The Alt-Observer Weekly Summary highlights activities from revolutionary communist, radical anarchist, fascist and other ‘alternative’ political groups that fulfill our intelligence requirements for both the Alt-Left and Alt-Right groups. This report is available for Alt-Observer subscribers.
Executive Summary: With regard to the very first item in this report, “Early Warning Signs of Fascism”, we may be looking at a tidal shift in the antifascist movement this year…
The election of Donald Trump and the adoption of America First policies have been the casus belli for Alt-Left groups, who are — under international antifascist doctrine — obligated to oppose fascism at its first signs, whether or not the fascist threat is real.
A cursory view of this list easily gives those who want to believe that a fascist state exists in America reason to believe that fascism is an imminent threat. We routinely observe signs of the confirmation bias that informs the Alt-Left’s collective reality. Confirmation bias is the analytical bias whereby humans perceive associations between events that further bolster their beliefs. For instance, when President Trump calls for a stronger military, confirmation bias would necessarily indicate that this stronger military is to support the fascist state he’s building. Another: When he expresses support for law enforcement, it’s almost certainly because he intends to adopt them as a domestic force to implement fascism. As the tongue-in-cheek saying goes, confirmation bias is everywhere if you just look hard enough.
Certainly, antifascists are concerned with the rise of nationalism, the continued supremacy of capitalist economics, objections to limitless immigration, both perceived and actual racism and discrimination, the militarization of police and cases of police brutality, and other proto-fascist indicators. Many of these indicators have existed long before the Trump administration, yet we as a nation were no closer to fascism than we are now. While these indicators are central issues in the current culture war, America is not a fascist state and it doesn’t appear that we will adopt a fascist system anytime soon. Mid-term elections are just ten months away, and historically they have not been favorable for the incumbent party. It’s unlikely, at this point, that the Democrats will take over the House, however, the Senate is likely up for grabs. And it’s possible that with enough Democratic success, the fear that drives much of the antifascist movement is tempered. The key characteristic that separates the Alt-Left from the liberal Left is radical and revolutionary, anti-capitalist politics. We’ll be looking for signs that, after the mid-term elections, the Alt-Left drops the mantle of mere resistance and then focuses on building a mass revolutionary movement, which is certainly their end goal. And when we consider the growing popularity that socialism and communism enjoy among today’s youth, it’s very possible that they’ll achieve enough popular support to threaten a grassroots movement within a generation, if not before.
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?
- Culture War Roll-Up
PIR1: What indicators describe the Alt-Left movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, initiatives, and infighting?
“Early Warning Signs of Fascism”
An Antifa activist tweeted a list of fascist activity called the “Early Warning Signs of Fascism”, which was composed in 2003 by political scientist Lawrence W. Britt. The following are some of the early warning signs of fascism that were included in the list:
- powerful and continuing nationalism
- disdain for human rights
- identification of enemies as a unifying cause
- supremacy of the military
- rampant sexism
- controlled mass media
- obsession with national security
- religion and government intertwined
- corporate power protected
- labor power suppressed
- disdain for intellectuals and the arts
- obsession with crime and punishment
- rampant cronyism and corruption
- fraudulent elections. [Source: https://twitter.com/RealTrumpClone/status/]
Great Britain: Antifa has threatened and labeled the hotel chain Best Western as “fascist enablers” on Twitter for allowing For Britain, a far-right, pro-Britain, political group to hold a meeting at one of their hotels. An Antifa member tweeted at the official Best Western Twitter account saying that, “If you host fascists then you will be forever known as fascist enablers. You have a small window to make this right before this goes viral and your brand is forever associated with the For Britain party and their vile views. #AntiFa.” (Source: https://twitter.com/2Ferdi7/status/950380578653732864) (Analyst Comment: There exists the possibility that U.S-based antifascists will carry over protests in Britain against the U.S.-based Best Western chain.)
Twitter: To show appreciation to police for Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, a far-left Twitter account tweeted a propaganda flyer which depicts the skull of a dead police officer with the phrases, “All cops are bastards” and “The only good cop is a dead cop.” In the tweet, the Antifa member said, “Things I appreciate about cops: 1. When they die. That’s it,” with the hashtag #BlueLivesSplatter. (Source: https://twitter.com/brazenqueer/status/950783335571312641)
Homeland Security: Reports from the Department of Homeland Security indicate an extreme focus on far-left violence, and less of a focus on far-right violence. The Kentucky Fusion Center released a single report on Antifa, which labels them as a violent extremist crime organization, while there were no records released regarding white supremacist groups. (Source: https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2018/jan/08/fusion-centers-antifa)
Google: In James Damore’s class-action law suit against Google, there exists evidence that a large number of Google employees are Antifa sympathizers and have even set their profile pictures to Antifa signs and insignias. (Source: https://twitter.com/TheSkankworks/status/950454117373300736/photo/1)
Nashville: Antifa continues to help combat extreme cold weather conditions by providing hot meals for the homeless in Nashville, Tennessee. (Source: https://enoughisenough14.org/2018/01/05/)
Austin: The Austin chapter of Black Lives Matter currently has a fundraiser with a goal of $20,000. So far, they have raised $9,480. The chapter claims that it “takes a holistic approach in addressing disparities in education, criminal justice, health, housing, transportation, and economics including unemployment and poverty. We perform both direct action and public policy, and have managed to do so self funded and on a limited budget stretching our resources to get things accomplished.”(Source: https://www.crowdrise.com/black-livesmatter-austin)
PIR2: What indicators describe the Alt-Right movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, initiatives, and infighting?
