Everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not going to stop after election day. And everyone should take note of that…they’re not going to let up—and they should not. And we should not. — Kamala Harris It would seem that Kamala Harris and Joe…
Everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not going to stop after election day. And everyone should take note of that…they’re not going to let up—and they should not. And we should not.
It would seem that Kamala Harris and Joe Biden have now made explicit what was always implied in their campaign: as Joe becomes less and less compos mentis, the Democratic proposition on the table becomes, in the words of the candidates themselves, a “Harris-Biden administration.” So it behooves the American people to be as clear as possible not only about who Biden is, but who his VP (read: replacement) pick really is.
Both Biden and Harris have recently issued tepid, nonspecific calls for an end to ongoing street violence. They don’t really mean it of course, which is why they couldn’t bring themselves to explicitly name Black Lives Matter or Antifa as the perpetrators and organizers of the ongoing civil unrest.
The reality is that Biden has no ability to fulfill this promise. The nature of extortion requires the victim have some reasonable assurance that you really can keep his store from burning down. But Biden could not call off the dogs even if he wanted to, as his own vice-presidential candidate has already told us.
In her June 18 interview with Stephen Colbert, Harris committed the classic “Kinsley gaffe”: she accidentally said something she knew to be true. She knows that the BLM “protests” (i.e., the deadly riots) will not stop, even after the election.
“Everyone beware,” She told Colbert with an uncomfortably massive grin that seemed oddly incongruent with her words, “because they’re not gonna stop.”
When, as expected, they did not stop, she and her running mate were forced onto the defensive. Harris warned against confusing ”peaceful protests and peaceful protestors” with “those” persons—conspicuously unidentified—who are “looting and committing acts of violence,” such as burning down family businesses and executing innocent Trump supporters, crimes conspicuously unnamed. Rather than singling out Antifa and BLM for condemnation, Harris instead mentioned “the shooter who was arrested for murder,” namely Kyle Rittenhouse, who defended himself from imminent murder at the hands of Antifa criminals.
Harris left no doubt as to how her remarks were to be interpreted. “The reality,” she claimed, in a characteristically bald-faced lie, “is the life of a Black person in America has never been treated as fully human.” Translation: America, not Antifa, deserves the greater blame.
Just a week after Harris’s Kinsley gaffe, CNN’s Don Lemon warned that the riots were not polling well and needed to come to an end. That a CNN anchor believes the BLM/Antifa insurgents burning cities from Portland to Kenosha care about how their violence impacts the media’s preferred candidate goes to show how self-deluded some have become about our dangerous and revolutionary situation.
But Harris herself clearly has no such delusions, and she’s already made her choice. The Democrat vice presidential candidate’s background as a prosecutor made her so unpalatable to the Democrats’ radicalized base that she failed to pick up a single delegate during her own presidential bid. Sanders’s delegates in California even vocally opposed Harris getting the VP nod. But just three days after the Minneapolis 3rd police precinct was burned to the ground by BLM/Antifa rioters, “Kamala the Cop” called for donations for the bail fund responsible for springing alleged murderers, rapists, and rioters from behind bars.
Senator Bernie Sanders—whose own campaign workers threatened violence if he were not nominated—recently confirmed Harris’s view when he intimated that the campaign to pressure the Democrat ticket further leftward would continue well after the election: “the day after [Biden] is inaugurated we are going to rally the American people to make certain that we implement the most progressive agenda in modern American history.”
It seems like bold talk for Sanders, whose own primary bid was headed off after establishment Democrats fled to the perceived safety of Joe from Scranton. But note that despite agreeing to settle for Biden, the establishment Left still finds the streets of their Blue cities awash in revolutionary violence.
Sanders is on to something, as was ex-Black Panther Angela Davis when she wagered Biden could be “most effectively pressured” to do what she and her comrades want. Biden, who has held government power for over half a century and was the author of the 1994 Crime Bill, and Harris, a former prosecutor, are turning over the policy agenda of their prospective administration to revolutionaries and insurrectionists who viscerally despise them, in hopes that those Marxist brownshirts will threaten the American public into electoral submission.
This may be one of the most cynical quid pro quos in modern political history: You give me position and prestige, I’ll give you power to terrorize the American people and eat them alive.
It would certainly not be the first time that a sclerotic elite disastrously misjudged their own ability to harness revolutionary energy to their advantage. The nature of revolutions is inherently cyclical: always turning inward on itself, picking up steam. The cycle of revolution continuously winnows down and purges the least radical among the ranks. As Lenin wrote in his 1903 What is to be Done?, “the opportunist rearguard will be ‘replaced’ by the genuine vanguard of the most revolutionary class.”
Of course, Lenin was speaking about infighting within the Russian Social Democrat Party, and it would be twelve long years before that he achieved his victory. But his logic was sound. It is ultimately the hardest of hard-core revolutionaries who win intraparty fights during revolutionary periods. And after many failed attempts, this time the revolutionaries may have found their moment—much to the chagrin of Biden and Harris, who definitively epitomize “rearguard” and “opportunist,” respectively.
