascist" label who clearly don't deserve it, and then your "by any means necessary" is just you and your mates (generalism, not you personally) being a bunch of violent pricks to shut down debate.

And from a legal point of view, that's still not a valid argument - even if this mishmash of far right groups were all after those exact hyperbolic aims, that doesn't excuse your group from rocking up with the intent to commit violence in response. That's what the law's for. If you are an organisation bragging about your willingness to be militant, it's kind of expected that you will be under scrutiny from the law.

Don't get me wrong, there is still totally a legitimate grievance in that certain groups are under more scrutiny than others in the US. But actively militant organisations get little sympathy from me when they complain that they are under investigation.

Catnip1024:

evilthecat:
"By any means necessary" is a common anti-fascist slogan which implies a willingness to do whatever is required to prevent fascism coming to power.

Considering that if fascists did gain power, they would systematically kill, rape, enslave and torture literally millions of people, including antifascist actors, I think it's a pretty reasonable sentiment. For anyone who isn't white, cishet, able-bodied, non-Jewish and willing to go along with a fascist political program, preventing that outcome is a matter of survival. If you don't see yourself in that camp (pun intended), where do you see yourself?

And the binary argument is great and all, except that a lot of people get tarnished with the whole "fascist" label who clearly don't deserve it, and then your "by any means necessary" is just you and your mates (generalism, not you personally) being a bunch of violent pricks to shut down debate.

And from a legal point of view, that's still not a valid argument - even if this mishmash of far right groups were all after those exact hyperbolic aims, that doesn't excuse your group from rocking up with the intent to commit violence in response. That's what the law's for. If you are an organisation bragging about your willingness to be militant, it's kind of expected that you will be under scrutiny from the law.

Don't get me wrong, there is still totally a legitimate grievance in that certain groups are under more scrutiny than others in the US. But actively militant organisations get little sympathy from me when they complain that they are under investigation.

Meanwhile a Synagogue was shot up in the US in 2018.

Saelune:
Meanwhile a Synagogue was shot up in the US in 2018.

Which means what really? The whole country got shot up in 2018, like every other year. A Chicago weekend dwarfs the injuries and slightly surpasses the death toll.

Leg End:

Saelune:
Meanwhile a Synagogue was shot up in the US in 2018.

Which means what really? The whole country got shot up in 2018, like every other year. A Chicago weekend dwarfs the injuries and slightly surpasses the death toll.

It means everything, actually. And not to be rude, but it means magintudes more than your Chicago comment. As it is trying to throw our focus off course.

The title of this thread is "Civil Rights group revealed to be investigated by FBI for 'Terrorism' while 'KKK' violence ignored". We're focusing on the issue that civil right groups are having their rights challenged while being scrutinized more than the actual groups who commit terror, such like the KKK.

Criminals doing criminal acts in for the sole purpose of criminality, we have divisions for that. Gang units and the like. If we're talking about FBI sections solely focused on Domestic Terror, then bringing up a Synagogue that was attacked via a madman with the disgusting notion that "All Jews Must Die" is on form. It was a politically motivated act that caused terror and fear in the community.

Which more falls in line with the FBI's description of Domestic Terrorism

Domestic terrorism: Perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.
--for example, the June 8, 2014 Las Vegas shooting, during which two police officers inside a restaurant were killed in an ambush-style attack, which was committed by a married couple who held anti-government views and who intended to use the shooting to start a revolution.

You'll note that your 'average Chicago weekend' doesn't fall into that realm. Therefore that is more inconsequential to the conversation compared to Saelune rightfully bringing up an example that is germane to the topic at hand.

ObsidianJones:

The title of this thread is "Civil Rights group revealed to be investigated by FBI for 'Terrorism' while 'KKK' violence ignored". We're focusing on the issue that civil right groups are having their rights challenged while being scrutinized more than the actual groups who commit terror, such like the KKK.

From another perspective, it looks like the feds saw a group they consider to be anti-government moving in on a group that isn't quite anti-government in order to bait a fight, and decided to step in because the feds don't like anti-government groups, especially ones that are clearly willing to resort to violence. Skewed priorities? Sure. But it's how they've operated since their creation. The sign in this image is the kind of thing that gets the FBI all hot and bothered.

image

Leg End:

Saelune:
Meanwhile a Synagogue was shot up in the US in 2018.

Which means what really? The whole country got shot up in 2018, like every other year. A Chicago weekend dwarfs the injuries and slightly surpasses the death toll.

It means that actual problems are a bigger deal than made up ones. It means that pretending left-wing groups are as bad as right-wing groups is a load of bull.

