City officials throughout the Bay Area have declared November 11-18 to be a “United Against Hate” week. As Berkeley mayor Jesse Arreguin states, “Berkeley and many other Alameda County cities will convene rallies, film screenings, art projects, etc. to learn ways we can effectively stand up to hate groups and make sure hate finds no home in the Bay Area. The goal is to give communities an opportunity to learn from one another, address specific hate crime incidents and above all, seek ways to stop hateful rhetoric from spreading.” (1) The organizing for the events are being done by a group called “Not in Our Town” (NIOT), a non-profit organization that is composed of a variety of ex-law enforcement officers, activist techies, and the reformed white supremacist founder of the Hammerskins, Arno Michaelis.(2) Reducing the issue of power and oppression to an emotional response (hate) or to isolated attacks obscures the institutionalized racism that the state requires for its functioning. This watered-down rhetoric about combating “hate” and singular attacks of prejudice is an attempt by the state and civil society to regain control of a situation that has become increasingly uncontrollable. Continue reading
On August 5, Amber Cummings will hold a “No to Marxism in America” rally in Berkeley. Amber Cummings has been one of the most violent participants in local far-right gatherings. Several factors, including attempted coordination with other events and internal disagreements, have caused Cummings to frequently reschedule the start time of her rally. As of this writing, the rally will be from 12pm-2pm in MLK Civic Center Park in Berkeley.
It was revealed in the lead up to this event that co-organizer Lindsay Grathwohl received $5,000 from Alex Jones with which Grathwohl announced she would buy new equipment for the rally. Moreover, Cummings and Grathwohl were coordinating with Patriot Movement AZ and American Guard, a white supremacist group with ties to murders and other violence.
Though Amber Cummings claims to not want racists attending her event, she clearly seems either unwilling or unable to discern who the racists at her events are. Despite her rhetoric, Cummings still chooses to rally with people like Kevin the “Based Commie,” who advocates for the mass murder of Muslims and idolizes the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 in Norway and performed a Nazi salute in court. Sacramento Proud Boys leader Gabe Silva, who recently called for war in Portland and threatened political opponoents with unprovoked violence, briefly announced he would join Berkeley after the far-right rally in Portland on August 4. Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson also announced he would travel to Berkeley on August 5.
In anticipation of fascist provocations in Berkeley on August 5, we’ve created flyers to help people identify alt-right agitators that have come to Berkeley in the past and may show up again. Share these online, or print them out and bring them to the counter protest against the fascists so others can stay informed. Another helpful resource to review are these tips for staying safe while protesting the far-right. It is unclear which far-right groups will keep their promise to show up or not. Last year in Berkeley on August 27, Amber Cummings cancelled her rally and far-right goons still showed up to the park. The counter demonstration will go on regardless. Continue reading
“We’re parked down there. Can you drop us off, possibly? I’m terrified.” – Troy Worden
On February 16th, “a sergeant and president of the Latino Police Officers Association of Alameda County,” and a member of the Oakland Police Department, walked into the newly opened Hasta Muerte Coffee shop, a cooperative run by workers of color, and located in the working-class and predominantly Latin@ neighborhood of Fruitvale, which is rapidly undergoing gentrification. Instead of a hot cup of coffee and a handshake however, the sergeant was promptly refused service and told that the store had a policy of not serving law enforcement. Very quickly, news of the interaction spread and in response, Hasta Muerte issued a statement on their Instagram page about a week later:
OPDs recent attempts to enlist officers of color and its short term touting of fewer officer involved shootings does not reverse or mend its history of corruption, mismanagement, and scandal, nor a legacy of blatant repression.
The facts are that poc, women, and queer police are complicit in upholding the same law and order that routinely criminalizes and terrorizes black and brown and poor folks, especially youth, trans, and houseless folks.
For these reasons and so many more, we need the support of the actual community to keep this place safe, not police.
In return, the Oakland Police Association wrote a letter to the space asking to further discuss the matter, and by the 8th of March, the story had blown up in the local news, before spreading into the mainstream and then being picked up in the far-Right press by outlets like Breitbart, Fox News, The Daily Caller, and InfoWars. As could be expected following such reporting, the store was hit by a wave of death threats, online harassment, and negative and untruthful reviews on Yelp. Continue reading
As mainstream media coverage of the anti-fascist struggle has skyrocketed over the last year, we’ve noticed that questions surrounding it have largely been confined to concern over a narrowly defined free speech. This has been accompanied by numerous, sometimes deliberate, misrepresentations. While narratives of violence have tended to be over-represented in accounts of anti-fascist and anti-racist organizing, reporting on the alt-right has been the opposite, downplaying the violence inherent to the recently re-energized white nationalist movement. Because clashes in Northern California between anti-fascists and white supremacists have captured so much media attention over the last year, we feel it necessary to place these incidents within their proper context. Continue reading
In early March, the California Highway Patrol completed its investigation of the anti-Nazi shutdown that happened in Sacramento last June, forwarding a 2,000-page report to the District Attorney’s Office. Law enforcement is urging the DA to charge 106 individuals with 514 misdemeanors and 68 felonies over the stoppage of the white nationalist rally that happened nearly a year ago at the State Capitol. While the intent here is no doubt to scare people, there is still a legitimate threat directed at our community. With this in mind, we would like to humbly offer these suggestions to prepare for the repression that the state has in store. This statement is intended for any anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters who attended the anti-Nazi demo on June 26, 2016, but it is also relevant to anyone in the same communities as those who attended. Continue reading
Cops and chan, hand in hand
On May 24, the Berkeley Police Department arrested Eric Clanton in Oakland regarding alleged assaults that occurred during an April 15 confrontation in Berkeley between antifascists and a coalition of far-right groups that included the 3 Percenter and Oath Keeper militias, Identity Evropa, Kyle “Based Stick Man” Chapman, and more. In weeks preceding Clanton’s arrest, members of 4chan’s politics forum called /pol/, the alt-right and all around disgusting and hate-filled internet message board, had been collecting what they considered to be evidence in the case. Threads about Eric Clanton’s alleged behavior could be seen wedged between other discussions such as anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish world domination and the biological inferiority of people of color. Continue reading
What follows is a series of tips and suggestions on keeping yourself and others in our movement safe from the state and fascists. Continue reading
White nationalists, far-Right militias, pro-Trump bikers, members of the Alt-Right, and neo-Nazis are not only coming to the Berkeley Trump rally on Saturday, April 15th – they are speaking and organizing it. As we will show, full blown white nationalists connected to Richard Spencer and other leading neo-Nazis will address Trump supporters on Saturday, despite the claims of rally organizers that they have no connection to white supremacists or the Alt-Right. Continue reading
Approximately 75 people showed up to the ‘March on Berkeley,’ on March 4th, 2017, an event organized by Richard Black of Southern California, to support the Presidency of Donald Trump. The march was to coincide with a national day of action planned in support of Trump, who faces a crisis of legitimacy and drastically dropping support in polls. In Berkeley however, the Right originally intended for this event to be a kind of follow up or revenge for what happened at UC Berkeley on February 1st, 2017, when the community shut down Milo Yiannopoulos from giving a speech, (the event was also organized by the Berkeley College Republicans who have ties to neo-Nazis), before it even began. However as we got closer to March 4th, and as Milo’s career tanked in the wake of anti-consent and pro-pedophilia comments, plans changed and the theme of the event shifted from “free speech” to supporting Donald Trump.