New network leads the fight against fascism on campus

Activism
on 36 Comments

The signs were already all over the walls: hatred will be returning in force to campuses across the country this academic year, and will be packaged as “free speech.”  The alt-right rally at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville may be seen as a defining moment for many, but any outspoken faculty of color, any radical faculty member who ever spoke about justice for Palestine, denounced anti-black racism in termed deemed “uncivil,” or pressured their administration to seriously address misogyny and sexual assault on campuses, has long known there is a hefty price to pay for speaking out against injustice, even as Zionists and white supremacists fill the lecture halls.

Some cases, such as that of Professor Steven Salaita, who was fired from a tenured position over tweets criticizing Israel during its 2014 Gaza assault, have rightly made international headlines.  But the majority, ranging from daily micro-aggressions to outright censorship and blacklisting, go unreported. The illusion of free speech on campuses is little more than that, as Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor recently pointed out in a New York Times OpEd.  Taylor explains that, after giving a commencement speech in which she was critical of President Donald Trump, “Within hours, invective filled my inbox.”

“I received emails that promised I would be lynched, shot and raped,” Taylor wrote, “and Princeton’s department of African-American studies, of which I am a member, was so flooded with hate that the locks on the doors had to be changed.”  Taylor subsequently cancelled a lecture in Seattle, out of fear for her own safety, as well as that of family members.

Taylor also mentions the cases of three professors, Johnny Eric Williams of Trinity College, Tommy Curry of Texas A&M, and Lisa Durden of Essex County College in New Jersey, who were sanctioned by their universities in the past few months, over their denunciation of white supremacy.  Durden, an adjunct, was fired, Williams is on voluntary leave after being suspended, and Texas A&M, which initially distanced itself from Curry, has now issued a statement of support for freedom of expression, but only after coming after intense pressure to do so.

Taylor limits herself to faculty who were sanctioned for speaking out against anti-black racism, but the instances of silencing pro-Palestinian rights speech are even more numerous, and have been consistent since the mid-1960s.  We cannot forget that Professor Edward Said also received multiple death threats, in addition to being called “Professor of Terror,” and “ideologue of terror” for denouncing Israeli abuses.  Said’s groundbreaking book, Orientalism, which founded the discipline of postcolonial studies, has been described by Zionists as “false scholarship,”  and there is evidence he came under FBI surveillance as early as 1971. More recently, Palestine Legal has documented numerous incidents targeting faculty as well as students who openly support Palestinian rights. And while Palestine is emblematic of outside pressures impacting freedom of speech on campuses, the current political moment suggests that many hate fronts will be interfering with the rights of progressive faculty members and student organizations focusing on issues ranging from reproductive justice to Indigenous sovereignty.  Indeed, Identity Evropa, a white supremacist group founded in March 2016, announced last year that it will be focusing its recruitment on university campuses nationally, and has already distributed racist stickers and handouts, and plastered many bulletin boards with its hate-filled posters.  Clearly, the academic battlefront is heating up again, and the overall official sanctioning of violence does not bode well for progressives.

With this in mind, and after months of behind the scenes organizing, a new “campus antifascist network” (referred to by its members as “CAN”) was launched earlier this month.  One of its founders, American Studies Professor Bill Mullen of Purdue University, has first-hand experience of the attacks a pro-justice faculty member receives, as he has come under political attack himself in retaliation for his support of various radical causes on his campus.

“The Campus Anti-Fascist Network is a grassroots, multiracial collective of faculty, students and staff committed to fighting the presence of fascists, white supremacists and nationalists on University campuses,” Mullen wrote me.  It is “committed to building teach-ins and workshops on campuses this Fall about the meaning of fascism and how to fight it. To that end we have created an ‘Anti-Fascist Syllabus.’  We are also preparing documents to help people defend themselves when attacked by fascists and also how to protest their appearance on campuses.”

Modelled upon other public syllabi such as the Ferguson syllabus, the Standing Rock syllabus, and the Islamophobia Is Racism syllabus, the anti-fascist syllabus is available to all online.  It covers the historical background, up to the present, of fascism in Europe and the US, and can be used in a classroom context as well as by non-academic activist reading groups.

