To Our Comrades: The Victories of Antifa and Our Future Struggles
Decisive anti-fascist and anarchist victories against the far right are becoming more pronounced. We should take a moment to celebrate our successes as we look onwards to the coming struggle.
Antifa action against fascist organizing has proven to be effective. Direct confrontation in Charlottesville ended the ‘Unite the Right’ rally before it even began, and a timely intervention the previous evening thwarted the far right’s ominous attempt to attack a community meeting in a black church. Antifa action succeeded in halting a far right demonstration in Boston. Anarchists also prevailed definitively against the far right in Berkeley, pushing back their police protection and chasing them out of Martin Luther King Jr Park. The success of these battles will be remembered as pivotal moments in what is sure to be an enduring struggle against government supported white supremacist violence.
The current eruptions of white supremacist violence we are witnessing are not an anomaly but are foundational, and are at the root, or the heart of US society. The Ku Klux Klan and the Proud Boys are not an aberration but are traditional political formations in the US. As the Klan rose with support from the government, the Proud Boys, the alt-right and the white nationalist movements today rise with support from the Trump regime, the police, the wealthy, and the liberal establishment that tolerates their violence as part of a “marketplace of ideas.”
The recurring demonstrations from these racist groups in major cities depended on a degree of collaboration of city officials with white nationalists. These incursions into our communities relied, also, on a heavily militarized police force to escort these groups and attack people who opposed their presence. This collaboration is hardly surprising since the white supremacist ideology of far right groups is completely consistent with the anti-black politics of the police as is clearly evident from the spate of police executions and mass incarceration, the continued torture from border agents and ICE, and the racial profiling of the Muslim community.
Liberal institutions complete this oppressive constellation, with organizations like the ACLU and ADL rushing to defend fascists during these confrontations, and aiding the reactionaries in their pursuit for greater legitimacy. Liberal attempts to position themselves as the “middle of the road” option, with their rhetoric of understanding “both sides,” is prefaced on the notion that the denial of humanity for broad swathes of people is somehow a legitimate political position.
The truth is these liberal groups pay lip-service to criminalized and oppressed communities while they actively aid and abet white supremacy. This stands on the historic racist tradition of liberal academics in the Progressive Era equating criminality with blackness, Northerners participating in segregation and economic exclusion, and the mainstream press condemning the Freedom Riders in the 1960s.
We take the recent conservative and liberal backlash against antifa as a confirmation of our sound judgement, and recognize the establishment’s condemnation of our actions as nothing more than white noise from white supremacy. The denouncement spurred on by Trump, his white supremacist minions, and the liberal establishment that buttressed these hate groups is a clear sign we have chosen the correct path.
The difficulty of physically confronting these nationalist groups – who openly state they want to ethnically cleanse segments of the population – cannot be understated and we salute all those who fight with us. Those who contributed through other means, whether through holding meetings, creating infrastructure, holding down political principles, and supporting comrades returning with battle wounds and emotional scars, deserve the highest praise and respect. This work is historically regarded as secondary even though this is where we create new social relations and revolutionary relationships; this is where we learn to be truly human in the struggle.
Anarchists and antifascist are the political forces that are willing and capable of opposing fascists in the US and have fully committed themselves to the abolitionist goal of eradicating prison slavery, capitalism, and the state. When Trump names these tendencies as his main enemies, he is, perhaps for the first time in his life, correct. We are the ones who fight for the abolition of 21st century slavery, ethnic cleansing, and patriarchal violence. We are the political force fighting against fascism in its multitude of forms. It is only logical that those who profit from and thrive off of oppression would see us as their enemy.
White supremacist groups are now flailing and fighting amongst themselves as their rallies and demonstrations collapse in shambles, but as they fail in this way they become more dangerous in other ways. As their groups reorganize and devise new methods to hurt people, we must shore up our movement against these attacks, and continue to protect people who are vulnerable from the racist state and the government’s white supremacist foot soldiers.
Already so many of our comrades have risen to the occasion. They have risked their health, lives, families, and friends to beat back the fascist scourge. The next steps in our struggle will take their cue from the bravery and selflessness demonstrated in Charlottesville and Berkeley. As we transition from protest battles to the next stages, we must increase our coordination and commitments, and continue to build a shared vision of the future that is engrained in our local groups and has the potential to expand into an ever larger capacity.
When a medic disobeys the police to resuscitate a victim, when the black bloc steps in front of a police weapon to shield others, or when revolutionaries fight back white supremacist mobs from massacring black church goers, we know that we must accelerate the movement to one that is worthy of those who have taken these great risks. We commit to building a movement whose seriousness and dedication is so profound that these individual acts of courage can be multiplied and supported by comrades as committed as they are.
We call on all those who see this necessity, who are ready for the next stage, who are committed to building a new life outside the false promises of liberalism and the raw oppression of the right wing, to join us in this mission.