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.
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?
Black Lives Matter: Daily news website Commercial Appeal, part of the USA Today Network, recently published an article detailing how Black Lives Matter ‘moved the Civil Rights movement into the 21st century’. The author gives a brief history of Black Lives Matter, from its beginnings as a Facebook hashtag to a movement, which now includes more than 40 chapters world wide. Although Black Lives Matter claims to be the 21st century Civil Rights movement, one organizer believes that the movement is more similar to the Black Power movement, saying, “I think in many ways it is more [Malcolm X] than Martin in the sense of what we see with Black Power is a more directly explicit critique of American systems and structures, which is something that’s less pronounced in the 1950s, 1960s civil rights era.” The organizer also claims that the Black Lives Matter movement of today is very different than it was during the Obama administration because the movement had the support of the White House and the US Department of Justice during Obama’s presidency, whereas today, the Trump administration is “actively hostile and actively aggressive towards Black Lives Matter activists. And actively supportive of opposition forces like neo-Nazis.” (Source: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/11/black-lives-matter-moves-civil-rights-into-21st-century/1049310001/)
DSA: The Democratic Socialists of America published an article explaining the tactics behind socialist fundraising without capitalist support. Colleen Shaddox explains how a Connecticut-based resistance group raised $18,000 to bail immigrants out of jail, by relying on ordinary people instead of corporations and philanthropists. Shaddox claims that she would post an opportunity to “become an angel” on Facebook everyday, where people could pay money to sponsor part of the event such as the insurance, refreshments, or other goods and services. Shaddox claims that this method alone inspired more than a hundred people to donate money, goods, or time. The group also set up a Target wish list where people could buy and ship needed items directly to the events volunteers and organizers, and local farmers donated fresh produce to help feed those who attended the fundraiser. According to Shaddox, she and the other organizers of the fundraiser identified the various talents of the people within their group, which, along with the help of many volunteers, allowed the group to be more motivated, organized, productive, and efficient. Shaddox says that this should be a template for future DSA fundraisers, from raising bail money to getting socialists elected. (Source: http://www.dsausa.org/how_to_raise_money_without_the_rich)
Black Lives Matter: In response to the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) lawsuit against the Florida legislature raising the required age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, Black Lives Matter called the NRA a terrorist organization via their official Twitter account. (Source: http://www.newsweek.com/national-rifle-association-black-lives-matter-gun-control-us-839742)
Boston: The Boston chapter of Communist Party USA (CPUSA) recently published an article discussing their upcoming plans for May Day (01 May 2018) and the fall elections. In the publication, the communists claim that their goal is to address the struggles of the working class and that they are fighting on the behalf of labor. Their May Day plans are not finalized, however, they are planning on holding a May Day labor conference at the IUE-CWA Local 201 in Lynn, Massachusetts, on May 5th. In the article, the Boston chapter claims that it has been spending a lot of time focusing on the upcoming 2018 elections, however, they have not yet decided on whom they are going to endorse and campaign for the next governor of Massachusetts. This article provides great insight into the way this organization functions. “Because the club is fortunate enough to be housed at the Center for Marxist Education, we continue to hold events in the form of book talks, films, round-table discussions, and lectures. Holding these events is part of our visibility and aids in recruiting new members, as we seek to add two new clubs in the near future. Furthermore, as part of our visibility, a few comrades from the club will be sitting on panels, leading workshops, and hosting a club table for informational purposes at the March 17th 2018 Boston Socialist Unity Project conference. While we face our share of challenges, there is a sense of optimism here in Massachusetts.” (Source: http://www.cpusa.org/party_voices/boston-cp-plans-for-may-day-fall-elections/)
Michigan: The antifascist blog website It’s Going Down published a list of tactical lessons and insights that they learned from their protest of Richard Spencer’s event at Michigan State University earlier this month. The following is a list of highlights from their list:
- If chasing fascists, consider getting rental cars. In any case, make sure vehicles are road-ready and minimally identifiable.
- Make sure people know which ‘situation names’ each of your people will be using for the action ahead of time.
- Prepare for the challenges of making decisions quickly and efficiently in high stress situations.
- Don’t bring illegal drugs to an action, or carry them in cars you’re using. Never bring sketchy shit in a car without telling the driver beforehand.
- Fear is the mind killer. Paranoia can prevent you from acting or being properly prepared. Exercise precaution, of course, but it is important to follow through with plans and not allow paranoia and fear to stop you from doing what you came to do.