Synagogues being shot up in the US in 2018 is absurd. A right-winger with a van clearly dedicated to Donald 'I let children die in internment camps' Trump sent a bunch of bombs to left-wingers.

There are clear and present threats going on that are not being properly dealt with and all right-wingers can do is make up a bunch of bullshit whataboutisms.

And I dont think you want to bring up America's problem with guns, as that is also damning of the American Right.

Saelune:
It means that actual problems are a bigger deal than made up ones. It means that pretending left-wing groups are as bad as right-wing groups is a load of bull.

So Antifa isn't lynching jews or latino marines while calling them racial slurs?

Synagogues being shot up in the US in 2018 is absurd.

Sounds just as absurd as the list of every other place that got shot up by a nutcase in 2018.

A right-winger with a van clearly dedicated to Donald 'I let children die in internment camps' Trump sent a bunch of bombs to left-wingers.

...Well that happened, but what does him having a van specifically have to do with it?

There are clear and present threats going on that are not being properly dealt with and all right-wingers can do is make up a bunch of bullshit whataboutisms.

I agree with the first half of your statement. We need to deal with militant left-wing groups assaulting random people they call fascists, but aren't. But nobody wants to talk about that.

And I dont think you want to bring up America's problem with guns, as that is also damning of the American Right.

...You know the group is named after a slogan popularized by a poster of Malcolm X with a rifle, right? Leftists can support gun rights too. It's not an American Right exclusive thing. I would think that oppressed groups would prefer access to firearms.

Leg End:

ObsidianJones:

The title of this thread is "Civil Rights group revealed to be investigated by FBI for 'Terrorism' while 'KKK' violence ignored". We're focusing on the issue that civil right groups are having their rights challenged while being scrutinized more than the actual groups who commit terror, such like the KKK.

From another perspective, it looks like the feds saw a group they consider to be anti-government moving in on a group that isn't quite anti-government in order to bait a fight, and decided to step in because the feds don't like anti-government groups, especially ones that are clearly willing to resort to violence. Skewed priorities? Sure. But it's how they've operated since their creation. The sign in this image is the kind of thing that gets the FBI all hot and bothered.

image

I'm sorry, I don't see the image. It's not coming up.

But I'm going to highlight the actual issue, and I'm glad you brought it up

From another perspective, it looks like the feds saw a group they consider to be anti-government moving in on a group that isn't quite anti-government in order to bait a fight, and decided to step in because the feds don't like anti-government groups, especially ones that are clearly willing to resort to violence.

This makes all the difference in the world. This, in fact, is the problem. Note, not ONE of us would say anything if BAMN are out there committing habitual attacks to a populace. They would be a rogue group and in need of increased FBI scrutiny.

I've looked for any arrests or links to any crime that BAMN has done. All I've seen is that the group 'believed to be' or 'can shift to violence at any time'. Meanwhile, in 2018, every domestic terror attack on US soil has been done by Right-Wing Extremists.

Yet, the KKK get to have the nice description of "the KKK consisted of members that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda" while BAMN is the next focus of intensive scrutiny because of a 'name' and perceived threat. Not the 50 or so registered deaths done by the hands of people who share their ideology... like, you know... white nationalists and alt-right extremists.

"Clearly has resorted to violence and accrued a number of fatalities" is by and large worse than "Clearly willing to resort to violence". One of them is rooted in fact, one of them is rooted in fear. Credence must be doled out by recorded action, not overzealous fear.

ObsidianJones:

I'm sorry, I don't see the image. It's not coming up.

Try this. If that doesn't work, I'll upload it somewhere.

But I'm going to highlight the actual issue, and I'm glad you brought it up

This makes all the difference in the world. This, in fact, is the problem. Note, not ONE of us would say anything if BAMN are out there committing habitual attacks to a populace. They would be a rogue group and in need of increased FBI scrutiny.

I've looked for any arrests or links to any crime that BAMN has done. All I've seen is that the group 'believed to be' or 'can shift to violence at any time'.

That's about all I can see of this group as well. Hell, I haven't even heard about them until today.

Meanwhile, in 2018, every domestic terror attack on US soil has been done by Right-Wing Extremists.

I seriously question those numbers, especially if they're including Parkland, which they seem to be. Who they include gets suspect after the Synagogue shooting.

Yet, the KKK get to have the nice description of "the KKK consisted of members that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda"

The whole report is a mess really.

while BAMN is the next focus of intensive scrutiny because of a 'name' and perceived threat.

Again, welcome to the incredibly warped priorities of the FBI.

Not the 50 or so registered deaths done by the hands of people who share their ideology... like, you know... white nationalists and alt-right extremists.

