In the second incident this year from the tolerant State of California, a group of white-supremacists holding a rally has been violently attacked by “anti-Fascist” counter protesters. The previous attack in Anaheim left 3 people injured, including at least 1 with stab wounds from a flagpole. The “Traditionalist Workers Party” (TWP) had a permit to hold a rally in Sacramento today, with a couple of dozen members of theirs and related groups. They were met by approximately 400 people loosely falling under the umbrella of “By Any Means Necessary” (BAMN) who arrived with masks, 2x4s and shields. Today’s attack sent 7 people to the hospital, at least one with critical stab wounds. Dozens more were treated for cuts and bruises at the scene.
The BAMN black-shirts were spoiling for a fight. They didn’t even wait for the rally to start before accosting a TV news-crew.
The first sign of violence came just before 11 a.m., when KCRA reporter Mike Luery and his cameraman were caught in an altercation with anti-fascist protesters shouting “no cameras” and demanding they leave.
“We’re not causing the problem; your belligerent people are causing the problem,” Luery told the crowd before someone knocked his mike from his hand and others tried to grab the camera. The pair were eventually shoved out of the crowd and crossed the street away from the protesters.
Nothing says “anti-Fascist” like roughing up camera crews and committing attempted murder against people with whom you disagree. I don’t care how disturbing, disgusting, or downright reprehensible the views being spouted are, there is no justification for initiating violence against people in a political demonstration.
The group bills itself as anti-globalist, but its ideology is old-fashioned white supremacy. Yet while the group’s views may be racist and reactionary, it doesn’t—at least in writing—advocate violence or destruction. The group’s mission, according to its website, is to defend America against “economic exploitation, federal tyranny, and anti-Christian degeneracy.” It encourages members to lobby lawmakers and go canvassing in their communities. It get permits for statehouse demonstrations.
I’m not suggesting each and every member is a paragon of propriety in their personal interactions with people of color, but there’s no evidence TWP members were in any way threatening the lives, livelihoods, or property of those whom they disdain. They were just standing around the statehouse wearing Nazi-themed t-shirts.
Moral considerations aside, initiating violence against people protesting peacefully—no matter how odious their ideas—will never be a winning step strategically. And especially not in this case. It becomes clear in about five minutes of perusing the TWP website that what these “race realists” want more than anything is to be taken seriously—not just in the realm of politics but also (perhaps more so) in the realm of ideas.
I said as much in my piece following the Anaheim attack:
It sounds like the Klansmen (the group holding the Anaheim rally) have a fairly strong self-defense claim. Which is in some ways a shame, because anything that paints the KKK in a sympathetic light is unfortunate. They should have been ignored. These “rallies” almost always consist of 10-15 dudes in robes and 5x or more people yelling at them. They really are inconsequential.
That said, the First Amendment was written to protect the very kinds of speech that the Klan is engaged in. Speech that inflames, speech that makes you feel uncomfortable, speech that turns your stomach turn and makes you want to go out and speak against it. There is a Supremacist website that links to our Second Amendment posts from time to time. I always feel a bit odd when I see the referral.
I hate to break it to the counter protesters, you don’t help your cause when you begin stomping people you (and the overwhelming majority of Americans) disagree with passionately.
BAMN members came brandishing wooden bats and shouting “fuck fascists. Beat the fascists. Beat them.” One member Yvette Felarca told CNN she was “very, very proud” of the counter-protest that had produced such violence.
“We’ve got to build a movement in this nation,” said Felarca, noting that her group was full of people of many races and sexual orientations “standing together saying we will not accept or allow racist, genocide organizing to take place on the front steps of the capitol of California. And we would do it again.
Go sod yourself you effing Fascist. Counter-march all you want. Scream at the top of your lungs. Shake your fists. That is your right. Your right to swing your fist ends just shy of another’s nose. Your inability to grasp this concept makes you no better than those you oppose. Worse – you made me have to stick up for Nazis you brain-dead douchenozzle.