Website: A white supremacist website called Radical Agenda has been dumped by GoDaddy for an anti-Semitic rant posted by one its contributors that called for the slaughter of Jews: “If you don’t let us dissent peacefully, then our only option is to murder you. To kill your children. To kill your whole families. There is only one thing absent free speech [sic] that we can do to express our dissent and that’s to slaughter you like dogs, and you’re gonna have it coming and your children will deserve to die.” (Source: http://www.newsweek.com/crying-nazi-website-dropped-godaddy-following-rant-calling-slaughter-jewish-771352)
Website: Andrew Anglin, the founder of the Daily Stormer, has reportedly gone missing the last few months as numerous lawsuits are filed against him. Anglin’s lawyers claim that he is “not a citizen of any state” and has been rumored to have lived in a few foreign nations, despite evidence that he is an Ohio resident. (Source: https://blavity.com/founder-of-neo-nazi-site-the-daily-stormer-has-gone-missing-and-the-hunt-for-him-is-on)
Facebook: Firearm company Spike’s Tactical released an ad on Facebook that features four armed vigilantes standing opposite of a large group of Antifa members with the words, “Not today Antifa.” In response to the ad, anti-fascist groups are reportedly worried that it is “fueling a desire to kill leftists.” (Source: http://www.newsweek.com/not-today-antifa-gun-company-ad-threatens-leftists-assault-rifles-774941)
Nebraska: Taylor Michael Wilson, the white supremacist accused of the terror attack on the Amtrak train in Nebraska, reportedly attended the Alt-Right event “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, Virginia last August. In a document released by the FBI it was revealed that Wilson had a National Socialist Movement (NSM) business card with him when he was arrested and that he had been traveling with the group last year. (Source: http://www.newsweek.com/white-supremacist-accused-amtrak-terror-attack-also-attended-alt-right-event-771495)
Charlottesville: Christopher Cantwell, who attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is suing Antifa for framing him at the rally. Cantwell is currently facing up to 20 years in prison for attacking protestors with mace at the rally. Cantwell, however, claims that Antifa sprayed themselves in an attempt to “maliciously punish, discredit, vex, and harass him.” Cantwell is seeking damages from the two defendants that totals over $400,000 each. (Source: https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/j5vg9x/the-crying-nazi-just-sued-antifa-for-allegedly-framing-him-in-charlottesville)
Florida: Brandon Clint Russell, a Florida Army National Guard soldier and an active and founding member of the online neo-Nazi group “AtomWaffen”, was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for the “possession of an unregistered destructive device and for the unlawful storage of explosive materials.” Russell made a plea deal on Wednesday, however, he objects to the accusation that he “intended to assemble a destrucive device with the materials he possessed.” Russell was arrested after federal agents found the bomb-making materials in his apartment during an investigation into a double homicide committed by his Muslim roommate, who killed two men for often ridiculing his recent conversion to Islam. (Source: http://www.flkeysnews.com/news/local/article175515516.html)
Tennessee: The Knoxville Police Department is currently searching for Ronnie Lucas Wilson, a white nationalist and member of the Aryan Nations gang, for the shooting of a Knoxville police officer. Wilson shot officer Jay Williams, a 14-year veteran of KPD, when he attempted to pull him over for speeding. According to Knoxville PD, Wilson started firing at the officer with a shotgun while still driving. (Source: http://www.khou.com/news/nation-now/officers-responding-to-reported-shooting-on-washington-pike/507396982)
PIR3: What are the new indicators of future politically-related violence?
15 JAN: Florida prisoners to take non-violent action against prison slavery by initiating a work stoppage on MLK Day (Source: https://itsgoingdown.org/florida-gears-offer-solidarity-operationpush/)
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.
Culture War Roll-Up
Indiana: A new bill by Republican Rep. Mike Smith would force the Indianapolis Colts to offer ticket refunds to any fans who are offended by members of the team who kneel during the national anthem. Rep. Smith has stated that he wants to introduce this bill because “our government isn’t perfect, but it’s still the best country in the world and I think we need to be respectful of it.” (Source: https://thinkprogress.org/lawmaker-fine-nfl-team-protest-7ec5c64d2ba9/)
Facebook: Representatives for the social media service claim that the company is preparing to release the data that it has collected during their efforts to, “stop the spread of false news.” This data will determine whether or not their attempts have been successful and will provide insight into the information that their research has produced since the program was enacted one year ago. (Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/07/facebook-fake-news-326996)
Amazon: An antifascist activist is asking peers to write positive reviews for books written by other activists and sympathizers such as Mark Bray, Alexander Reid Ross, George Ciccariello, and Scott Crow. Reviews for books such as the infamous Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook by Mark Bray, has extraordinarily negative reviews on sites such as Amazon where customers have described the book and Antifa as the very thing that they claim to oppose. One reviewer wrote that the book is an “Evil justification for wittingly or unwittingly promoting fascism while claiming to oppose fascism.” (Source: https://twitter.com/scott_crow/status/951485119314976768)
J20: Michael Loadenthal, a sociology professor who was arrested for protesting after Donald Trump’s inauguration, has stated that the increasingly long wait times for the sentencing of he and the other 200+ protestors who are facing charges is, “fundamentally unjust.” He also stated that, “Having defendants act extra cautiously in their political activities for one to two years, and having to exist with the looming possibility of life in prison and massive fines, is part of the punishment itself.” (Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/j20-defendants-part-punishment-171229140657912.html)
Facebook: The left’s proposal that Oprah Winfrey should run for president in 2020 has been rejected by the group “Anarchist People of Color” via a Facebook post that said, “Oprah? Nope. Not all skinfolk are kinfolk. Nobody for President 2020.” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/AnarchistPOC/posts/1156274074476116)
Facebook: The Anarchist group “Black and Green Anarchists” posted a propaganda flyer on Facebook that features a picture of a power grid with the words, “The World of Wildness awaits us… After the lights go out. No war but primal war.” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/GreenAnarchists/posts/2003821953228885)