If you read the summary in the OP, BAMN was classified as a Anarchist Extremist group, which the Feds would also throw in with any anti-government group. Imagine someone being as motivated as McVeigh and having even half the intelligence, and you've got a very bad recipe for anyone in the government.

"Clearly has resorted to violence and accrued a number of fatalities" is by and large worse than "Clearly willing to resort to violence". One of them is rooted in fact, one of them is rooted in fear. Credence must be doled out by recorded action, not overzealous fear.

After looking at the wikipedia article on the riot(yes, wikipedia, too tired to crawl through a dozen pages on a bad computer, sorry), it looks like BAMN and Antifa, along with associated 'anarchists' and people sporting the flags assembled to counter the gathering by the Nazis, with many of them armed with weapons of all kinds. Considering Antifa's track record and the various flags present, there is no way you can say that one side is just 'willing to resort to violence'. They were there to do damage. I don't know what charges the stabbing victims were brought up on, but knowing who showed up, I don't have the opinion that anyone in that brawl was entirely innocent. Now imagine what a Federal agency would be thinking with that kind of turnout.

None of it is as simple as skinheads slicing peaceful protesters and the cops booking the victims. Hell, it's not even the feds that are pursuing charges. Considering this is California, they're likely to get what amounts to a slap on the wrist with a beanie baby, if the charges(whatever they are) stick at all.

Leg End:

Saelune:
It means that actual problems are a bigger deal than made up ones. It means that pretending left-wing groups are as bad as right-wing groups is a load of bull.

So Antifa isn't lynching jews or latino marines while calling them racial slurs?

Synagogues being shot up in the US in 2018 is absurd.

Sounds just as absurd as the list of every other place that got shot up by a nutcase in 2018.

A right-winger with a van clearly dedicated to Donald 'I let children die in internment camps' Trump sent a bunch of bombs to left-wingers.

...Well that happened, but what does him having a van specifically have to do with it?

There are clear and present threats going on that are not being properly dealt with and all right-wingers can do is make up a bunch of bullshit whataboutisms.

I agree with the first half of your statement. We need to deal with militant left-wing groups assaulting random people they call fascists, but aren't. But nobody wants to talk about that.

And I dont think you want to bring up America's problem with guns, as that is also damning of the American Right.

...You know the group is named after a slogan popularized by a poster of Malcolm X with a rifle, right? Leftists can support gun rights too. It's not an American Right exclusive thing. I would think that oppressed groups would prefer access to firearms.

See, you just made up a bunch of fake problems while glossing over actual real right-wing terrorism via a bunch of flimsy whataboutisms.

Leg End:
I seriously question those numbers, especially if they're including Parkland, which they seem to be. Who they include gets suspect after the Synagogue shooting.

That we won't call white people terrorists when their actions meet the criteria applied to other groupsis a problem in and of itself.

Something Amyss:

That we won't call white people terrorists when their actions meet the criteria applied to other groupsis a problem in and of itself.

I don't question the actions taking place, I question the actual motives. As far as I can tell, the Parkland guy was just nuts. Hell, didn't the FBI drop the ball there as well?

Catnip1024:
And the binary argument is great and all, except that a lot of people get tarnished with the whole "fascist" label who clearly don't deserve it, and then your "by any means necessary" is just you and your mates (generalism, not you personally) being a bunch of violent pricks to shut down debate.

So, this is an interesting argument, because it's an attempt to bog down discussion of the consequences of fascism by getting us stuck in a terminological debate about who is or isn't a fascist, rather than the much more useful discussion of who is advancing the cause of fascism. Also, what's funny about this argument is how often it comes out of the same people who say things like "antifa are the real fascists" without realising the irony.

There are very, very few people, even in actual literal neo-Nazi movements, who come out in uniforms carrying swastika banners and talk about wanting to set up a fascist dictatorship to exterminate the lesser races. In fact, those who do are generally quite embarassing to most neo-Nazis, because they give the game away. Neo-Nazis are aware that their real political goals would be unacceptable to the majority, so much of their public communication is cloaked in a veiled and constantly shifting language, symbolism and deniability, sometimes referred to as "crypto-fascism".

As shocking as it may be, Neo-Nazis will sometimes outright lie. They will denounce Nazism, for example, while also using coded language to argue for identical policies. They will attempt to appeal to ethnic minorities, or even associate themselves deliberately with ethnic minorities to prove they aren't racist. They will invent new terminology both to describe themselves and to cloak their intentions behind seemingly neutral language, and a lot of people get taken in. A lot of people hear to phrases like "globalist elites" and don't get that it means Jews. A lot of people hear phrases like "defending European culture" and don't realise it means "getting rid of all non-white people and 'degenerates'". It's only if you really think about how the people saying these things would put their beliefs into practice that it becomes clear what these things actually mean.

