“Alt Right and Far Right Mobilization in 2018: A Timeline”

My extensive timeline, with a summary, of U.S. Alt Right and related Far Right activity imn 2018 is now up!

“While 2018 was not the banner year that 2017 was for the Alt Right and others on the Far Right, it was still a period of intense activity.

The Alt Right’s winning streak, which started in 2016, ended ingloriously in March 2018 with the collapse of one of its largest groups after a sex scandal, coupled with the cancellation of Richard Spencer’s failing college lecture tour. The movement has been in the doldrums since. Some Alt Lite groups—including Joey Gibson’s Patriot Prayer, but especially the Proud Boys—had an unexpected comeback earlier in the year between the spring and fall.

In addition a large number of Far Right candidates, ranging from neonazis to veterans of armed Patriot movement occupations, entered the Republican primaries. Some advanced to the November general election. The one-year anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville rally appeared to be a peak month of action for the Far Right, with many groups feeling the taboo against public demonstrations had expired. But the action that attained the most visibility, the Unite the Right 2 rally in Washington, DC, was a dismal failure.”

See the full timeline and summary at Political Research Associates.

“The U.S. Far Right’s 2018 Election Results: A Blind-Alley for the Alt Right”

“A large number of candidates with ties to the Far Right ran for office in the 2018 midterm elections, mostly as Republicans. They ranged from neonazis to mainstream Republicans who courted the Far Right for support.

This analysis looks at thirty-five candidates with documented Far Right ties. It found that eleven of them lost primaries, and twenty-four ran in the general election. While a number of candidates won their primaries, no non-incumbents with clear Far Right ties won office on the state or national level. And of the incumbents, only three were re-elected. At the same time, the Democrats re-took the U.S. House, breaking the Republican’s two-year domination of the Executive branch and both national legislative bodies. Clearly, 2018 showed that the electoral arena was not an avenue the Alt Right—or others on the Far Right—could use to advance political power. While Donald Trump gives their movement leverage, his surprise 2016 presidential victory has not translated into electoral successes for other candidates.”

Read the full analysis and election results at Political Research Associates.

“Why the Alt Right May Gain Momentum in 2018”

What the is the future for the Alt Right and Alt Lite, especially for their street-fighting wings?

“One year after the deadly fascist-led rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the U.S. Alt Right is stumbling to regain its footing. Only a small number of White Nationalists came to Washington, DC rally for a rally on the one-year anniversary. While this doesn’t represent the movement’s strength, the public backlash against the Alt Right has significantly damaged it, and it has been unable to regain its former position. However, the more moderate wing of the movement, the so-called ‘Alt Lite,’ is in far better shape—both in its political orientation and strength in the street.”

Read the full article at Toward Freedom

“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

“Standoffs and the Far Right: What Changed After Oklahoma City?”

“Twenty-three years ago, on April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a powerful homemade truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The death toll reached 168, and about 850 were injured. McVeigh’s act was retribution against the federal government for its attacks on the paramilitary Far Right. Looking back, the bombing apparently forced changes in how armed Far Right insurgents are treated by the federal government—a change which may have led to the hands-off policy against armed encampments led by the Bundy family in Nevada in 2014, and Oregon in 2016. Today, the Bundys walk free. One of them, Ryan Bundy, has announced he will run for Nevada governor. But do they owe their freedom, celebrity, and success to McVeigh’s murderous attack?”

Read the full article at Political Research Associates

“The Future of the U.S. ‘Populist Radical Right’ and White Nationalism: Looking at Cas Mudde’s ‘The Far Right in America'”

Donald Trump did not invent nativism or right-wing populism, but he did provide those ideologies a more prominent platform than it has enjoyed in many decades. And, as scholar Cas Mudde warns in his new book The Far Right in America, its claws in American society will ensure that it outlives his presidency. But will a revitalized White nationalist movement do the same?

Read the whole review at Political Research Associates

“Rumors of Civil War: How Anti-Communist Conspiracies Imagine an Antifa Civil War on November 4”

Here is my analysis of the Far Right conspiracy theory that “antifa” will start a civil war on November 4; its relationship to classic anti-Communist conspiracies; and how “anti-communism” and “anti-marxism” are becoming new organizing themes for the Alt Right and Patriot movement.

