“Antifa Panic”

I have a piece in the new European publication, The Battleground, about the attempts by Senator Ted Cruz and Donald “Cheeto Mussolini” Trump to get the federal goverment treat antifa as a domestic terrorist organization. It also looks at how the German antifa movement influenced the evolution of their US cousins as Anti-Racist Action wound down, and a new generation of antifascist activists arose.

“The United States is having its third wave of “Antifa panic” in as many years. Donald Trump’s 27 July tweet called for Antifa—short for antifascist activists—to be declared “a major Organization of Terror”.

This produced a pushback, especially in Germany, sending #IchbinAntifa trending on social media.

Antifa is not an organisation at all, but a decentralised, leaderless movement that opposes fascism and the far-right. Although most of its work is legal and non-violent, the movement is best known for occasional street fights with extremists.

Recently in the US, Antifa has become a bogeyman among conservatives, like 1950s anti-Communism.”

Read the full article at The Battleground

The Implications of the Christchurch Massacre

I did a short interview with Its Going Down about the meaning of the Christchurch massacre and how we should respond.

“IGD: 
What are the main takeaways from the massacre in New Zealand?

Spencer Sunshine: Unfortunately these attacks are depressingly common, but here are some thoughts:

1) While our hearts go out to New Zealand’s Muslim community, we shouldn’t look at this as not just targeting them—just as we can’t look at the 2018 Pittsburgh massacre as just targeting Jews or 2015 Charleston massacre as only targeting the black community. Nazis and other White Nationalists target a huge range of people, including: black folks and all other people of color; religious minorities, including Muslims & Sikhs; both religious and secular Jews; feminists; immigrants and refugees; Communists, socialists, and anarchists; antifascists; LGBTQ people; interracial couples—as well as anyone who stands in their way or stands up to them, including white, Christian, cis-het men. They are at war with almost everybody in our communities. Here, truly, and injury to one is an injury to all.”

Read the entire interview at It’s Going Down

New video interview on Splinter

The good people at Splinter did an interview with me recently. We talk about how many white people hold Alt Right-style views, the different organizing strategies that the Alt Right and Alt Lite use, and what everyday people can do to counter white nationalism.

“We Must Pressure Mainstream Forces to Stop Downplaying the Far Right”

In the light of the bombings of liberal figures, racist murder of two black folks, and the massacre in the Tree of Life synagogue, I argue that we must pressure mainstream groups to cut off the oxygen to the Far Right. There are three approaches we should focus on:

“One, the mainstream must push back against the demonizing and conspiratorial language used by Trump and others. Mass media outlets must stop allowing themselves to be a conduit for Trump’s lies (and, in some cases, stop actively working to promote them), and cease allowing the spread of demonizing and bigoted ideas in general. For example: Twitter could remove Trump for violating its terms of service, but it simply lacks the will. USA Today had no obligation to print a recent Trump op-ed on Medicare that was filled with lies.

Two, we must push mainstream conservatives to break links with the more extreme members of their party. For example, on October 12, a Manhattan GOP club hosted “alt-right” figure Gavin McInnes. This bigot has had a long career of openly calling for violence, and afterwards, his followers (at least one of whom was at Charlottesville) engaged in a gang-style, 30-on-3 attack against counterprotesters. This powerful GOP club in a posh neighborhood should be held accountable for bringing in violent actors.

Three, we must pressure digital companies to remove content in order to burst the echo chambers where far right activists have their views reinforced and are egged on to violence. The many instances where content is removed after violence shows that outside pressure is effective in forcing platforms to do it.”

Read the entire article at Truthout

“Anti-Immigrant Rampage in Germany Shows Expansion of Right-Wing Violence”

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 2.53.23 PMI have a short piece about the racist mob attacks in Chemnitz, Germany; the similarities between the Alt Lite and the German Islamophobic party AfD; and what this may mean for the U.S.

“A sudden surge of anti-immigrant mob attacks in eastern Germany has renewed fears of another wave of xenophobic violence like the one that swept the country in the early 1990s. The most recent spate of violence began on August 26, after the arrest of two men—one from Iraq and one from Syria—following a murder of a 35-year-old man during a street festival in the city of Chemnitz caused an angry right-wing mob of 1,000 to rampage through the city, hunting down and attacking foreigners. The next day, 6,000 people gathered for a second far-right march, giving Hitler salutes and chanting anti-immigrant slogans, and overwhelmed police.”

Read the full article at Truthout

“40 Ways to Fight Nazis”

[August 2020: The revised second edition, which supercedes this one, is now available.]

My new guide, “40 Ways to Fight Nazis: Forty Community-Based Actions You Can Take to Resist White Nationalist Organizing” has just been published by SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice).

It outlines forty legal actions—the majority of which are available to people of all backgrounds, identities, and skill levels—which help to contain and neutralize White Nationalist organizing, as well as the damage it inflicts to communities.

The guide is available as a 10-page document, and a 2-page summary that you can hand out at rallies and events.

“Will Independent Trumpists Ride Again?”

I have a new article (my first in English since April!) up at Colorlines about the future of U.S. Far Right street demonstrations on the even of the anniversary of Charlottesville:

“After retreating into relative silence, the so-called alt-right and its allies returned to organized street protesting this past weekend. The August 4 and 5 rallies in Arizona, California, Oregon and Rhode Island are set to culminate in Unite the Right 2, an August 12 gathering in Washington D.C. The rally will mark the one-year anniversary of the White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that claimed the life of White anti-racist activist Heather Heyer.”

Read the full article at Colorlines

“Jake Laskey and the American Front”

“In the small Oregon town of Cottage Grove, just south of Eugene, a sign on an empty storefront that used to house a local museum announces a new business: Wolfclan Armory. While most towns would welcome the new blood, instead protests have already begun. The store, which sells knives and survivalist gear, is owned by the Laskey family and wants to move from the smaller Creswell, Oregon so they can grow their business. But there’s a hitch: the Laskey clan which runs the shop includes Jacob “Jake” Laskey, who is said to lead the American Front, a long-standing neonazi skinhead gang. Over several decades, members of the American Front have been involved in assaults, murders, drive-by shootings, and synagogue attacks. Laskey himself served a long federal prison sentence for a synagogue attack and soliciting murder, and is currently in jail awaiting new charges.”

Read the full article at Political Research Associates

“Is the ‘Alt Right’ on Its Last Leg?”

Two leading figures in so-called alt-right have met with a series of recent setbacks. Richard Spencer’s 15 minutes as White nationalism’s preppy it-boy seem to be up. And Matthew Heimbach’s Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) has melted down in a sex scandal worthy of a daytime soap. But do these blows spell an end for the overt White nationalism linked to the ascent of Trump?

Read the rest of the article at Colorlines