Having invited into their midst genuine revolutionaries—desirous of their ability to organize, their enthusiasm, and ultimately, drawn to their willingness to project power through violence—Biden and Harris are beginning to see there is no going back. The Democrats—win, lose, or draw—are the BLM/Antifa party now. The party of tearing down statues and launching public struggle sessions against innocent restaurant patrons.
As a vandal in Portland helpfully recorded, the BLM/Antifa insurgents will happily proclaim that “Liberals Get the Bullet Too.” But for Kamala Harris and today’s modern Democrats, ousting Trump and getting to cling—however briefly—to that brass ring of power is worth it. Even though one day, the name being purged will be their own.
Like drug addicts, Democrats promise they can quit their craving for political violence any time they want. But every few decades, they have a relapse. This time, they’re not gonna stop—until they O.D.
What follows is a transcript of remarks made by Kyle Shideler, director and senior analyst for homeland security and counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy, before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution.—Eds. It is a great honor to testify today before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution. The federal government…
What follows is a transcript of remarks made by Kyle Shideler, director and senior analyst for homeland security and counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy, before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution.—Eds.
It is a great honor to testify today before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution.
The federal government has a fundamental responsibility to protect the civil rights of all its citizens, and paramount among these are the rights of freedom of speech and assembly.
I hope my testimony today will correct some fundamental misunderstandings regarding the nature of the movement known as Antifa, which seeks to deprive Americans of these rights.
Antifa is an anarcho-communist movement, whose goal is to use physical violence and intimidation to terrorize American citizens into disengaging from the political process. While they do this under the cover of “anti-fascism,” the reality is that Antifa define the entire American political system—regardless of party affiliation—as “fascist.”
Antifa developed out of the Communist urban guerilla and terrorist movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s such as the Weather Underground and Germany’s Red Army Faction. As a result, it possesses operational experience developed over more than half a century of radical left-wing organizing and political violence.
Law enforcement has largely failed to understand the nature of this threat. Seeking a rigidly hierarchical organization, some analysts have concluded, against all evidence, that Antifa does not exist in any meaningful sense.
The reality is that Antifa demonstrates an elaborate but non-hierarchical structure.
The most basic structure of Antifa is the affinity group, described by the pro-Antifa website CrimethInc as the “essential building block” of anarchist organization—a small cell of individuals, known to each other, who agree to come together to participate in “direct actions,” including sabotage, vandalism, and premeditated assault.
Affinity groups come together to form clusters, and larger clusters may organize actions using what are called “spokescouncils.”
Antifa “chapters” form at the city level and join regional networks such as Torch Antifa, the largest Antifa network in the U.S., as well as national and international networks.
Antifa websites describe in detail how to organize affinity groups and chapters, how to vet potential members, prevent infiltration, and securely communicate. Such websites play a key role in spreading propaganda, distributing new tactics, techniques, and procedures, and raising calls to action.
One example, the Antifa website It’s Going Down, distributes a “Forming an Antifa Group” manual. Particularly noteworthy: the manual describes Antifa chapters as incurring “obligations” including that of supporting regional and national Antifa networks, who in turn make greater resources available to chapters.
This support extends internationally, with many American Antifa groups linked to the International Antifa Defence Fund, which has provided financial support to Antifa in 22 different countries. While overall dollar amounts are low, the International Antifa Defence Fund represents clear evidence of organizational activity across national borders.
Antifa relies heavily on support organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America, The International Workers of the World, Refuse Fascism, and the National Lawyers Guild, in coordination with other protest organizations. It is common for Antifa to require outside groups to sign what are essentially “memorandums of understanding” to ensure allies agree not to interfere with criminal activity, in exchange for “protection.”
In terms of financing, remember terrorism is a low-cost form of warfare. The entire 9/11 plot cost less than half a million dollars and even by al Qaeda standards, Antifa’s low-intensity violence is extremely cost-efficient.
Members are expected to provide their own gas masks, shields, helmets, and weapons to assault opposing demonstrators or police. Even the use of lasers, corrosives and small explosives are low-cost. Making a Molotov cocktail costs less than 25 cents.
Antifa uses a variety of methods to fundraise, including crowdfunding technology. The International Antifa Defense Fund has so far raised more than $53,000 via the crowdfunding site Fundrazr. While some crowdfunding companies are officially content-neutral, others are explicitly ideological, and only facilitate Antifa and similar fundraising projects.
Individual Antifa chapters frequently raise funds through event admission fees, cash donations and by selling merchandise at anarchist bookfairs.
Many of Antifa’s needs are provided free of charge by allied organizations.
Support organizations host and provide armed and unarmed training for Antifa members at no or low cost. Support organizations cover most major expenses such as transportation, bail, and lawyers’ fees.
Other organizations such as Riseup.net provide Antifa chapters with free access to secure servers, communication tools, and applications.
Far from non-existent, Antifa possesses as elaborate a structure as any criminal conspiracy or terror group.