“A conspiracy theory has spread like wildfire through the Far Right claiming that on November 4, ‘antifa’ will start a civil war and attempt to overthrow Donald Trump. The date is supposed to precede the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, and the demonstrations are described as a prelude to establishing a Communist dictatorship. One website says, ‘they are planning to kill every single Trump voter, Conservative and gun owner.’ The different permutations of the conspiracy show the fears of the Far Right. But, more dangerously, these false claims that antifa will initiate a wave of violence are a kind of projection­; in reality, the conspiracy is being used to encourage Far Right activists to harm non-violent Leftist protestors. And threats of violence are pouring in on social media.”

Read the entire article at Political Research Associates

“Was the Failed ‘Mother of All Rallies’ the Beginning of the End of Independent Trumpism?”

I attended the MOAR rally on September 16 in Washington, DC. Here’s what I saw.

“The ‘Mother of All Rallies’ last Saturday (September 16) may have been the biggest far-right march since the deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia, but that doesn’t mean it was successful. Organizers claimed they would draw one million people to Washington, D.C., for what they called the ‘Woodstock of American Rallies.’ Despite months of organizing the rally, with its stated goal of protecting and preserving ‘American culture,’ 1,000 people at most came to hear over 50 speakers and bands. The organizers’ boastful branding and their reservation of a huge swath of the mall in front of the Washington Monument backfired. The internet mocked the tiny turnout with aerial photos. It seemed especially pathetic compared to a nearby march by Juggalos, a subculture of Insane Clown Posse fans who dress up like the Detroit-born rap-metal band. The Juggalos were protesting against the FBI designating them a ‘hybrid gang‘ in a 2011 report.

MOAR was an attempt to rekindle the pre-Charlottesville street marches held by what I dubbed in Colorlines in June as ‘Independent Trumpists.’ Since Donald Trump took office, this mixture of Republicans, members of the so-called alt-right, neo-Nazis and armed activists from the militia and Patriot movements have participated in a series of rallies in favor of ‘free speech’ and against Islam and the removal of Confederate monuments. And in this sense, MOAR succeeded in replicating this coalition, even as they tried unsuccessfully to dissuade Nazis from showing up.”

Read the full article at Colorlines

“Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer: The Westboro Baptist Church of the Alt Right”

“Joey Gibson is a Far Right activist who, since March 2017, has made a name for himself by organizing confrontational rallies on the West Coast that have frequently descended into violence. Based in Vancouver, Washington (located across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon) Gibson organizes events under the name Patriot Prayer. He draws support from the Patriot movement, the Alt Right and fascists, homophobic Christian nationalists, and right-wing bikers. Gibson goes to liberal enclaves and seeks to incite fights while simultaneously claiming he is merely advocating free speech, peace, love, dialogue, and tolerance. Patriot Prayer is the Alt Right version of the Westboro Baptist Church—they purposely antagonize people they perceived as opponents by engaging in public protests at sensitive times, and then in turn portray their targets as intolerant. Patriot Prayer has gone to the Bay Area in California; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle and Olympia, Washington to stoke confrontations.”

Read the full article at Political Research Associates

“I Almost Died in Charlottesville”

My account of being at the counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia against the Unite the Right rally on August 12, 2017.

“Fascist violence is not an anomaly. The movement itself is based on violence—the glorification of violence, the use of violent tactics as organizing tools, and the end goals of ethnic cleansing and genocide. There is no such thing as “peaceful ethnic cleansing,” as alt-right leader Spencer has advocated. It is White supremacy and antisemitism first, with hatred of Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ people, feminists and leftists coming in at a close second.

The fascist Right and their allies united this weekend for what they hoped would be their big breakthrough. Before the march, AltRight.com, run by Spencer, posted, “People will talk about Charlottesville as a turning point. There will be a before Charlottesville and an after Charlottesville. Will you stand up for your history, your race and your way of life?”

For those opposed to fascism and far Right rhetoric and violence, there also needs to be a before and after. Just as fascists threaten so many groups, they provide us—Muslims, Jews, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, feminists and progressives—an opportunity. Our common enemy allows us an opportunity to come together across our differences and work together, not just to oppose and contain their movement, but to do so based on a commitment to a vision of a cosmopolitan future based on respect and equality. I hope we seize this opportunity.”

Read the full story at Colorlines