The question of who is and isn't a fascist isn't helpful because any fascist can conceal themselves behind crypto language. Defining who is and isn't a real fascist isn't going to stop violence by fascists, and it isn't going to stop fascists from mainstreaming their political beliefs and gaining support. Instead, the useful question becomes who is doing the most to advance the cause of fascism.

Catnip1024:
And from a legal point of view, that's still not a valid argument - even if this mishmash of far right groups were all after those exact hyperbolic aims, that doesn't excuse your group from rocking up with the intent to commit violence in response.

They are all after those aims.

There is no such thing as non-violent or pro-democratic white supremacy or white nationalism. To create a white ethnostate, you must remove all the people who don't belong in that ethnostate. The only way to do that is violence. To create a segregated society, you must forcibly segregate society. The only way to do that is violence. To make these things possible requires a government with a high level of executive power governed by an explicitly racist ideology and with no legal obligation to protect its citizens from violence.

Again, it doesn't matter who is and isn't a "real" fascist, because anyone who supports a fascist political agenda is still ultimately pursuing the same aims. Fascism is not like socialism, it isn't a nice idea which can in practice lead to totalitarianism and genocide, it is totalitarianism and genocide.

Also, there are fascistic elements in the mainstream politics of the society we live in. When a black kid is shot by police and people say "well, he must have done something to deserve it", then those people are still engaging in fascist politics. It's all very well to want to live in a safe and ordered society with rule of law, it's quite another to be comfortable living in a society where some people (like white nationalists) are protected by the authorities and others have to fear the authorities. Those are different things.

Catnip1024:
That's what the law's for. If you are an organisation bragging about your willingness to be militant, it's kind of expected that you will be under scrutiny from the law.

Being a fascist is bragging about your willingness to be militant.

Heck, while I realise it isn't immediately relevant, joining the police or the FBI is bragging about your willingness to be militant. These organisations can and have used violence against people.

FBI has been doing this shit for a long time. They were tried to blackmail MLK after all.

Leg End:
I don't question the actions taking place, I question the actual motives. As far as I can tell, the Parkland guy was just nuts. Hell, didn't the FBI drop the ball there as well?

He literally carved swastikas into the magazines he used to carry out the shooting..

What do you have to do? Like, literally, what do you have to do?

evilthecat:

Leg End:
I don't question the actions taking place, I question the actual motives. As far as I can tell, the Parkland guy was just nuts. Hell, didn't the FBI drop the ball there as well?

He literally carved swastikas into the magazines he used to carry out the shooting..

What do you have to do? Like, literally, what do you have to do?

The answer is: kill someone. Before that is apparently fair game. I do wonder what would happen if these guy happen to be... let's say... Muslim instead of Christian.

tf2godz:
FBI has been doing this shit for a long time. They were tried to blackmail MLK after all.

I think it was the book Capitalists Superheroes who claimed that the FBI infiltrating those groups increase the conversion to Moaist Communism (as it was more China, rather than Soviet Russia, who were trying to infiltrate).

evilthecat:
So, this is an interesting argument, because it's an attempt to bog down discussion of the consequences of fascism by getting us stuck in a terminological debate about who is or isn't a fascist, rather than the much more useful discussion of who is advancing the cause of fascism. Also, what's funny about this argument is how often it comes out of the same people who say things like "antifa are the real fascists" without realising the irony.

Ah, so now you are advocating violence against not only actual fascists, but those who you deem to enable them, which according to some of the folks round these parts would be anyone who voted for someone you didn't like and / or anybody not actively joining in the setting fire to things with you.

How very democratic.

There are very, very few people, even in actual literal neo-Nazi movements, who come out in uniforms carrying swastika banners and talk about wanting to set up a fascist dictatorship to exterminate the lesser races. In fact, those who do are generally quite embarassing to most neo-Nazis, because they give the game away. Neo-Nazis are aware that their real political goals would be unacceptable to the majority, so much of their public communication is cloaked in a veiled and constantly shifting language, symbolism and deniability, sometimes referred to as "crypto-fascism".

As shocking as it may be, Neo-Nazis will sometimes outright lie. They will denounce Nazism, for example, while also using coded language to argue for identical policies. They will attempt to appeal to ethnic minorities, or even associate themselves deliberately with ethnic minorities to prove they aren't racist. They will invent new terminology both to describe themselves and to cloak their intentions behind seemingly neutral language, and a lot of people get taken in. A lot of people hear to phrases like "globalist elites" and don't get that it means Jews. A lot of people hear phrases like "defending European culture" and don't realise it means "getting rid of all non-white people and 'degenerates'". It's only if you really think about how the people saying these things would put their beliefs into practice that it becomes clear what these things actually mean.

