May 5, 2021
From It's Going Down
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Welcome fellow antifascists!

We’ve got a lot of stories to cover this week! From the far-Right violently going after a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Orange County to Proud Boys helping to push out journalists from a rally in Salem, Oregon. Plus, the FBI was paying members of the Proud Boys in exchange for information about ‘antifa” – and so many more.

There’s a lot of ground to cover – let’s go!

News

Armed Fascists Take Over Public Park in Salem, OR

Over 100 people, including reportedly about 30 Proud Boys and other far-Right groups gathered at River Front Park in Salem, OR on Saturday for an event billed as the “May Day 2A Rally.” The protesters, many of whom carried firearms, closed off the park to journalists and pedestrians. According to the Center Square, journalists were threatened and forced out of the area:

Some [Proud Boys] carried semi-automatic pistols or rifles and “closed” the public park to media, though they had no authority to do so. The armed attendees threatened reporters, forcing them to leave the immediate area and report from a distance. 

Guest speakers included a firearms manufacturer who criticized Oregon’s gun laws, and Joe Rae Perkins, who referred to the COVID vaccines as “bio-weapons.” The Center Square reports that one speaker suggested having Proud Boy affiliated groups stationed at public schools.

As MSN reported:

During the rally, speakers warned of a coming civil war, endorsed 2020 election conspiracy theories and encouraged attendees to run for local elected office.

The Proud Boys, Tick Licker Firearms, Fifty1Fifty Tactical and the Stolen Voices Foundation were among the event’s sponsors, with Proud Boys members also providing “security.” About 30 people in Proud Boys attire — tactical gear and black-and-yellow clothing — were seeing carrying pistols.

Open carry of such firearms is legal in Salem parks.

The rally was supposed to be headlined by Republican Rep. Mike Nearman, but he did not speak. Nearman was charged Friday with official misconduct in the first degree and criminal trespass in the second degree stemming from a riot at the Oregon Capitol building Dec. 21.

Salem did not issue a permit for the Saturday rally due to pandemic restrictions. The city has not given out permits for months in an effort to deter large gatherings that may spread COVID-19.

As NYC Antifa notes in their thread below, the fact that armed fascists were allowed to overtake a public space while harassing and intimidating bystanders is a very troubling development. It should also be noted, that in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, police are making arrests and cracking down on protesters who are demanding access to the video tape of the police murder of Andrew Brown, Jr. The city government has responded to the demonstrations by issuing a curfew and declaring that any protest that is organized must first get a permit.

Despite the Proud Boys’ violent history and the fact that they had no authority to take control over the park, police did not appear to interfere with the event. This is in sharp contrast to the antifascist counter-demonstration that took place on March 28th, which was quickly declared an unlawful assembly and resulted in four arrests.

Pro-Trump, far-Right Crowd Attacks Black Lives Matter Rally in Yorba Linda

According to grassroots reporter Chad Loder, Proud Boys, members of the white nationalist group, American Guard, and Trump supporters attacked a smaller Black Lives Matter protest in Yorba Linda, located in Orange County in Southern California on September 26th. According to video posted by Loder, the pro-Trump side, which included ex-LEOs, claimed that they were working with local law enforcement to “box in” counter-demonstrators, who were then attacked. This violence was later celebrated online.

This far-Right – law enforcement crossover is not surprising. Last year, an Orange County sheriff’s deputy was investigated for wearing far-Right militia patches, but was not fired, however another OC sheriff’s employee has been played on administrative leave after it was revealed that they were involved in the attempted DC coup on January 6th.

The Yorba Linda violence attracted members of the Proud Boys from Bakersfield, over two hours away, as well as the American Guard from San Diego, also from about two hours away. This shows that violent, fascist street gangs are continuing to use pro-Trump rallies as a ‘safe space’ to engage in violence against their shared enemies. Despite the months of rhetoric and tough-talk from Democrats, the news media, and the intelligence agencies, this open relationship between the fascist Right and rank-n-file law enforcement remains just as strong as it ever was and results in the suppression of grassroots organizing that threatens both institutional white supremacy and insurgent far-Right street forces.

