Right wing and fascist groups converged once again on Austin on November 4th. Five months ago we released an article which explained an ongoing desperation from the right:
“The far right relies on having a common enemy to unite around since there can be no unity among their varying programs and agendas. Every public action they take demonstrates this fact and shows off their own instability. They hoped to find this common enemy in the form of ‘antifa’… Fascist organizers are so desperate to conjure this enemy that they resort in many instances to false flag events and phony “antifa” pages that promise the bullheaded participants an enemy to confront. This tactic seldom pays off.”
This time however their fabrication relied on sensationalized and totally made up threats of a “civil war”. The right completely made up a civil war/insurrection, then had the nerve to taunt antifascists for not showing up to the civil war that they made up. In many ways this is nonsensical and would seem counterproductive—the only utility being a flagrant act of desperation to unite their disparate forces. To this end they had some minor success. How many times though can the same snake oil salesmen hock the promised show down with “antifa”, having people drive out only to find a small group of liberals? No red flags, no communists, no masks, and no street fights with the right—all dressed up with nowhere to go…
It is no secret that the fascists and their collaborators who were behind propagating a phony threat of civil war were well aware of the lies they were telling to their sympathizers and supporters. Fascist rag InfoWars follows our blog, they even made an entire video news report covering one of its posts. They would no doubt have noticed that we made no mention of November 4th, that we had no plans for that day, and that there would be no massive antifascist action in Austin that day without us at least promoting it. So what were these vultures on about? Well a small group of mostly out-of-towners by the name of Refuse Fascism had a planned march—billed clearly around a platform of non-violence. If you came out to confront “antifa” you should really get it through your head, you were lied to. The truth is not in stock over at InfoWars and similar outlets. They lied about this, you were tricked. What else have they lied to you about? Perhaps the truth is they have lied to you on the basic question of who your friends and enemies are. Your enemies (unless you are a fascist) are not antifa, your enemies are not communists or anarchists, but the very system of corporate capitalist leeches that these right wing pundits have a financial and social interest in defending. If this is not enough to wake you up then ask yourself who is really the rube, who got played?
This non-event in Austin was not worth our attendance, not worth even tacit endorsement. We had better things to do. Not going to events your enemies have fabricated is not a sign of weakness it’s simply not taking the bait. We have no interest in marching around the capitol along a controlled route with a pack of out-of-towners committed to non-violence and we certainly have no interest in a showdown with some people who were so gullible they could be tricked into thinking a civil war was imminent on November 4th 2017. We hope this experience has been educational for all and intend to lay out what we have learned.
Refuse Fascism does not speak for the revolutionary or antifascist left in Austin. They do not claim to, they only claim to oppose fascism in what we discern to be the tritest and most limited fashion. While we applaud them for going on with their march in the face of being outnumbered by many armed reactionaries, we are concerned with both their objectives as well as their methods. Going through with the march showed some courage and we welcome courage into our city and even consider it to a positive thing. This is all compromised beyond repair however by the leisurely way they approach the question of fascism.
It is no secret that Refuse Fascism is an initiative of the revisionist organization which uses the name Revolutionary Communist Party USA. While the level of condemnation and enmity we feel towards this party of traitors and rats could take up an entire book we must not concern ourselves with this right here and instead focus mainly on the errors Refuse Fascism has inherited from its poisonous parent. So let’s look at the dual aspect. Refuse Fascism has earned the attention of the right due largely to their sustained propaganda campaign which has been going on since at least December in response to the current presidential administration. Like the revisionist party which initiated it, Refuse Fascism sits squarely and ideologically in the legalist reformist camp, like every other revisionist organization in the US today. The revisionist RCP fames itself for having produced a coherent critique of all communist struggles hitherto, their conclusion being to rupture from those fine traditions and accepting a corny “New Synthesis of Communism” which was innate in the mind of their leader. This idea just like many other revisionist ideas relies on waiting, waiting, and waiting without any preparation for war. It’s ironic that such a group could propel the insecurities of the right into such a state of panic and goes to show how little they investigate these matters and how fragile their fears are. The right really are paper tigers if an outfit like Refuse Fascism could provoke such a frenzied response.
