ADMIN NOTE: Happy 2018, everyone! This month we’ll announce the major upgrades happening at Forward Observer, but I wanted to give you a quick snapshot of these changes. Bottom Line Up Front: We’re going to add a bunch of services to your current subscription for free.
1. We’re bringing back the daily Early Warning email for subscribers only and in a new format. That’s our opportunity to reach you each morning (Mon-Fri) at 8am CST, if you choose to opt-in, and let you know about the day’s events and developments regarding global and national security. If you have a few minutes each morning, then allow us to help you stay up to date. We’ll be announcing this opt-in later this month and will make sure that it’s available to all subscribers who want this daily email.
2. You’ll be receiving a new report each week we’re calling National Intelligence, which will be added to all remaining subscriptions at no extra cost. Jon Dougherty will continue to write the Strategic Intelligence Summary each week, which will focus primarily on global security and geostrategic issues, in addition to outlining the indicators and risk of war. National Intelligence will bring a renewed focus to national security, domestic systems disruption, and threats to social, political, and economic stability.
3. And we’re going to start a Monthly Intelligence Briefing. This is an opportunity for us to highlight in an interactive form what we believe are the most pressing and pertinent issues, and a time for you to ask questions of our staff who track these developments. We’re undecided on doing video or audio-only brief, so maybe you can help us make that decision. Just respond to this email and let us know. We’ll start the first brief this month, and they’ll be archived in the Library in case you can’t catch it live.
4. We’ve significantly updated our Conflict Tracker (working name), a map showing the locations and information of the various Alt-Left, revolutionary, and radical groups in the United States. This map is now being updated with the latest information available, and you can view it here.
Lastly, the name of this report is being changed to the Alt-Observer. Low Intensity Conflict is a technical and military term, and while it accurately describes the current culture war and low grade domestic conflict, it does not adequately express the contents of the report. We feel that Alt-Observer is a far better name and we hope you do, too.
There are also some other projects we’re working on, and we’ll let you know about them as soon as we can announce them. Until then, Happy New Year. Here’s this week’s Alt-Observer.
Priority Intelligence Requirements
- PIR1: What indicators describe the Alt-Left movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, and capabilities?
- PIR2: What indicators describe the Alt-Right movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, and capabilities?
- PIR3: What are the new indicators of future politically-related violence?
- PIR4: What is the current threat index score for the Alt-Left movement?
- Alt-Left Roll-Up
PIR1: What indicators describe the Alt-Left movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, initiatives, and infighting?
New York branch of Redneck Revolt opens up for interview
The UK-based Independent met with the Suffolk County/Long Island, NY branch of Redneck Revolt to discuss their beliefs and organizational accomplishments. A short video posted to the article’s page describes the group as “a gun-carrying leftist group aiming to combat racism”, and features a few members discussing their activities, which include reading communist and anti-capitalist propaganda and going to the gun range each Sunday. “George”, the branch’s founder, explains that Long Island had no real Leftist presence prior to April, and now the group boasts 30-35 members. This particular branch grew out of Leftist group at Story Brook University. The article goes on to say that there are 38 Redneck Revolt branches nationwide. (Analyst Comment: We currently have all 38 branches mapped out on the Conflict Tracker.) The article also explains that Redneck Revolt members attempt to “counter-recruit” at white nationalist rallies, NASCAR races and gun shows. Additionally, the branch is also invited other Leftist groups to the range — groups like the Democratic Socialists of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, both of which are avowed socialist groups. [Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/redneck-revolt-group-who-are-they-left-wing-armed-group-protect-minorities-interview-a8117551.html]
Richmond IWW organizes mutual aid ahead of Northeast winter storm
The Richmond chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) reported an “impromptu coalition” of activists who are bringing coats, scarves, gloves, sleeping bags, blankets, socks, hygiene products and other items to needy individuals and families in the Northeast. Snow and sub-zero temperatures are expected along the Eastern sea board as “Winter Storm Grayson” hits. [Source: https://twitter.com/RichmondIWW/status/948675094032932865]
ABC holds noise demo at MCC
New York’s Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) rang in the New Year by organizing a noise demonstration outside of the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC). About 150 protesters came out to stand in solidarity with “political prisoners” and oppose the prison system. [Source: https://nycabc.wordpress.com/tag/noise-demo/]
NJ college sued for violating free speech of a professor
Essex County College is being sued by a campus rights group over the dismissal of a professor who debated the Black Lives Matter movement on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. The Essex County College professor Lisa Durden defended a “blacks only” event being held on campus, saying to Tucker Carlson, “[B]oo hoo hoo, you white people are angry because you couldn’t use your white privilege card to get invited.” The college terminated Durden as an employee shortly after the appearance. Now the rights group is suing the school after the school refused to release documents associated with a public records request involving the firing. [Source: http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/40680/]
Group posts solidarity banner in Cville
Solidarity Cville is reporting that an anonymous group posted a banner in Charlottesville, VA recently. The banner was in support of the J20 defendants and Heather Heyer (the woman killed at the Unite the Right rally), and read, “[Anarchist symbol inside a heart] is for grand jury resistors”. [Source: https://twitter.com/solidcville/status/948973546268741632]
Nothing significant to report.