Three Charges Added in Michigan Kidnapping Case, Prosecutors Call the Plot Domestic Terrorism

The far-Right men who allegedly planned to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer last year are now facing three additional charges: conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, possession of an unregistered destructive device, and possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle. Initially they faced one count of kidnapping conspiracy, Federal prosecutors now say that their kidnapping plans meet the definition of domestic terrorism. This enhancement is consistent with the Biden administration’s commitment to combat “extremist violence” more aggressively in the wake of the siege on the Capitol.

According to prosecutors, defendant Daniel Harris offered to manufacture explosives in order to detonate a bridge near Governor Whitmer’s home as part of the kidnapping plot. He then worked alongside co-defendant Barry Croft to create and detonate a homemade explosive device, which led to them purchasing explosives from an undercover agent. For possession of an unregistered rifle, Harris faces up to ten years in prison. For the charges of kidnapping conspiracy and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, the defendants could face life in prison.

Justice Department’s Plans for New Anti-Terrorism Code Could Lead to Civil Liberties Abuses

As David Niewert writes for the Daily Kos, the Biden administration’s plans for a new federal code criminalizing domestic terrorism are unnecessary and potentially dangerous for left-wing activists. Existing laws already enable law enforcement to prosecute acts of domestic terrorism, and a new federal code would open the door to even greater abuses of power in the name of “counter-extremism.”

Neiwart notes that our current laws allow “radical Islamists” and environmentalist activists to face terrorism-related charges, while homegrown terrorists cannot be charged for domestic terrorism unless they are connected to a terrorist organization outside of the country.

The article quotes former FBI agent and whistleblower Michael German:

While Justice Department officials have used notorious incidents of white supremacist violence to push for a new domestic terrorism statute, the Department itself continues to de-prioritize far-Right violence and focus its most aggressive tactics instead against environmentalists, political protesters, and communities of color. It isn’t hard to guess who would likely be targeted with new domestic terrorism laws.

It comes as no surprise that law enforcement fails to use the existing laws to target violent right-wing groups, given that police departments across the country are themselves riddled with white supremacists. The Daily Kos addresses this problem, but suggests that police reform could help crack down on far-Right support within law enforcement, resulting in fair enforcement of terrorism laws. As anarchists and antifascists, we should bear in mind that policing is inherently a repressive and violent institution designed to uphold slavery, protect capital, and repress rebellion. Until the existing system is overturned, our laws will always be weaponized against communities of color, social movements, and the working-class as a whole – while the dangers of fascist violence continue to grow in parallel with State repression.

Proud Boys Shared Intelligence with FBI about Antifascists in Return for Money; Number of FBI Informants Found Within Group Grows

According to Reuters, the FBI was in contact with leaders of the Proud Boys prior to the January 6th Capitol siege. Since 2019, four members of the fascist street gang have provided intelligence about antifascists to federal agents.

Reuters interviewed Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio and two other anonymous members of the organization. Allegedly, a former Proud Boy known as Danny Mac was removed from the group last December after it came to light that he was in contact with the FBI about antifascists. He claims that he was being paid in exchange for information about ‘antifa,’ however soon the FBI began asking about the Proud Boys themselves, which Mac claims to have refused to agree to. A second unidentified Proud Boy also boasted about sharing intel on antifascists with the feds. Joe Biggs claimed to have shared information with the FBI, and even stated that he would be willing to tell federal agents about his plans for January 6th. Enrique Tarrio, who had worked as a cooperating witness since before the formation of the Proud Boys, periodically informed law enforcement of antifascists’ plans, including protest routes, and said that he spoke with the FBI last October after the Proud Boys were accused of sending threatening emails to Democratic voters.

FBI whistleblower Mike German states, “This was a group committing violence in public and promoting themselves as a violent group. It’s hard to understand how the FBI could have had a relationship with four individuals in the Proud Boys and didn’t understand the nature of the threat to the Capitol.”

