Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Recommended Reading

A friend sent me something yesterday that rather lifted my spirits. Remember the situation in Whitefish, Montana, in which neo-Nazis were planning to converge on the town with guns to intimidate the people who lived there, particularly the Jewish community, for daring to refuse to do business with Richard Spencer and his white nationalist parents?

Well, that whole plan fell right on its face.

The Alt Right’s War on Whitefish, and the Growth of an Opposition

According to this long yet beautifully written essay, swift and widespread organization against the "alt-right" goons and their terrorism march resulted in barely any neo-Nazis showing up in Whitefish on the day of the planned march, likely because it looks like it wasn't fully authorized and they probably were unable to book a room anywhere within the city, what with antifascists calling local hotels to warn them.

Instead, Whitefish was full of community members and antifascist organizers on MLK Day, marching for unity, solidarity, and love. All thanks to people coming together to say "fuck off" to Nazis.

The adaptation the community made to the racist threat presents lessons for the ongoing confrontation with the white nationalism. The base building had been done not for months, but years, and the slow process helped to further radicalize a town that could barely pass an anti-hate resolution a couple of years before. Likewise, with two different approaches to the issue, with the softer community organizing from Love Lives Here on the one side and the direct confrontation presented by Antifa on the other, can have a synthesis. Without the long-term community engagement presented by the Montana Human Rights Network, there wouldn’t be a broadly unified community to resist the invasion, and without organizations willing to confront the protest directly, it could have still taken place.

Whitefish can be used as an example to communities all across the nation for how to stand against the Nazi threat. Nazis are still far outnumbered by people who hate Nazis, and they're easily intimidated by a show of solidarity against them. And, for all their big talk, the online "alt-right" shitlord crowd is clearly bad at any kind of real organizing.

This is what happens when you don't fall for the "Nazis deserve an unimpeded, unanswered platform because free speech" trap. Remember, you have equal right to counter-protest any coming together of Nazis, because FREE SPEECH. No community has any obligation to sit around and do nothing as violent, hateful assholes strut around trying to intimidate said community into silence. Fight back.

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