Trump supporters in Berkeley
Violence. We don’t support violence. We do not encourage violence. Mostly the GOPer Right has a disturbing violence fetish. They brag about it. They seem to lust after it. Whether it’s getting visibly excited about dropping the “Mother Of All Bombs” or passing “Stand your ground laws”. The Right always supports violence whenever they can, even nominally, claim they are protecting themselves. But again– we do not like, support or encourage violence.
And on top of all that, it’s probably a really bad tactical idea right now. The Trump led GOPers control just about everything and they would like nothing more than to have an excuse to crackdown on protests and expression. Some of them are openly pining away for a crackdown.
Having denounced violence, generally, at least as an opening move, we admit that we have our sympathies for the anarchists and, now, the antifa, or anti-fascists– sympathies for their cause and ideas, but we ain’t joining up at the moment. The Women’s March organizers, the Tax Day Protests, that’s who we’re aligned with here. Peaceful, sane and well-organized protests.
This weekend there was violence again in Berkeley.
Now I switch to first person. Not trying to sound toxically macho, but I am prior military, and part of my job now is to follow Rightwing publications and discussion boards. From these to two points-of-view I can tell you that the antifa, or militant Left, is ill-prepared for what they’re walking into when they show up. They’re ill-prepared to deal with the new semi-police state and they are definitely ill-prepared to deal with the rabid pro-Trump Right.
When the so-called “Free Speech”, pro-Trump people stage a protest they are looking for conflict and violence. They are ready and waiting for it. That’s why they’re there. Before it even begins boards like 4chan will light up. The alt-Right trolls on the boards will be scanning every picture and video that emerges from the scene. They are ready. Ready to pass on information. Ready to identify and massively dox anyone of the antifas who stand out. They are ready. I have watched them, in real-time, go from getting a picture of an antifa protester to completely doxing the person is under 40 minutes by crowd sourcing the work online.
They have equipment lists that any Rightie can look-up and make sure they have before they go. Here’s an example of a generic list that you commonly see:
- Helmet– skateboard, batter’s, hardhat, etc.
- Industrial gasmask.
- Shield. Cut from plywood, or anything that can be used as a shield. A backpack will work.
- 2 inch oak dowel, approximately 3 to 4 feet long, that you can claim is a walking stick.
- Motocross or “tactical” gloves.
- Ski or motorcycle goggles.
- Large, 4 inch, carabiner that can be used as “brass knuckles”.
- Face mask of some sort.
On the Dark Right discussion boards one of their heroes is a guy they call “Based Stickman” (real name: Kyle Chapman). In alt-Right speak “based” means “enlightened”.
Kyle has a reputation for being very good at beating down Lefties.
The antifas are not ready for this level of organized, violence worshipping enemy. Another thing the antifas are not ready for is police who favor the pro-Trumpers and who would, generally, rather restrict expression and protests. If an antifa is arrested, they may have the good sense to remain silent until they have a lawyer, but if they have a phone, the phone will do the talking for them, and if the phone convicts them of planning violence they are looking at serious time.
Either empty your phone, lock you phone, or leave your phone somewhere safe and use a burner.
During Saturday’s protest in Berkeley a women was videoed being punched in the face by a man named Nathan Damigo. Damigo is the founder of a white supremacist group called Identity Europa. The press, and the Left press especially, highlighted the incident.
Within five minutes of this picture appearing on 4chan it was being turned into a meme. The meme below also references a selfie the woman took on her way to the protest that she put on social media with a statement about getting “100 fascist’s scalps”.
Within 40 minutes of the original picture going up this woman’s complete digital footprint was all over 4chan. Some of it was not flattering. I don’t say that to be critical of her, I wouldn’t want my whole digital history suddenly out on Main Street. No one would. But she made a lot of amateur mistakes here that are, I think, indicative of the larger militant Left’s mistakes.
To be brutally honest about it she seemed to have a casually smug attitude. As if she felt that these people were obviously in the wrong and she was obviously in the right and therefore she would prevail. She ended up with a broken nose, a 4chan meme, and her and her family’s digital history all over the web. She’s actually fortunate she didn’t end up arrested and staring down the barrel at class A felonies.
I’ll say it again: We denounced violence, generally, at least as an opening move. But if you’re going to show up to face down pro-Trump fascists you’d be wise to bring your serious A game and be ready to defend yourself physically, digitally and legally. Very wise. If the militant Left continues these skirmishes with the Right in their same ill-prepared way, they continue to not only not help the larger cause but they absolutely hurt it. If they’re going to show up then they need to start showing up professional grade or not at all.
Some may point out that the militant Left has been making news with violence too, in the form of lone wolves punching high profile fascists, like Richard Spencer.
It’s true and strategically counterproductive. The militant Left will be an albatross around the Resistance’s neck until a time when they get their shit together and get organized. Being smug and committing acts of unfocused, gratuitous violence will only stain the whole movement.
If they’re going to show up to deal with violent Trump supporters then:
- Do not go looking for violence.
- Protect yourself effectively and be ready for the worse.
- Get organized and disciplined
- Do not. Do not. Do not let yourself become a 4chan meme. Ever.
by Lance Akamai