This crossover relationship between a far-Right group like the Proud Boys and the FBI mirrors similar arrangements in the past, specifically the infiltration of violent KKK and neo-Nazis groups in the 1970s, which culminated in a murderous attack on Communist anti-Klan activists in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1979. Police and ATF agents were involved in the planning of attack through informants, but did noting to stop the killing, which resulted in the death of five anti-Klan activists.

Antifascists today can rest assured that a similar relationship is being developed, where the FBI is using groups like the Proud Boys for ‘information’ but more over, as an independent vehicle for violence against the State’s enemies: autonomous social movements from below. As we can see with the release of this information, the FBI has successfully created a network of informants throughout the Proud Boys organization, even among its most top levels – yet it seems totally unable or unwilling to stop the group from engaging in a succession of violent attacks, including the attempted pro-Trump coup on January 6th. Such a reality again shows the dangers in giving the security State more powers for policing “extremism.”

You can read Reuters’ full article on the subject here.

White Supremacist Church Leader Has Court Case Thrown Out

According to the Star Tribune, Kandiyohi County Distrtic Judge Stephanie Beckman has thrown out a petition of harassment restraining order brought forth by the leader The Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) church, led by Jason Plourde in Murdoch, Minnesota. AFA is a “whites-only church” who’s beliefs are rooted in Norse heathen or Pagan mythology as well as white supremacy and white separatism. Plourde had been aggressively outreaching community members in order to grow his church’s membership.

However, a local anti-hate group formed in response to AFA getting their permit, called the Murdoch Area Alliance Against Hate (MAAAH). MAAAH member Victoria Gillemard engaged community members who were outreached by Plourde to provide more accurate information about Plourde, AFA, and it’s racist ideology. According to the Star Tribune, Plourde’s typical response to criticism or community backlash is to threaten legal recourse, which, in this case, was a lost cause. The Star Tribune states:

Plourde responded last month with a petition for a harassment restraining order in Kandiyohi County District Court. In it, he claimed Guillemard was targeting him because of his faith. Guillemard and others were “spamming” his social media pages, he said, as well as launching character attacks against him with local businesses and organizations.

In her ruling, Beckman said there was no evidence that Guillemard “engaged in harassing conduct or that her speech rises to the level of harassment.”

Click the link above for the full story and shouts out the MAAAH for stepping up to inform and educate community members on the background of AFA and the inherent problems with “white’s only” spaces.

QAnon Influencer ID’d as Denver Chiropractor Craig Longley

A prominent QAnon influencer who goes by IET has been identified as Craig Longley of Denver, CO. Since December 2020, Q has gone silent – a move that has made space for influencers like Longely to take the conspiracy’s pushed by Q and continue to promote them on their own platforms. For Longley, this has included Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Each of those platforms has banned Longley, Twitter specifically banned him upwards of 20 times – most recently following the January 6 White Riot, which has forced Longley to platforms that are more sympathetic to far-right propaganda and conspiracy theories such a Telegram. Currently, Longely’s Telegram channel has a whopping 210,000 followers.

As Vice reports, Longley isn’t your average QAnon follower. Longley exists in the far-Right fringes of the conspiracy community and is seriously and unabashedly anti-Semitic. Vice states:

The channel describes itself as “News: By Anons for The People. Uncensored and Unstoppable.” It is run by IET, according to a post on his Parler account promoting the new group, which also outlined how a number of other prominent QAnon influencers would be involved.

According to their website, next month Longley (under his pseudonym IET) is scheduled to speak at the “For God And Country Patriots’ Roundup” event, a major QAnon conference in Dallas, Texas. Longley is particularly problematic because unlike typical QAnon supporters, Longley pushes any and all conspiracy theories, including ‘Pizzagate’, his belief in chemtrails, his belief that President Biden is a part of a secret cabal, and conspiracies related to child sex trafficking. His most problematic positions involve “The Elders of Zion,” anti-Semitic Russian propaganda written in the early 1900’s insisting that Jew’s were scheming to take over the world. Anti-Semitism is a common thread among QAnon followers but many choose to either deny or hide it. Longley, under his pseudonym and on his platform, makes no effort to hide his bigoted views. For the full story on this guy, check out the Vice article.