Refuse Fascism has shown a consistent propaganda effort, some clever stunts, and fair amount of guts in carrying through with their limited and uninspired plans. On the other hand and what we consider to the main aspect, their emphasis on waiting and engaging by strictly legal means has them disarmed in the political sense as well as the practical sense. They have not got the sense to take fascism seriously. They have forgotten history. They have no sense of the danger posed by fascism in the here and now, so they do not seriously try to protect themselves from it. They have in the past been reckless enough with their membership lists and petitions that many innocent people have been doxxed on Neo-Nazi websites. In an age where a common fascist tactic is to report people to ICE for deportation we find this error to be worthy of condemning the whole project as worse than a liability. Politically, Refuse Fascism offers no real break from old worn out liberalism, their demands are the most meaningless gestures. Demands and actions that include going to bat for former FBI director James Comey. A supposedly communist initiative trying to reinstate any pig should be enough to give one pause if not cause serious revulsion. Their other pathetic and conservative demands don’t put them too far to the left of the Democratic Party with the call to “impeach Trump”, as if Trump were the cause of modern fascism and not the result of its growth in mainstream society. This limited bourgeois worldview that equates Trump entirely with fascism misses the point of how and why fascism emerges in declining imperialist centers. Their grand vision for antifascism begins and ends with presidential impeachment. This has left them with a combined lack of vision as well as a delusion of grandeur. They have no accurate assessment of the objective concrete conditions of increasing fascist populism springing from a deindustrialized and declining USA, nor do they have an accurate read on their own subjective capacity to confront these conditions. They are lost. This is what inevitably results from the abandonment of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. In short we do not trust them with even the knowledge of our faces let alone leading any kind of antifascist struggles. They might draw in and burn out a few new people with their plans to throw Trump out, which equate to nothing more than regurgitated Occupy Wall Street tactics, tactics which should be cast aside by all.
We must reiterate the line we put forward five months ago once more:
“We call on all those who struggle in the state of Texas to get organized, to cast aside illusions of a leaderless resistance—a pipe dream of an Occupy Wall Street type of antifascism—in favor of a genuine, mass-based antifascist resistance organized along militant lines.”
What we have referred to as “Occupy Wall Street type of antifascism” was even more evident in other minute fractions of the so-called left this November 4th. Local anarchists operating under the redundant title of “Independent Antifa” (redundant because worldwide “antifa” is already decentralized) managed to accomplish even less that the liberal moderates at Refuse Fascism. No they did not join in the yelling match downtown or even claim they are going to get the president impeached, their “resistance” amounted to nothing more than going to a fairly sleepy spot on the edge of town and draping a bed sheet over a small confederate monument. They did this “symbolic action” to “spread fear and confusion” among the right… Such ineffectual activity is not just sad and pathetic, it is absolutely useless and detrimental in the way that it uses “diversity of tactics” to do absolutely nothing and claim you are doing something to confront fascism. We are in support of the many actions across the US which have attacked, vandalized or destroyed confederate monuments. We have seen this effectively remove these racist symbols and win many over to causes of antifascism. What we have never seen accomplish anything is draping bedsheets over them. This only bears mention because those behind this posturing have made self-righteous statements about what amounts to nothing. These types of inaction need to be critically assessed and moved away from. Five months ago, similar liberal anarchists chose to have an unmasked and unarmed picnic in the same space where fascists gathered to march, with security practice even more shameful than Refuse Fascism who at least had the nerve to stand up. There is no excuse for such needless exposure to fascists and in no way are they confronted by bedsheets, picnics, or other “symbolic resistance”. Liberalism is nothing but left cover for fascism as it offers up phony ways to get involved which will never decrease the fascist ability to organize. Fascism grows up all around it then confronts it and kills it. This type of liberalism is already rotting in the grave and you should abandon it if you have been introduced to its watered down excuse for antifascism. While there is a need to support efforts which may fall short, in the context of each contributing what they are able we cannot sit and pat ourselves on the back or posture behind toothless “symbolic resistance”.
