Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Charlottesville Like Ukraine: America's 2nd Civil War?

Ultra-nationalist Klan and neo-Nazi's march through the University of Virginia Friday evening.  Chanting “You will not replace us!” they surrounded and attacked a small group of Black Lives Matter protesters.


Can you tell much difference from the photo above in Charlottesville, Virginia and the one below of the Nazi's in Ukraine that played a key role in the 2014 US orchestrated coup d'etat in Kiev?

Western Ukrainians carry the image of their fascist hero Stepan Bandera who rallied his supporters during WW II to join Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union as the Nazi Army swept through Ukraine.



 Phil Wilayto (who I went to Ukraine with in 2016) lives in Richmond, Virginia today writes:

The next day, Aug. 12, some 500 fascists gathered at Emancipation Park, while many more protesters massed in the surrounding streets. Insults morphed into throwing water bottles, then more dangerous projectiles, then fistfights, while the police stayed in the park and ignored the rising tensions.

“People punched and kicked each other during various scuffles, which often were broken up from within crowds, without police intervention,” reported CNN. This despite the fact that more than 1,000 officers were expected to be deployed, according to city officials.
Rumors spread that they were going to march on a nearby low-income, predominantly Black housing project. Protesters massed at an intersection on the anticipated march route, intending to block the fascists.
That’s when a car rapidly accelerated and plowed into the crowd of protesters, sending several people flying into the air. The driver then slammed into the back of another car at the intersection and drove away rapidly, in reverse, fleeing the scene.
One person was killed. Nineteen more were injured, nine of whom are in serious or critical condition.

The person driving the car was 20-year-old James Alex Fields from Ohio who is with Vanguard America, the neo-Nazi group that organized the protest.

Fields (2nd from left) was seen by the statue of Robert E. Lee, before the crash in Charlottesville. He belongs to Vanguard America, a hate group that uses the nationalist slogan “blood and soil” and believes the U.S. is for the “White American peoples.”


The woman killed was Heather Heyer, age 32, a paralegal in Virginia. She was killed while crossing the street. Heyer was among 20 people struck as Fields barreled his Dodge Challenger down a narrow street teeming with counter-protesters.

Many reports (and my own watching of countless videos from the scene yesterday) clearly showed police virtually absent during most of the worst street fighting.  It reminds me of the story in Odessa, Ukraine on May 2, 2014 when fascists chased people who were petitioning for a federated Ukraine into the Trades Union Hall and then set it on fire.  More than 50 were killed that day.  The police were standing behind the building smoking cigarettes and never lifted a finger to protect those trapped inside the burning building.

Just like in Ukraine, where the predominately nationalist west as been set against the Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens in the east, we see the effort underway in America to divide the people against one another.  The Klan and Nazi right-wing (and many police departments across the nation) are targeting people of color in order to create civil war conditions.

But we must ask why is this happening?

The American people are not needed anymore by the ruling corporate oligarchies who have gone global with their investments and production.  We see the massive disinvestment across the US as cities and states (like Maine) fall apart and jobs are lost.  Rather than have the people, who are angry and fearful about the future, put the blame squarely where it belongs.... Mr. Big uses his various methods to pit American against American.

Trump's role in all of this is to blow the dog whistle and the far right quickly steps into the circle armed to the teeth and ready to fight against people of color and their many white supporters.  This video below gives a taste of how armed-up these fascists were yesterday in Charlottesville.  They look like military forces but in fact are para-military forces (death squads) that will be used by the oligarchy as their agents to bludgeon those that dare stand in support of those being targeted.



Now just ask yourself this: if Black or white activists were armed like these fascists what would the police do?  In this case the fascists paraded all over Charlottesville with not one bit of reaction from the cops.  What does that tell you?  Who gave the cops the orders to stand asside?

We are going to see more of this in the future.  The relevant question is how do we in the peace and justice movements respond to all of this - especially when the local cops sit back and watch the bully boys attack peaceful protesters?  We should all be talking more about this and demanding that local police not side with the fascists by being absent during these highly dangerous moments.

Bruce

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