TikTok Influencers Push Far-Right Conspiracy Theory to Young Followers

According to a Media Matters report, TikTok has a problem with conspiracy theorist influencers who have been pushing far-Right propaganda to the app’s young users. In an article published on April 30th, Media Matters indicates that a certain four TikTok influencers from the subculture ConspiracyTok, have amassed millions of views and users while pushing outright dangerous and problematic conspiracy theories to their followers.

TikTok influencer Austinvro is known to push Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories to his audience. Alex Jones, the head of the Infowars network, is most notable for his conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, as well as his continuous involvement in far-Right spaces including the January 6th White Riot on the Capitol. Jones himself has been banned from Youtube, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, PayPal, Pinterest, TikTok, and others, but his Trump-supporting, bigoted conspiracy theories continue to be pushed by his supporters and Austinvro is one of them.

According to Media Matters:

In another video, Austinvro claims that “according to some websites” (he does not say which), “at least 200 children are kidnapped at Disneyland every single year and then trafficked” via tunnels under the park. The rest of the video is about free masons.

Other influencers pushing far-Right propaganda include truthseekerzmac, who has amassed over 420,000 subscribers, and is known for his far-Right, anti-Black and transphobic videos; DontGhostMe, who has over 1million subscribers and “made a video claiming that Amazon is involved in child trafficking because of suspiciously priced hats which he alleges could be a front for illegal activities,” and paranomal_activity, who has barely over 33,000 followers but who’s videos about “the global elite” have garnered a viewership of over 1.5 million views.

TikTok is a platform with a user base of young people, ages 13 and up, who are absolutely susceptible to conspiracy theories. According to Media Matters, TikTok’s own algorythm is certainly to blame. For a more thorough report, head to Media Matters.

Oregon Lawmaker Faces Charges for Letting Rioters Into Capitol in December

Oregon GOP State Representative Mike Nearman was charged with first degree official misconduct and second degree criminal trespass last Friday for a December 2020 incident in which the lawmaker opened the door to allow armed right-wing militants into the building so they could disrupt a closed emergency session on COVID-19 relief. After Nearman allowed the group into the building, they clashed violently with police and threatened the lawmakers inside. The House Speaker and House Majority Leader have both called for his resignation. Nearman faces arrest if he does not appear in court on May 11th.

Neo-Nazis Paint Swastikas and “1488” on Oregon Holocaust Memorial

A Portland Holocaust Memorial was vandalized with Nazi symbols this weekend. Police alerted parks bureau workers of the damage on Sunday morning and the graffiti was removed, but officials are still investigating the incident.

The memorial consists of a granite wall engraved with the names of people who died in the Nazi death camps and their surviving relatives in the region. The Nazi vandals painted Swastikas on the wall, as well as the numbers “1488.” (The number 14 references the fourteen words, a popular phrase among white supremacists. The number 88 refers to the phrase “Heil Hitler,” since H is the 8th letter of the alphabet.)

On May 1st, some Portlanders spotted far-Right “journalist” Brandon Farley around town along with a man who performed a Nazi salute and said “white power” as they passed by. The man wore a tactical vest and carried a bat, and video footage shows him in a tense confrontation with some people described by Farley as “anarchists.” It is not known whether this incident is connected to the vandalism.

According to Rose City Antifa on Twitter, the man giving the Hitler salute was quickly doxxed and then fired from his job.

Moab’s Birthing Rock Defaced with White Supremacist Slogan

The phrase “white power” and other obscene drawings and phrases have been etched into the “Birthing Rock” at Moab, a boulder adorned with petroglyphs carved by indigenous people between 700 and 2,500 years ago. Three out of four of the panels of petroglyphs were damaged with vulgar pictures and words. Conservators are being enlisted to help repair the damage.