- Make sure you have clear lines of communication open with other crews.
- Choose specific and unique affinity group names/calls. Having a name will help you stay together in a crowd, but if it is too vague or general (“my group”), strangers might respond to the same name.
- Compliment and encourage strangers when you see them doing brave or inspiring things.
- Don’t dismiss the tactical use of soft blockades. NVDA tactics may not work against fascists but might be effective when dealing with police.If there are horses, there will be horseshit.
- Bring multiple pairs of disposable latex gloves. Try to dispose of these without leaving them for the cops (DNA databases are thing).
- Don’t love violence: it is a means that is sometimes necessary, but not who we are or how we ultimately want to relate to the world.
- Don’t fixate on the police. They can distract us from other objectives. They are an obstacle, not an ‘absolute enemy’.
- Proper black bloc attire should include multiple layers. Ideally, you want one or two distinctive ‘bloc’ layers (black or dark grey/blue), and one or two de-bloc layers: one that allows you to remain in the situation while masked, yet not associated with the ‘bloc’ you were in a moment ago, and another to blend into a citizen crowd entirely when leaving.
North Carolina: “Black Lives Matter” was spray painted on the front of a police lodge in Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to the spray paint, the windows of a FOP van that was parked in the parking lot of the lodge were broken out, an American flag taken down and then put back up upside-down, and the wires of the surveillance cameras were cut. Despite the wires being cut, there is surveillance footage of the suspect who was reported as appearing to be white. (Source: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article204761279.html)
Portland: Micah Rhodes, a Portland, Oregon activist and member of activist group Portland’s Resistance, was recently found guilty of one count of 2nd degree sexual abuse. According to the court records, the victim of the sexual abuse was a minor at the time. Rhodes also faced allegations of sexual abuse for having sex with a minor in Multnomah County. During his appearance in court Rhodes pleaded not guilty to 4 counts of 2nd-degree sexual abuse and one count of 3rd-degree sexual abuse. According to the CBS affiliated news station KOIN 6, Rhodes was convicted of 1st-degree sodomy and sexual abuse as a juvenile and was forced to register as a sex offender. (Source: http://www.koin.com/news/local/washington-county/activist-micah-rhodes-found-guilty-of-sex-abuse/1027071175)
Portland: In a video posted by the Common Sense Conservative on YouTube, Portland police officers can be heard calling out specific protestors through a loudspeaker who were illegally blocking a street before eventually taking them down. Before the police began to call out specific protestors, they warned them that they would be subject to arrest saying, “This is the Portland Police Bureau. Southwest 3rd Avenue at Southwest Madison street is open to vehicular traffic. You must immediately vacate the roadway and proceed to the sidewalk. If you remain in the roadway, you may be subject to arrest for disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer, and other state and city offenses. Move to the sidewalk now.” After the protestors refused to leave the roadway, the officers began to call out specific protestors, “The persons who are traveling towards Southwest Jefferson Street on Southwest 3rd Avenue that are holding a banner… move to the sidewalk now or you will be subject to arrest…. The man with the grey rain jacket with a megaphone, you are subject to arrest. Move to the sidewalk now. You are welcome to continue to assemble and express yourself on the sidewalk,” however, the protestors continued to ignore the warnings. Shortly afterwards the police deployed teams of riot police at the ends of the street to block in the protestors. This was followed by more riot police blitzing the protestors in the street from a nearby suburban, where they arrested all of the protestors that they singled out over the loudspeaker. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUijQ2Opj2o)
BLMBA: The Bay Area chapter of Black Lives Matter is holding a fundraiser to raise $5000 to “send Black youth to South Africa.” According to the group, “The mission of the project is for the students to expand their awareness through cultural exchange, build on their sense of pride and self-esteem by participating in community service and grow their worldview through traveling and exposure to other languages.” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatterBayArea/posts/1971257516232263)
Phoenix: In a video members of Antifa can be seen harassing and assaulting conservatives after a Bernie Sanders speech at the University of Arizona campus. After the assaults, police arrive and the Antifa members who assaulted the conservatives are pointed out so that they can be detained. As the police are questioning the antifascists, the Antifa member who was caught on video assaulting the conservatives began to run from the police with the help of another antifascist. The assaulted conservatives and the police then proceeded to chase him down, which led to him being tackled to the ground and arrested. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/TruConservativeTV/videos/434569933641898/)
Austin: Red Guards Austin posted on Facebook asking for the support of their movement and their comrade named “Dallas,” who was surrounded by police with shotguns and arrested. According to RGA, “he is sitting in the state’s dungeons.” The following is an excerpt from the Facebook post that discusses the groups beliefs as to why he was arrested and calls people to join their fight, “We believe that this abduction of our comrade is the most recent and aggressive attempt on the part of the pigs—city, state, and federal—to quell and repress revolutionary organizing and the militant antifascist movement. Although there can be no doubt that wherever there is true resistance to the rise of fascism, the state will be sure to try to crush it, we believe that the movement in Austin has attracted particular attention. They see that it has become an example to others—and so now they wish to make an example of it by stringing up our comrade. Please read this statement, share it, and join the struggle to defend a truly great servant of the people and fight tirelessly for his freedom!” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/RSFAustin/posts/1386836338088343)
Austin: In response to the recent bombings in Austin that killed two black men and injured two elderly woman who were black and hispanic, the Austin Justice Coalition and the Austin chapter of Black Lives Matter are hosting a community town-hall to “discuss the gravity of these malicious attacks and how they are targeting Black and Brown families.” So far no suspects for the bombings have been identified, although investigators do believe that the three separate bombings are related. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/events/207258230028125/)
PIR2: What indicators describe the Alt-Right movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, initiatives, and infighting?