Minnesota congressman and Democrat National Committee deputy chair Keith Ellison took a picture with Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, showing support for the violence-prone Alt-Left political group. Ellison posted the picture in a tweet that said, “I just found the book that strike fear [sic] in the heart of @realDonaldTrump.” [Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/03/dnc-deputy-chair-keith-ellison-signals-support-for-antifa.html]
(Analyst Comment: After being maligned by the media and several prominent members of Congress last year, the antifascist movement certainly has been forced to scale back on the violence prevalent throughout the first half of 2016. But Ellison’s selfie with The Anti-Fascist Handbook is likely intended to promote the antifascist agenda, including violence. Ellison is no stranger to radical politics, of course. While in college, Ellison promoted black nationalism and the concept of the black ethno-state, and was also investigated by the House Ethics committee after failing to disclose a $13,5000 gift from a Muslim organization that allowed him to travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Ellison is a self-professed Muslim, has a history of defending anti-Semites, and drew the ire of the Anti-Defeamation League over that anti-Semitic history. Given that Ellison is the number two at the DNC and potentially more radical Democrats could be elected in 2018 and 2020, it’s quite possible that we see additional support for antifascist violence coming from the Congress in the near future.)
Portland antifascist hit by car during confrontation
Portland area antifascists disrupted a pro-Trump Patriot Prayer march last weekend, which resulted in an antifascist armed with a knife making threats against the Patriot group. Shortly after, the antifascist protester is hit by a car after running in front of on-coming traffic. A video showing the incident shows the antifascist confronting the Patriot march and being hit by a small truck while attempting to cross the street. While the Patriot group did cheer the event, several voices can later be heard advising the antifascists to “get off your microphone” and help out the victim. Another voice warns not to move the victim has he/she may have broken bones. WARNING: The video does contain some mild language. [Source: https://twitter.com/MiIlennial_Matt/status/944772106289639425]
Alameda County orders Antifa leader to pay restitution
The Court commissioner of Alameda County ordered that Antifa leader Yvette Felarca must pay for filing a “frivolous restraining order” against a Berkeley College Republican. The radical leftist middle school teacher attempted to get a restraining order against the leader of the GOP group, Troy Worden, which led to Worden denying any wrongdoing and subsequently prompting his attorney to seek legal fees. As a result, Felarca must pay over $11,000 in legal fees to Worden. (Source: https://twitter.com/MarkMeuser/status/949276051565264896)
Nothing significant to report.
Antifascist browser plug-in helps activists to report YouTube videos
Antifa activists have created a Google Chrome browser plug-in to “de-platform” and mass report YouTube videos deemed “fascist.” Antifascist media outlet It’s Going Down published the news article and accused YouTube of being complicit in white supremacy for hosting videos that could “send [young whites] down a rabbit hole filled with hours of related white supremacist, misogynist, and/or far-Right content.” (Source: https://itsgoingdown.org/take-action-youtube-platform-fascism/).
Black Nationalism on rise in sports and pop culture
Black Nationalist movements are being increasingly endorsed by the sports and entertainment industry. NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is an open supporter of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and communists such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, has recently shown support for the Black Panther Party by dressing in their signature look. Rapper and activist Kendrick Lamar, who is a close friend of Barack Obama and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, is producing the soundtrack for the upcoming Marvel movie Black Panther, which is about a Black Nationalist superhero. (Source: https://www.racked.com/2018/1/4/16846314/colin-kaepernick-nfl-clothing-media) (Source: http://www.looper.com/103241/kendrick-lamar-sza-release-single-black-panther-soundtrack/)
PIR2: What indicators describe the Alt-Right movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, initiatives, and infighting?
Neo-Confederate groups to hold a ‘ride’ in Memphis
After the city of Memphis last year approved the removal of a statue commemorating Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a group calling itself Confederate 901 is scheduled to hold a ‘ride’ in Memphis, TN on Saturday, 06 January. The organization supports Confederate history and heritage, and previously cancelled a rally after learning that hate groups may show up to protest. [Source: http://wreg.com/2018/01/03/confederate-901-plans-ride-instead-of-rally/]
National socialist affiliated with Alt-Right charged with terrorism
A man with white supremacist links attempted to hijack an Amtrak train in Nebraska, according to reports. Court documents released by the FBI on Thursday revealed that the Missouri man had “an interest in killing black people” and has since been charged in the U.S District Court with ‘terrorism attacks and other violence against railroad carriers and mass transportation systems.” [Source: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/01/05/FBI-Man-with-interest-in-killing-black-people-attempted-to-hijack-Amtrak-train/2151515131772/]
PIR3: What are the new indicators of future organizing or politically-related violence?
Jan 7: Michigan Peoples Defense Network (MDPN) General Meeting in Detroit to discuss MLK Day 2018, J20, street medics, and more (http://www.resistandprotest.com/event/mpdn-general-meeting-5920-2nd-ave)
07 JAN: Pipeline protest at Grand Park in Los Angeles (http://www.resistandprotest.com/event/rally-against-keystone-lng-and-line-3-pipelines)
20 JAN: Nationwide Resistance Events: https://itsgoingdown.org/gearing-january-20-2018-week-outreach-solidarity-events/
TBA – Richard Spencer speech at University of Cincinnati
TBA – Richard Spencer speech at University of Michigan
TBA – Lawsuits still pending to allow Richard Spencer to speak at Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan State.
PIR4: What is the current threat index score for the Alt-Left movement?
Indicators of Revolutionary Activity
Strong Indications: 7
Weak Indications: 5
No/Negligible Indications: 8
We remain at 12/20 total indicators, and there’s been no change in the last week.