The question of who is and isn't a fascist isn't helpful because any fascist can conceal themselves behind crypto language. Defining who is and isn't a real fascist isn't going to stop violence by fascists, and it isn't going to stop fascists from mainstreaming their political beliefs and gaining support. Instead, the useful question becomes who is doing the most to advance the cause of fascism.

"Sure, they may not use racist language, they may get on perfectly fine with other races, and they may say nothing that's actually disagreeable, but I know that's what they really mean!"

Bit of a flawed argument, you see what I mean? But very useful if your aim is to paint everybody who disagrees with your political stances as fascist. Globalised elite does not refer to Jews - it means the hodge podge of billionaires floating around buying influence and tax breaks, regardless of race.

While there are some genuinely insidious actors out there, they are in the minority, and broad brush approaches will just alienate people and make them more susceptible to these actors.

They are all after those aims.

There is no such thing as non-violent or pro-democratic white supremacy or white nationalism. To create a white ethnostate, you must remove all the people who don't belong in that ethnostate. The only way to do that is violence. To create a segregated society, you must forcibly segregate society. The only way to do that is violence. To make these things possible requires a government with a high level of executive power governed by an explicitly racist ideology and with no legal obligation to protect its citizens from violence.

Again, it doesn't matter who is and isn't a "real" fascist, because anyone who supports a fascist political agenda is still ultimately pursuing the same aims. Fascism is not like socialism, it isn't a nice idea which can in practice lead to totalitarianism and genocide, it is totalitarianism and genocide.

Also, there are fascistic elements in the mainstream politics of the society we live in. When a black kid is shot by police and people say "well, he must have done something to deserve it", then those people are still engaging in fascist politics. It's all very well to want to live in a safe and ordered society with rule of law, it's quite another to be comfortable living in a society where some people (like white nationalists) are protected by the authorities and others have to fear the authorities. Those are different things.

Actually, if we're going to be pedantic, it's the Naziism that leads to the genocide, fascism tends to lead to clampdowns on political opposition, but that's a very different thing. Just saying.

Being a fascist is bragging about your willingness to be militant.

Heck, while I realise it isn't immediately relevant, joining the police or the FBI is bragging about your willingness to be militant. These organisations can and have used violence against people.

Except it kind of isn't, when most of them are essentially just edgy cosplayers. Not being funny or trying to write down the threat, but the sort of people who go to those protests are mainly the same sort of people that would wind up being football hooligans - they go to shout a bit and maybe push a bit if they end up at the front, and get a feeling of acceptance.

The real threat from your neo-nazi groups wouldn't come at marches, it would come at isolated events out of the eyes of the media, surely?

And as to your second bit, joining the police / FBI isn't "bragging about your willingness to be militant", it's expressing the will to undertake violent acts to maintain the law of the state. Which is a very different thing.

Catnip1024:

evilthecat:
So, this is an interesting argument, because it's an attempt to bog down discussion of the consequences of fascism by getting us stuck in a terminological debate about who is or isn't a fascist, rather than the much more useful discussion of who is advancing the cause of fascism. Also, what's funny about this argument is how often it comes out of the same people who say things like "antifa are the real fascists" without realising the irony.

Ah, so now you are advocating violence against not only actual fascists, but those who you deem to enable them, which according to some of the folks round these parts would be anyone who voted for someone you didn't like and / or anybody not actively joining in the setting fire to things with you.

How very democratic.

There are very, very few people, even in actual literal neo-Nazi movements, who come out in uniforms carrying swastika banners and talk about wanting to set up a fascist dictatorship to exterminate the lesser races. In fact, those who do are generally quite embarassing to most neo-Nazis, because they give the game away. Neo-Nazis are aware that their real political goals would be unacceptable to the majority, so much of their public communication is cloaked in a veiled and constantly shifting language, symbolism and deniability, sometimes referred to as "crypto-fascism".

As shocking as it may be, Neo-Nazis will sometimes outright lie. They will denounce Nazism, for example, while also using coded language to argue for identical policies. They will attempt to appeal to ethnic minorities, or even associate themselves deliberately with ethnic minorities to prove they aren't racist. They will invent new terminology both to describe themselves and to cloak their intentions behind seemingly neutral language, and a lot of people get taken in. A lot of people hear to phrases like "globalist elites" and don't get that it means Jews. A lot of people hear phrases like "defending European culture" and don't realise it means "getting rid of all non-white people and 'degenerates'". It's only if you really think about how the people saying these things would put their beliefs into practice that it becomes clear what these things actually mean.

