racism / US Politics

KKK in Gettysburg and Nazis in philly- let’s take the wind out of their sails.


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KKK in Gettysburg and Nazis in Philly- let’s take the wind out of their sails.

by Steve X

note: the KKK rally was cancelled due to the government shutdown

For the past few years, the Keystone State Skinheads, a local nazi outfit, have hosted a celebration of their “northern european heritage” called Leif Erikson Day. About 50-60 nazis and their supporters have marched to the Viking statue of Thorfinn Karlsefni near the Art Museum and attempted to lay a wreath. The nazis have been countered by a small group of hastily-organized anti-racists who have tried to block their access to the statue.

The anti-fascist presence has been small mainly because the KSS has kept the date of their  “celebration” a tightly held secret until the last minute.

This year is different- the date, October 19, 2013, is known and anti-racist and progressive forces have a real opportunity to organize a mass counter protest.

Additionally, a Maryland-based Ku Klux Klan group has been granted a protest permit for the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield on October 5th.

These fascists seem to think they have some wind in their sails. It’s time to drive them back under their rocks.

smashfashfascism  what it is and what it isn’t

There is no doubt that fascist and semi-fascist movements are on the rise in Europe. Golden Dawn in Greece and the English Defense League in Britain are possibly the most disturbing examples, but there are similar types of movements in Europe, as well as other parts of the globe.

In the US, we have various far right groups – the anti-immigrant Minutemen, Oath Keepers, the Tea Party and numerous racist and Islamophobic groups. But none of these groups offer the threat of a mass fascist movement at this time. Opportunist-left and reformist groups use the “fascist threat” as a way of getting folks to vote for Democrats to stop the “fascism” of the GOP, but this only distorts popular understanding of what fascism really represents and how it must be fought. (Fascism should not be confused with the police state/national security state apparatus that has come into existence in the US. )

Fascism is a weapon that the ruling class uses against the working class and oppressed.

This comes in a situation where the ruling class feels a threat to its continued dominance from a rising workers movement. In Italy and Germany it was the threat of the Communist movement inspired by the Russian Revolution, and in the context of economic crises.  The goal of the ruling class is not just to tame the workers movement but to defeat the unions and all independent expressions of the working classes and oppressed.

“And the fascist agency, by utilizing the petty bourgeoisie as a battering ram, by overwhelming all obstacles in its path, does a thorough job. After fascism is victorious, finance capital directly and immediately gathers into its hands … all the organs and institutions of sovereignty, the executive, administrative, and educational powers of the state:….” Trotsky,  Fascism, what it is and how to fight it.

strategies and tactics

One of the main tools we have at our disposal is united front mass action.  By building mass counter-mobilizations against fascist groups, we demoralize their base by showing that their ideas are marginal; we also teach workers and oppressed people their own potential power in the streets. We advocate the unity in action of all organizations of the oppressed and the working class, independent of capitalist parties.

Liberals say we should just ignore them and they will go away, but this is  untrue. Ignoring the fascists teaches them that their ideas are widely accepted. We can’t rely on cops (who often support rightist groups), or liberal politicians or the capitalist courts to protect us.  These ultraright movements must be opposed before they reach the point of becoming mass movements.

Another tool in the fight against the ultraright are defense guards organized by  organizations of the working classed and oppressed. These cannot be  isolated fighting groups, but defense groups with roots in workers organizations and the community. The question of self defense and mutual defense is something we must take up.  Defense guards are the embryo of the workers’ militia which are themselves instruments of the working class struggle for power.

Ultimately, the question of fighting fascism comes down to getting rid of capitalism.  Capitalism is the disease. Fascism is one of its most acute symptoms.

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One thought on “KKK in Gettysburg and Nazis in philly- let’s take the wind out of their sails.

  1. Pingback: pix from anti-nazi counter demo– 10/19 in Philly | Red Philly

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