Claiming Antifa is too “disorganized” to understand is not an acceptable excuse for law enforcement—federal, state or local—to tolerate Antifa’s private street war to overthrow the Constitution.
Like their predecessors in the Weather Underground and Red Army Faction, Antifa will continue to escalate its behavior unless it is checked.
There will be more attacks, and violent rioting techniques will continue to grow in capability and sophistication. Their cadres will grow. They will align with other disaffected forces, as they have done so far. There will be more autonomous zones, for increasing periods of time.
And more Americans, of all political persuasions, will be terrorized.
The Black Lives Matters organization, reinforced by their Antifa allies, has now declared that the abolition of the police is chief among their demands. This has led to a round of questions—and some mockery. But shortly after the demand was issued, the City Council of Minneapolis began efforts to sever its relationship with the Minneapolis…
The Black Lives Matters organization, reinforced by their Antifa allies, has now declared that the abolition of the police is chief among their demands. This has led to a round of questions—and some mockery. But shortly after the demand was issued, the City Council of Minneapolis began efforts to sever its relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, promising a brand-new model for public safety. Other cities have hinted they may do likewise.
Elite media representatives hurried to explain that “Abolish the police” actually meant “defund” and “reform” the police. Never mind that police abolitionists explicitly reject notions of reform. As one Chicago Police and Prison Abolitionist declaration noted:
It is completely sensible to assume that this Settler government would permit and grant certain measures of reform over others to divide and demobilize the People. We imagine if they are to “defund” or “disband” the police, we will see the intensification of fascist paramilitaries and private armies form up to retain the fundamental oppressive apparatus. This after all was the central function of white citizens’ militias and fraternal orders for the last two hundred years, to which we today now have—no thanks to reformers—THE POLICE.
In other words, if neoliberals think they can support police reform and defunding efforts, then hide behind private security and gated communities, they have another thing coming. No, police abolitionists mean exactly what they say.
In Seattle, the revolutionary Left took things a step further, seizing six square blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill district and declaring the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” after Seattle police evacuated a nearby precinct.
As of this writing, armed Antifa members were seeking to flood into the zone. Barricades were being manned by—among others—members of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, an armed Antifa group, one of whose members was killed last year in Tacoma after assaulting an ICE facility armed with a rifle and Molotov cocktails. Other leaders of the curious newly formed collective include soundcloud rap artist Raz Simone, whose armed cohort has undertaken to enforce his own brand of order, to the consternation of some of the Zone’s residents.
Despite the colorful antics, this is far from a pipe dream. Antifa has a very clear vision of how it will enforce public order after it has expelled and abolished the police.
Liberatory community armed self-defense is the collective group practice of temporarily taking up arms for defensive purposes, as part of larger engagements of collective autonomy in keeping with a liberatory ethics.
I am proposing liberatory community armed self-defense as a distinct idea borne out of a reassessment, spanning decades, of the historical experience of armed struggle and broader theories of the right of self-defense.
Self-Defense usually describes countermeasures employed by an individual to protect their immediate personal safety, and sometimes their property. Within the US, self-defense is discussed almost exclusively in legal terms relating to “rights” recognized by governments or constitutions, and only occasionally as human rights. By limiting the discussion to the rights attached to individuals, this framing fails to consider community interests, structural violence and oppression, and collective actions. The discourse thus completely neglects the defense of communities as such, and especially leaves out the political demands of people of color, women, immigrants, queers, and poor people.
While traditional policing implies deputized professionals enforcing laws passed by the legitimate representatives and—it is to be hoped—duty-bound to respect individual rights, Community Armed Defense rejects the individual rights upon which the U.S. system is built in favor of the collective communal “rights” of identity politics. It exists not to uphold law, but to enforce the “political demands” of favored groups.
The image of a volunteer fire department but with guns may suit the anarchist ethos, but in fact Community Self-Defense is about establishing revolutionary shadow governance.
Far from simply providing armed enforcement, the term covers a full panoply of activities, providing all manner of services traditionally provided by the government—from food banks and co-op gardens to housing and medical clinics.
This may seem overly ambitious. But for the revolutionary insurgent it is just good policy. And as a tactic, it works. From the Taliban to FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) to the Mexican drug cartels, the language may be different but the model is the same. Create instability, force out the government, and finally replace it. Reports from Seattle suggest that, already, groups are “requesting” $500 per business owner to help support “community protection and security.”
In areas where the logic of revolutionary politics is operative, those who can provide services and a sense of stability, even for a fee, reign. Whether they were the ones who caused the instability to begin with is immaterial. In revolutionary periods, groups that demonstrate even a modest ability to perform this function should not be underestimated.
Attempts to abolish police, including the most recent Seattle Autonomous Zone, may seem risible. They are likely to be short-lived and collapse upon themselves as revolutionary ardor wanes. But they provide a short-term proof of concept, a propaganda victory, and justification for future efforts. Abolition of the police—whether by groups like Antifa, or through elected radical city councils—is now officially on the menu. The establishment of Community Self-Defense and its standards of collective group rights will represent a kind of de facto regime change.