The question of who is and isn't a fascist isn't helpful because any fascist can conceal themselves behind crypto language. Defining who is and isn't a real fascist isn't going to stop violence by fascists, and it isn't going to stop fascists from mainstreaming their political beliefs and gaining support. Instead, the useful question becomes who is doing the most to advance the cause of fascism.

"Sure, they may not use racist language, they may get on perfectly fine with other races, and they may say nothing that's actually disagreeable, but I know that's what they really mean!"

Bit of a flawed argument, you see what I mean? But very useful if your aim is to paint everybody who disagrees with your political stances as fascist. Globalised elite does not refer to Jews - it means the hodge podge of billionaires floating around buying influence and tax breaks, regardless of race.

While there are some genuinely insidious actors out there, they are in the minority, and broad brush approaches will just alienate people and make them more susceptible to these actors.

They are all after those aims.

There is no such thing as non-violent or pro-democratic white supremacy or white nationalism. To create a white ethnostate, you must remove all the people who don't belong in that ethnostate. The only way to do that is violence. To create a segregated society, you must forcibly segregate society. The only way to do that is violence. To make these things possible requires a government with a high level of executive power governed by an explicitly racist ideology and with no legal obligation to protect its citizens from violence.

Again, it doesn't matter who is and isn't a "real" fascist, because anyone who supports a fascist political agenda is still ultimately pursuing the same aims. Fascism is not like socialism, it isn't a nice idea which can in practice lead to totalitarianism and genocide, it is totalitarianism and genocide.

Also, there are fascistic elements in the mainstream politics of the society we live in. When a black kid is shot by police and people say "well, he must have done something to deserve it", then those people are still engaging in fascist politics. It's all very well to want to live in a safe and ordered society with rule of law, it's quite another to be comfortable living in a society where some people (like white nationalists) are protected by the authorities and others have to fear the authorities. Those are different things.

Actually, if we're going to be pedantic, it's the Naziism that leads to the genocide, fascism tends to lead to clampdowns on political opposition, but that's a very different thing. Just saying.

Being a fascist is bragging about your willingness to be militant.

Heck, while I realise it isn't immediately relevant, joining the police or the FBI is bragging about your willingness to be militant. These organisations can and have used violence against people.

Except it kind of isn't, when most of them are essentially just edgy cosplayers. Not being funny or trying to write down the threat, but the sort of people who go to those protests are mainly the same sort of people that would wind up being football hooligans - they go to shout a bit and maybe push a bit if they end up at the front, and get a feeling of acceptance.

The real threat from your neo-nazi groups wouldn't come at marches, it would come at isolated events out of the eyes of the media, surely?

And as to your second bit, joining the police / FBI isn't "bragging about your willingness to be militant", it's expressing the will to undertake violent acts to maintain the law of the state. Which is a very different thing.

Ah, so now you're trying to paint everyone who disagrees with you as violent.

evilthecat:

Leg End:
I don't question the actions taking place, I question the actual motives. As far as I can tell, the Parkland guy was just nuts. Hell, didn't the FBI drop the ball there as well?

He literally carved swastikas into the magazines he used to carry out the shooting..

What do you have to do? Like, literally, what do you have to do?

Not be right-wing apparently.

Catnip1024:
Ah, so now you are advocating violence against not only actual fascists, but those who you deem to enable them, which according to some of the folks round these parts would be anyone who voted for someone you didn't like and / or anybody not actively joining in the setting fire to things with you.

I'm not advocating violence.

I'm defending the concept of resisting fascism by any means necessary, including violence. There's a subtle difference between those two things.

This includes a responsibility to assess what actions are necessary, and what the most effective way of confronting fascism actually is. The vast, vast majority of antifascist actions are peaceful and within the law. But if you're going to try and disrupt people whose entire political philosophy is based on wanting to kill people, it's sometimes going to get violent, and thus violence should be on the table.

Fascism takes many forms, but when people are politically organising around white supremacy and ethnonationalism and other inherently violent concepts and going into communities where POC and LGBT people live, someone has to confront them.

Catnip1024:
Bit of a flawed argument, you see what I mean? But very useful if your aim is to paint everybody who disagrees with your political stances as fascist. Globalised elite does not refer to Jews - it means the hodge podge of billionaires floating around buying influence and tax breaks, regardless of race.