So what were we doing November 4th? We adhere to our line of community self-defense. This means we stood with a diverse group of antifascists who were committed to defending at risk communities most threatened by the fascists who shuttled in from the surrounding areas. We do this modest work in private and do not feel the need to give exact details here. All over Austin there are people and spaces which these scum would love to target. We listen to the masses of people and go where we are most needed. If these fascists plan to make their genocidal dreams a reality by taking out their frustration from finding no “antifa” on innocent community members they can expect to find real anti-fascists there who are not interested in non-violence, bedsheets or token “symbolic resistance”. They can expect and count on us defending these communities with our very lives and providing the best defense we are capable of. We do not let the enemy choose the battle ground and we do not confront the enemy when they have a greater force. By sticking to these basic principles we can and will win. We continue to accumulate forces, serve the working class of Austin and sharpen our line. When we fight, we fight to win, to crush the enemy and humiliate them. This is how we conduct the mass line and this is how we root ourselves among the very people who are the makers of history.
We see little cause to continuously rally around the reactionary capitol of the reactionary state of Texas. We hold firm to the fact that antifascists need to place themselves in working class neighborhoods of Austin, to do protracted mass work among the people of these neighborhoods. Antifascism is not spectacle, it’s not performance art for middle class anarchists nor is it just an opportunity for dead revisionists to continue hocking their reformist nonsense in order to repopulate their shrinking ranks. Antifascism must become operable in the daily lives of the working class masses and especially in the oppressed nations held captive by the prison house of the USA.
While we are harsh and critical with these revisionists and idealists, we understand that we do share a common enemy at times and we hope that as things develop we find ourselves side by side in the struggle on the streets against fascism. This potential and circumstantial tactical unity is temporary too and we issue this statement as a plea to those who wish to fight fascism to avoid their dead end trajectory and do the hard work that victory demands.
After the downtown protests around 3pm, fascists of Patriot Front (a rebranding of the group Vanguard America who was responsible for the murder of Heather Heyer as well as the attempted murders carried out by Texas members after a Florida Richard Spencer Speech) decided to go hold a protest outside of MonkeyWrench Books where they were reported to have chanted the Nazi slogan “blood and soil” in the affluent Hyde Park neighborhood. No confrontation or defense of the space was made by the anarchists who run the bookstore and the fascists eventually left on their own accord. We are saddened that anarchists have failed to defend this space on the grounds that it emboldens the fascists to keep trying this type of confrontation.
In Austin some real resistance did take place, and it was not the initiative of any left-wing group but that of organic mass action. We celebrate this. Late last night after not finding much action in the streets a group of fascists decided to attend a local bar—as usual they were obnoxious, offensive and riding a false high. They wore their colors brazenly and walked into the wrong bar in the wrong town and 8 of them were physically confronted and ejected by patrons with no help from the staff or hired security who refused to take any action. The masses once again mustered more guts and resistance than the activist-left. We should always make every door closed to them and encourage this type of mass action.
There is nothing as gruesome as what the fascists have planned for you, organized serious resistance to them is past due. If you are an antifascist of any wide variety then make it your purpose to amass greater forces so that these days of fascist road trips into Austin become just a memory. Real antifascism means revolution, it means going beyond reactive confrontation into pro-active removal of fascists from all places and all walks of life. We must end fascism because it has every intention of ending us.
There was no civil war but lets make the fascists worst nightmares a reality by continuing to build the antifascist movement along revolutionary lines!
-Red Guards Austin, November 5th 2017