That’s an easy question. Old media, overpaid media talking heads, and political spinners are having difficulty answering that simple question.
On June 10, 2017 at Washington Square Park in Kansas City there were about forty or so right wingnuts in an anti-Muslim demonstration behind steel fence barricades, a large presence from the Kansas City Police (including mounted officers), around one hundred counter protesters behind yellow tape (the KCPD enforced separation zone between the groups), ACLU observers, and reportedly armed “three percenters” barring entrance to anyone they didn’t approve to the right wingnut area.
The counter protesters were a mix that included a few pacifists, a handful of Greens, and a bunch of masked anti-fascist kids dressed in black and red.
The demonstration(s) consisted of both groups taunting each other and yelling insults for over two hours.
The three percenters wouldn’t allow one of us into the right wingnut area to photograph. The KCPD kept us out of the buffer zone. We were free to roam the counter protesters’ area. Though, at one point toward the end of the demonstration a group of counter protesters angrily confronted us as we photographed them taunting the right wingnuts from across the street on Main.
Pro tip: if you’re doing anything in public you have no expectation of privacy. Expect to be photographed.
Earlier three right wingnuts trolled the counter protest area (one carrying a flag), walking through it while being trailed by some of the anti-fascists (who didn’t directly confront them) and ACLU observers (in green vests) filming them with smart phones.
You don’t normalize white supremacists, racists, fascists, Nazis or the KKK. Ever. Anti-fascists know this.
Old media and a lot of hand wringers have been going after anti-fascists in their usual lazy “both siderism” coverage. They’re not the same.
I’ve covered a lot of demonstrations, marches and protests over the years. I’ve seen anarchists, socialists, Maoists [to quote an incredulous Bob Yates, “Who’s a Maoist these days?], anti-fascists, liberals, “moderates”, farmers, ranchers, grandmothers, and moms with kids in strollers.
There’s no “card carrying” cadre, people just decide to show up. Besides, any organized protest in this age would be too much to ask or expect.
More of us will have to decide to show up if we’re going to save ourselves.
I’ve also witnessed individuals with crosses made out of red tape affixed to their overstuffed backpacks, ready to act as medics at large demonstrations. They, too, just decided to show up.
The only times I’ve seen anyone carrying a firearm (who was not a police officer) they were right wingnuts.
The anti-fascists may choose to wear protective gear because they don’t want to get their heads beat in. I’m good with that. In fact, I may add additional protective gear to my demonstration coverage go bag.
It’s been my direct observation over the years that the red and black clad anti-fascists won’t start something, but, by God, they’re prepared to step in if they need to.
Sometimes they do. From an individual who was in Charlottesville, Virginia:
…I never felt safer than when I was near antifa. They came to defend people, to put their bodies between these armed white supremacists and those of us who could not or would not fight. They protected a lot of people that day, including groups of clergy. My safety (and safety is relative in these situations) was dependent upon their willingness to commit violence. In effect, I outsourced the sin of my violence to them. I asked them to get their hands dirty so I could keep mine clean. Do you understand? They took that up for me, for the clergy they shielded, for those of us in danger. We cannot claim to be pacifists or nonviolent when our safety requires another to commit violence, and we ask for that safety…
…If you are unwilling to risk your bodily integrity to stand against literal Nazis, but you are willing to criticize the people out there who are taking this grave threat seriously but not in a way of which you approve….I just don’t know what to say to you. Truly. Your moral authority is bankrupt and you’re not helping. You’re a hypocrite…
This. Exactly this.
If you don’t speak out, if you don’t show up, if you don’t make a stand against the fascists and supremacists then you’ve acquiesced to their view of the world and their plans for the rest of us.
Go. Read the whole thing.
It’s obvious to everyone else.
US reporters praise German journalists for questioning Trump
US journalists had praise for their German colleagues after a White House press conference with Chancellor Merkel and President Trump. DW’s Brent Goff said US reporters were “shocked” by the pointed questions.
And now, here we are.
Today, via Twitter:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
3:48 PM – 17 Feb 2017
Putz. They all deserve each other. Everyone else gets to suffer.
Does the Jefferson City paper have a classified section for subletting apartments? Just asking.
Missouri Attorney General Hawley addresses Democrats’ residency concerns, rents apartment
By Jo Mannies • Feb 10, 2017
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says he has rented an apartment in Jefferson City, to end accusations from Democrats that he has been violating state law by commuting from his home in Columbia…
Assistant House Minority Leader Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis, replied in a statement: “… Hawley said he ‘decided to call Democrats’ bluff on this.’ Hawley has it backwards. He claimed for weeks that the law didn’t apply to him but now he’s complying with it. Somebody blinked here, and it wasn’t us.”
Interesting headline. Doesn’t anyone peruse legislative bill filings anymore?
A bill filed in the Senate on Monday:
Repeals the requirement that the Attorney General reside at the seat of government
LR Number: 1775S.01I
Last Action: 2/6/2017 – S First Read–SB 396-Wallingford
Journal Page: S227
Calendar Position: 5
Effective Date: August 28, 2017
Current Bill Summary
SB 396 – This act repeals the requirement that the attorney general reside at the seat of government.
This act is identical to HB 797 (2017).
Uh, when republicans file bills like this it’s not just Democrats who don’t have confidence in Josh Hawley’s (r) legal opinion.
Now he tells everyone:
Chuck Todd @chucktodd
Trump presidency in a nutshell? aides go rogue, principle on unhinged/unsubstantiated rant. Both give cover to bigger story (biz conflicts)
6:22 AM – 28 Nov 2016
My response, as if it will do any good:
Michael Bersin @MBersin
@chucktodd Gee, this is only news now, after the election?
10:02 AM – 28 Nov 2016
Again, now he tells us.
Chuck Todd @chucktodd
We are all witnessing a slow motion train wreck. Sadly, these proverbial wrecks are likely to happen on a weekly basis.
8:49 AM – 28 Nov 2016
Ah, yes, our current media environment:
Michael Bersin @MBersin
Leave it to another cold war relic to manipulate our old media and distract us from the harsh realities of the 2016 presidential election…
8:39 AM – 26 Nov 2016
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Fidel Castro is dead!
7:08 AM – 26 Nov 2016
It must be a chapter or something in an authoritarian etiquette book.
A protest sign from thirteen or so years ago, possibly the second or third iteration – they do wear out from use:
Nothing has changed.
On some occasions the weekly protests near the fountain on the Plaza in Kansas City would garner media coverage. As I recall, on one such day a reporter for one of the local non-Fox affiliates was getting ready for a stand-up report. Right before she went on the air I called out and showed her the sign. She smiled.
The more things change, the more they remain the same (November 23, 2016)