Globalism crops up in neo-Nazi conspiracy circles at the end of the cold war essentially to explain away the fact that communism was no longer a credible ideological threat to the USA. Essentially, it just replaced communism as the ideology that Jews were deliberately spreading to try and destroy Western civilization. It's filtered down from its neo-Nazi origins into mainstream conservative discourse, but most people on the far right still know what it means.

The more general use of globalism has nothing to do with billionaires or money. The kind of ordinary people who see themselves as opposed to globalism generally have no ill feeling towards billionaires, which is why many of them voted for one to be president.

When people like Donald Trump use the term Globalist they are, on the surface, referring to a class of cosmopolitan anti-nationalist, anti-traditionalist cultural elite (not necessarily a financial elite) who support things like relaxed border control and multiculturalism and who have a dominant grip within the media. Essentially, it means someone who is "un-American" or who has a kind of international perspective and values.

To someone who has a neo-Nazi racial consciousness, however, and who views all social conflicts as stemming from racial differences, that description acquires a whole other meaning..

Catnip1024:
Actually, if we're going to be pedantic, it's the Naziism that leads to the genocide, fascism tends to lead to clampdowns on political opposition, but that's a very different thing. Just saying.

The Italians had their own concentration and extermination camps, both in Italy and in overseas territories. The Italian fascist government and its attitude to race was certainly more complex than the Nazis, but they were still racist and they still carried out racial pogroms and war crimes.

When dealing with such a race as Slavic - inferior and barbarian - we must not pursue the carrot, but the stick policy ... I would say we can easily sacrifice 500,000 barbaric Slavs for 50,000 Italians.
- Benito Mussolini, calling for the Italianization of Slovenia

The core of Fascism is a desire for the purification of the national spirit, and that purification is always violent. Fascists have always lied about the ultimate consequences of their philosophy to present themselves as more benign than they are, but in the end you cannot rebirth a nation without breaking a few heads.

Catnip1024:
Except it kind of isn't, when most of them are essentially just edgy cosplayers. Not being funny or trying to write down the threat, but the sort of people who go to those protests are mainly the same sort of people that would wind up being football hooligans - they go to shout a bit and maybe push a bit if they end up at the front, and get a feeling of acceptance.

That's because in the UK, there are longstanding links between far right groups and football violence. Neo-Nazi terrorist groups like Combat 18 used to recruit from football firms because they wanted people who were comfortable with violence and weren't afraid of ending up in prison.

But yes, in a sense you're right, the real threat from neo-Nazis and the far right is not at a protest, but in more everyday setting. C18, for example, used to share lists of individuals they had singled out and would subject them to campaigns of violence for months at a time. But that isn't really the point I'm making. Again, most anti-fascist actions are not violent. When they are violent, often the point is to goad neo-Nazis into dropping their facade of non-violence which they normally try to present, such as the event described in the OP where all these nice peaceful protesters just happened to be carrying knives.

If calling your group "by any means necessary" counts as a commitment to militancy, then organising around white nationalism also counts as a commitment to militancy. Both these things are ideological statements of intent which imply a willingness to use violent goals to achieve your ends.

Saelune:
Ah, so now you're trying to paint everyone who disagrees with you as violent.

Not at all. I don't believe evilthecat is violent, but I believe he is sympathetic to certain elements of those who are.

And to add to that, not all violence is a bad thing. The political system is held together by the unacknowledged understanding that if someone really tried to abuse power, violence would happen. Where I disagree with evilthecat is the boundary on when that is acceptable.

Catnip1024:

Saelune:
Ah, so now you're trying to paint everyone who disagrees with you as violent.

Not at all. I don't believe evilthecat is violent, but I believe he is sympathetic to certain elements of those who are.

And to add to that, not all violence is a bad thing. The political system is held together by the unacknowledged understanding that if someone really tried to abuse power, violence would happen. Where I disagree with evilthecat is the boundary on when that is acceptable.

I could say the same to you.

evilthecat:
I'm not advocating violence.

I'm defending the concept of resisting fascism by any means necessary, including violence.

To clarify, the above was another generalism, not you personally.

This includes a responsibility to assess what actions are necessary, and what the most effective way of confronting fascism actually is. The vast, vast majority of antifascist actions are peaceful and within the law. But if you're going to try and disrupt people whose entire political philosophy is based on wanting to kill people, it's sometimes going to get violent, and thus violence should be on the table.

Devils advocate here, but... the vast majority of white supremacist marchers are peaceful and within the law (the law as it stands in the US, at the very least). That doesn't make what they are doing right.