Richard Spencer: In the wake of his most recent event at Michigan State University, Richard Spencer announced that he plans on making a “course correction” away from his college speaking tour. According to Spencer, the idea of the college tour was to go “into the belly of the beast. It’s going into totally academic marxist controlled territory and giving a speech that introduces the basic ideas of identitarianism and the alt-right, to interface with students, and to present ourselves, to a degree, as a kind of curiosity.” Spencer attributed the failure of his college tour to the oppression of free speech and the constant antifascist presence at his events, which inevitably lead to violence and arrests. Despite this failure, Spencer appears to be determined to continue on. Towards the end of his YouTube video where he announced the end of his college tour, Spencer stated that “the fact is yes, we can stand tall in the face of this. We should. But we should also start questioning our own methods and the direction we’re heading in… The fact is, until this situation changes, we are up a creek without a paddle.” Spencer and his followers will be spending the rest of 2018 finding, planning, funding, and conducting an alternative way to spread their alt-right views. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFT9UHytoxI)
Twitter: Identity Evropa tweeted a group picture of their members who attended their conference called “Leading Our People Forward.” According to the group, this was their first conference and was “a resounding success.” The white nationalist group also informed its followers that their media team is hard at work and would be posting speeches and other content from the event soon. (Source: https://twitter.com/IdentityEvropa/status/974042862890471425/photo/1)
Daily Stormer: Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer recently posted on his blog site saying that “We are in no way ready to take to the streets. We have absolutely zero infrastructure. We do not have a huge pool of reliable, competent people. We do not have any stable organizations, we do not have developed communities, we do not have allies in the government or military, we do not have allies in academia, entertainment or media, we do not have a legal team. We do not really have much of anything at all.” (Source: https://twitter.com/annamerlan/status/974376690410500096/photo/1)
TWP: Matthew Heimbach, the leader of the Traditionalist Worker’s Party (TWP), was arrested on Tuesday on charges of domestic battery after he attacked his wife and and a fellow member of TWP named David “Matt” Parrott. According to a police report, Heimbach was having an affair with Parrott’s wife. (Source: http://www.newsweek.com/neo-nazi-domestic-violence-women-alt-right-845764) (Analyst Comment: This is the end of the Traditionalist Workers Party. They decided to formally disband after Parrot left the organization and news broke about the affair. The TWP was central to the tanking of the Alt-Right movement, after prominent Alt-Right figures decided to continue to align themselves with the TWP, an avowed national socialist group. The TWP routinely used Nazi symbols and paraphernalia in their marches and media, which some in the Alt-Right believed would be harmful to their overall white nationalist cause. It should be noted that, just out of morbid curiosity, Heimbach was involved in truly a family affair. Heimbach is married to the step-daughter of Matt Parrot, who’s second wife had repeated sexual relations with Heimbach. You know what… here’s a chart.)
PIR3: What are the new indicators of future politically-related violence?
16-18 MAR: MAGACON 2018
17 MAR: CopWatch Orientation hosted by Black Lives Matter Sacramento
24 MAR: March For Our Lives: Boston
24 MAR: March For Our Lives: Portland
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 of 20 total indicators, and there’s been no change in the last week.