Smithsonian writes:

The landscape the petroglyphs are part of is deeply and inextricably connected to the Indigenous community, says Angelo Baca, an anthropologist at New York University and the cultural resources coordinator for Utah Diné Bikéyah, a grassroots organization that works to protect Native lands and heritage, to Smithsonian.

“We see ourselves as one,” adds Baca, who is Diné (Navajo) and Hopi. “There is no separation between the Native people and their land.”

The vandalism of this childbirth scene, he explains, is another act of all-too-prevalent violence against Native women, albeit in a slightly different form.

As the Smithsonian explains, this heartbreaking incident is part of a larger pattern of widespread disrespect of indigenous land and culture. That the site was defaced with the phrase “white power” makes it all the more obvious that these acts of vandalism and destruction are a continuation of the cultural genocide perpetrated against indigenous people in the so-called “United States” since the land was first colonized.

Grey Zamudio of “Defend East County”

James Stout has written an in-depth exposé on Grey Zamudio for Left Coast Right Watch. Zamudio was a member of the anti-BLM group Defend East County, which emerged during the 2020 uprisings and gained a large following on Facebook. Zamudio used the group’s Facebook page to offer firearms trainings and brag about his illegal weapons. His rhetoric became increasingly violent and threatening over time, until his home was raided by federal agents on August 1st. They discovered a cache of illegal firearms, two homemade suppressors, and a copy of The Turner Diaries.

Additionally, feds discovered a group chat called “Shadow Moses” on Zamudio’s phone, in which he and ex-Marine and Georgia Sherriff’s Deputy Cody R. Griggers discussed their plans for a race war and their desire to murder liberals. According to Stout, “Griggers bragged about how his job allowed him to beat young black people and outlined plans to charge as many as possible with felonies to strip them of their voting rights.” The group eventually grew to include two other individuals, and their messages revealed that they had been manufacturing explosives.

The FBI then obtained a warrant against Griggers, who was also found to possess an illegal weapon. Both men plead guilty to firearms charges and face up to ten years in prison.

Doxxes

Michael P. Combs, Neo-Nazi Police Chief of Minersville, Pennsyvania

Community Research Opposite Hate has written an exposé on Michael P. Combs, a former Allentown Police Captain who was infamous for his white supremacist ideology. The group has discovered that Combs still works in law enforcement and is now the police chief of Minersville, PE.

Combs’ Nazi tendencies were first exposed in a 1996 article in The Morning Call. The piece alleged that he had decorated his offices with Nazi symbols and objects, including a bust of Adolf Hitler, handed out white supremacist literature, and instructed officers below him to give white offenders a pass, among other horrific acts of racism. This led to an internal investigation in the Allentown Police Department, which revealed that the officer attended KKK and Aryan Nation meetings during his time on the force. Combs kept his job and faced no consequences, only retiring in 2002 with a pension after a racial discrimination lawsuit was leveled against the department by a Black APD officer.

Combs was selected as Police Chief of Minersville, PE in 2010. There is no record that city officials voiced any concern over his well-documented history of neo-Nazism. Please spread the word about Combs and read CROH’s in-depth article here.

Perry Maholland Jr., Neo-Nazi of Levittown, Pennsylvania

Anonymous Comrades Collective have identified Perry Maholland, an open neo-Nazi from Levittown who uses the handle @ihatejews on the right-wing social media site Gab. Maholland is very active on Quora, where he answers questions about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, a topic he also posts about frequently on his personal Facebook page.

Maholland works as a web developer for Olde City Paranormal, and helped create the Nazi social media site Fuhrernet. He is in a relationship with a German woman who calls herself “Vera Castiel,” and was formerly the frontman of a heavy metal band called Spirus.

Please share Anonymous Comrades Collective’s post to alert the community about Maholland.

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