Globalism crops up in neo-Nazi conspiracy circles at the end of the cold war essentially to explain away the fact that communism was no longer a credible ideological threat to the USA. Essentially, it just replaced communism as the ideology that Jews were deliberately spreading to try and destroy Western civilization. It's filtered down from its neo-Nazi origins into mainstream conservative discourse, but most people on the far right still know what it means.

The more general use of globalism has nothing to do with billionaires or money. The kind of ordinary people who see themselves as opposed to globalism generally have no ill feeling towards billionaires, which is why many of them voted for one to be president.

The global elite also encompasses politicians, particularly those with such a long history in a senior role, so the US population had no real choice in voting. While there may be a subset of actual antisemites attempting to use it, I'd argue a larger portion of the population uses it in an actual anti-elitist manner. It's not antisemitic, it's socialist bordering on communist (albeit slightly fucked up in the US because they can't bear to mention socialism).

When people like Donald Trump use the term Globalist they are, on the surface, referring to a class of cosmopolitan anti-nationalist, anti-traditionalist cultural elite (not necessarily a financial elite) who support things like relaxed border control and multiculturalism and who have a dominant grip within the media. Essentially, it means someone who is "un-American" or who has a kind of international perspective and values.

Depends whether you mean "globalist" or "global elite". Those are very different things.

The Italians had their own concentration and extermination camps, both in Italy and in overseas territories. The Italian fascist government and its attitude to race was certainly more complex than the Nazis, but they were still racist and they still carried out racial pogroms and war crimes.

When dealing with such a race as Slavic - inferior and barbarian - we must not pursue the carrot, but the stick policy ... I would say we can easily sacrifice 500,000 barbaric Slavs for 50,000 Italians.
- Benito Mussolini, calling for the Italianization of Slovenia

The core of Fascism is a desire for the purification of the national spirit, and that purification is always violent. Fascists have always lied about the ultimate consequences of their philosophy to present themselves as more benign than they are, but in the end you cannot rebirth a nation without breaking a few heads.

I was thinking more of Franco, to be fair. Which, while persecution occurred, was more along political lines than racial / cultural.

That's because in the UK, there are longstanding links between far right groups and football violence. Neo-Nazi terrorist groups like Combat 18 used to recruit from football firms because they wanted people who were comfortable with violence and weren't afraid of ending up in prison.

But yes, in a sense you're right, the real threat from neo-Nazis and the far right is not at a protest, but in more everyday setting. C18, for example, used to share lists of individuals they had singled out and would subject them to campaigns of violence for months at a time. But that isn't really the point I'm making. Again, most anti-fascist actions are not violent. When they are violent, often the point is to goad neo-Nazis into dropping their facade of non-violence which they normally try to keep out of the public eye, such as the event described in the OP where all these nice peaceful protesters just happened to be carrying knives.

If calling your group "by any means necessary" counts as a commitment to militancy, then organising around white nationalism is a commitment to militancy. Both these things are ideological statements of intent which imply a willingness to use violent goals to achieve your ends. After all, at the end of the day all those people who don't belong in the ethnostate are going to have go somewhere.

See, even the language of "goading into dropping the facade of non-violence" reeks of hypocrisy. If you hit anyone enough, they will eventually hit you back. By turning up and forcing confrontation, you play into the victimisation and free speech narrative, and pretty much do their recruiting for them.

And the point I'm making isn't justifying that the original protest groups shouldn't be under investigation - of course they should, as should any group of any political affiliation, particularly these days - but that the FBI and police are 100% justified in investigating a group built around counter-protest tactics.

Saelune:

Catnip1024:

Saelune:
Ah, so now you're trying to paint everyone who disagrees with you as violent.

Not at all. I don't believe evilthecat is violent, but I believe he is sympathetic to certain elements of those who are.

And to add to that, not all violence is a bad thing. The political system is held together by the unacknowledged understanding that if someone really tried to abuse power, violence would happen. Where I disagree with evilthecat is the boundary on when that is acceptable.

I could say the same to you.

What, you disagree with evilthecat as well?

Catnip1024:

Saelune:

Catnip1024:
Not at all. I don't believe evilthecat is violent, but I believe he is sympathetic to certain elements of those who are.

And to add to that, not all violence is a bad thing. The political system is held together by the unacknowledged understanding that if someone really tried to abuse power, violence would happen. Where I disagree with evilthecat is the boundary on when that is acceptable.

I could say the same to you.

What, you disagree with evilthecat as well?

I'm pretty sure she's accusing you of being sympathetic to those who are violent. It's just that I'm pretty sure she's accusing you of being sympathetic to the KKK

Probably because every single effing time we get a thread around her about the right doing something bad, you always, ALWAYS, either try and downplay it or talk about how the other side did something bad too.

It's not a good look.

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