Local videographer and anti-fascist bulldog Dennis Gilman has posted up his much-anticipated video from the anti-National Socialist action a couple weeks ago. The video is quite interesting and in particular I enjoy the way it complements the point that PCWC was making with regard to the rally.
Unlike so many liberals and pro-immigrant movement movers and shakers, who would rather have ducked their heads in the sand as the racist NSM pranced about on the state capitol lawn (and in fact denounced the action in some embarrassing cases), PCWC wanted the National Socialist Movement to get some attention precisely because we wanted to highlight both the overall reactionary climate and rhetoric surrounding the "mainstream" anti-immigrant movement (after all, what attracted these NSM scum to Phoenix if not the tenor of the reactionary politics?), but also specifically to point out the congruence between the NSM's vile message and that of the "mainstream" anti-immigrant types. We at PCWC see no light between them. Dennis seems to have caught onto the same theme and he does a great job, especially in the first part of the video, of making that overlap in message starkly clear.
One week after the NSM strutted its sad sack stuff and then had to slink away in shame, one of those mainstream anti-immigrant groups had a rally on the very same lawn in front of the capitol that the NSM occupied. The NSM showed their ugly faces and were promptly booted to the curb by an obviously defensive Nativist crowd, fearing the association, which left the pathetic local NSM cadre (a far cry from the only slightly less pathetic "crowd of 40" from Texas and Cali that showed up two weeks ago) to shout and wave their swastikas and Hitler paraphernalia impotently from the sidelines.
Denouncing the Nazis at his rally, Jim Fairmont of the equally racist American Citizens United said, "That's a completely, you know, racist organization. This is not about racism, it's about law enforcement. Period." Sure, dude. Given the fact that these very same Nazis had previously found the anti-immigrant protests safe territory, one wonders if this confrontation would have happened had the anti-NSM action not taken place.
Aside from successfully checking the NSM's recruitment aim (something that would have gone un-countered had no confrontation taken place, as so many liberals had advised), there are other successes that anarchists should take from this. The new split in the reactionary movement, along with the fact in the popular imagination the so-called "Nativist" movement must now run from an association with National Socialism is a tremendous victory for the anarchist and migrant/immigrant movement.
And, as Dennis points out in his video, the fracture created by this action hints at the potential of fanatical organizing to open spaces wide enough even potentially to consume reactionary politicians like Russell Pearce. And it's more evidence of the usefulness of a fanatical politics in a state so overwhelmingly reactionary as Arizona. In this case, the NSM itself served as our fanatical foil, creating an all or nothing, in or out dynamic that forced people to make a choice. Now they can be held accountable for that choice and more than a few have egg on their faces for not turning out now that the action is widely understood to have been successful. The venue created an unambiguous space for anarchists to step forward and we will benefit as a movement because of it.
Consider also that we were able to persuade some of our libertarian friends join us and to assert their commitment to anti-fascism and to the traditional libertarian open border position. We may find that our allies may lie in places that, thanks to the limitations of ideology, we have not previously looked. We must also continue to look for fissures and other points of potential fracture in the movements of our opposition and then charge ahead into the gap. We can remake this debate if we try.
Finally, I want to point out one other facet of the action which as far as I know no one in the mainstream press caught onto, namely, the alliance of Native youth and anarchists in the streets (not that these are necessarily exclusive). We've all worked hard at this and it was a real pleasure to take it to the street together and to see it deployed successfully. Together we took the battle to our common enemy and shut them down. This is a great victory and something I know we at PCWC hope to continue to build on for further actions. Not only that, but this is a validation of the strategy of autonomy and insurrection. As one comrade recently told me, we come together for specific actions and purposes. We don't build new, bulky organizations. We build affinity, get people moving and attack, attack, attack. Look for the weak spot and strike!
Thanks also to Dennis for the shout out to PCWC. Much appreciated. Below I have posted the video as well as a couple of links to the two essays that we put out in advance of the action, framing our position, as well as an analysis of the event by PCWC comrade Crudo, one of our friends from Modesto Anarcho. I think in hindsight they may now be interesting to review what we accomplished versus what we wanted so we can improve our efforts in the future. We must constantly consider the results of the applications of our theories. That's our path to kicking over this whole miserable system.
(1) PCWC announces the Inglourious Basterds Bloc against the National Socialist Movement anti-immigrant rally November 7th.
(2) The NSM offers nothing for the white working class but more exploitation and misery.
(3) Phoenix: Where Anarchists Pack Heat and Send Nazis Packing