Culture War Roll-Up
Congress: During an event in Alabama, Congresswoman Maxine Waters was asked about reparations for black Americans, to which she responded, “I’d be happy to do that. That’s no problem…. In order to get where we need to go on this issue and other issues, we really got to understand that 2018 is important in taking back the House and taking back the Senate…. And of course, we’ve got to get the White House back…. If we want to get to the point where we can get reparations, we’ve got to have the power to do that, number one, by having a supportive president would be wonderful, but taking back the House would be absolutely wonderful.” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/danadamsshow/videos/10215520275904595/)
UK: Conservative activist and journalist Lauren Southern was detained while on her way to Britain on Sunday. According to sources close to Southern, she was stopped by border police, who seized her passport and then took her in for questioning. After her release, Southern tweeted saying that the authorities investigated her under schedule 7 (terrorism act) and has been “officially banned from the UK for racism.” Just days before her detainment, Southern’s close friends Brittany Pettibone, who is an American author and activist, and Martin Sellner, Pettibone’s Austrian boyfriend and founder of a new right identitarian movement in Austria called “Generation Identity”, were both detained and deported as well. Sellner was scheduled to give a speech at Hyde Park in London, however, he and Pettibone were banned from the UK because “Generation Identity is viewed in the UK as a right wing organization” and that because Sellner’s speech was “likely to incite tensions between local communities.” Southern, Pettibone, and Sellner have since joined the lost of conservatives that the UK has banned, including American radio host Michael Savage and Geert Wilders, who is a right-wing political leader in the Netherlands. Since their banishment, other prominent conservatives have questioned via social media whether or not the blocking of conservatives has now become an official policy in the UK. (Source: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/03/12/lauren-southern-banned-uk-terror/)
Canada: An event was hosted at Trent University in Ontario, Canada on Monday called “It’s OK to be Against Whiteness: Racist Injustice in a Time of Racist Entrenchment.” The event was met with criticism and was accused of being “inflammatory” and racist against white people, however, the event was not shut down by the university. According to one of the events organizers the event is “about recognizing privilege that is granted based on racial identity and helping students who do have access to white privilege think more about how to be allies to racialized communities.” (Source: https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/42752/)
Canada: Thousands of people marched in British Columbia, Canada on Saturday to protest the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. According to environmental activists and natives, the pipeline will pollute Alberta’s tar sands region and endanger communities near Vancouver. In a video, Eriel Deranger, the executive director of Indigenous Climate Action, said that “We have seen it contaminate our river systems, destroy our food sources and really weaken the spirit of our people. This march represents that resurgence, breathing life into the spirit of our people to know that we are not alone, that while we challenge the Kinder Morgan pipeline, we are challenging to respect and uphold the rights of indigenous peoples, that have the right to say no.” (Source: https://www.democracynow.org/2018/3/12/headlines/canada_thousands_march_to_protest_trans_mountain_pipeline_expansion)
Snapchat: The image messaging application Snapchat revealed via it’s heat map of the United States that hundreds of schools across the country participated in the national school walkout on Wednesday to protest gun violence. Pictures and videos on Snapchat revealed tens of thousands of students of varying ages participating in the walkout. (Analyst Comment: It’s reasonable to assume that a large portion – if not the majority of the students who participated in these walkouts only did so to get out of class, to impress their peers, or because the teachers and faculty encouraged them. It is alarming that thousands of children across the nation are protesting their own rights because eventually these same children will be adults who will be able to vote and participate in politics. However, I do not believe that the majority of these students actually care about this issue or know anything about it. The real threat that an event like this exposes is how corrupt our education system is. Yes, some of the students organized the walkouts themselves, but the majority of the walkouts were allowed or even planned by the teachers and faculty of the schools. Activist groups across the country were allowed to be involved in the planning and execution of these protests. This is something that should not be happening in our schools because the purpose of schools is to educate, not indoctrinate.) (Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/snapchat-heat-map-shows-the-scope-of-national-walkout-day/)
Houston: The Houston chapter of Black Lives Matter shared picture on Facebook that was taken during the national school walkouts that took place Wednesday, March 14th. The picture was of a male African-American high school student holding up a sign that said, “As a black boy, I just hope that one day, I have as many rights as a gun” [sic]. The BLM chapter praised the student in the Facebook post saying “This photo shows why we have to stand and support each other. We stand with #NeverAgain and #NationalWalkOutDay, If you do too, than stand with #BlackLivesMatter #BLMHOU. These issues are intersectional!!!” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/BLMHOU/posts/2087894084824019)