Mullen added that the network has exploded since the confrontation in Charlottesville.  “We have nearly 200 members nationally and internationally.  Nearly 1,000 people joined our [closed] Facebook page within 48 hours when it went live.”  That number has now reached over 1400.  “The Network is committed to protecting the most vulnerable on campuses from fascist attack, and to working with other anti-racist, anti-fascist groups in broad coalition.”

Despite its claim to be a haven of free thought and inquiry, the academy has long been a bastion of institutionalized privilege, and has historically come on the tail end of social advancements in civil rights. It has also been notoriously selective in its interpretation of “free speech,” by granting avowed racists and foreign-government sponsored propagandists a forum, while denying its own students the right to form justice-oriented groups.   With its broad umbrella and its membership not limited to faculty, but open to staff and students, and particularly welcoming of unions, CAN intends to provide support to all disenfranchised communities who feel threatened in the present climate, while applying effective pressure on university administrators not to accommodate supremacists and neo-Nazis’ requests to host events bound to incite to violence.

The task is immense, but there are some welcome developments already.  White rights activist Richard Spenser’s presentation at the University of Florida, previously scheduled for September 1, was cancelled Wednesday over concerns of another violent confrontation.    “Amid serious concerns for safety, we have decided to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent event space at the University of Florida,” university president W. Kent Fuchs wrote, adding “I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for.  That said, the University of Florida remains unwaveringly dedicated to free speech and the spirit of public discourse. However, the First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others.”

And on Thursday, Michigan State University also denied Spencer’s organization’s request to rent space for one of its speakers, citing concerns for the safety of the university community.  “While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community,” the University statement explained.

CAN has its work cut out, as it intends to educate about fascism in its multiple guises, linking various struggles against supremacy, and creating the foundation for campuses where moral integrity and intellectual honesty prevail over blurred distinctions between free speech and hate speech. As justice for Palestine no longer represents the only deeply-engrained exception to free speech on campus, anti-fascist academic community members are joining ranks to organize against all threats to free speech.

A website with a mission statement will soon be active, and anyone interested in joining the network should send an email to [email protected]

About Nada Elia

Nada Elia is a Palestinian scholar-activist, writer, and grassroots organizer, currently completing a book on Palestinian Diaspora activism.

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36 Responses

  1. Keith
    August 18, 2017, 6:52 pm

    NADA ELIA- “The task is immense, but there are some welcome developments already. White rights activist Richard Spenser’s presentation at the University of Florida, previously scheduled for September 1, was cancelled Wednesday over concerns of another violent confrontation.”

    Richard Spenser’s talk is cancelled due to the threat of a violent confrontation involving Antifa versus the Alt-Right and you consider this a victory for free speech? Richard Spenser is small beer, the US government has been supporting fascistic and other authoritarian regimes for a long, long time. The US supported a coup in the Ukraine which installed a Russophobic government riddled with neo-Nazis. Chickens are coming home to roost. A quote from Ajamu Baraka:

    “The alt-right that showed up in Charlottesville this past weekend was mimicking the tactics of the frontline neo-fascist soldiers who orchestrated the coup in the Ukraine, yet everyone is saying this is a result of Trump. The objective fact is that the U.S. has become a dangerous right-wing society as a result of a steady shift to the right over the past four decades. The idea that Trump’s election somehow “created” the right cannot be taken seriously and cannot be reduced to the crude expressions of the alt-right.” (Ajamu Baraka) https://www.blackagendareport.com/story-charlottesville-was-written-blood-ukraine

    • yishai
      August 20, 2017, 12:48 am

      If you cared about fascism you wouldn’t be concerned about poor richard and his ability to incite violence and recruit for his hate. You also would join CAN and scholars like Nada Elia and Ajamu BAraka, rather than trying to introduce additional contexts whose fascism is already on any social justice thinker’s agenda. Spencer and Ukraine and all the global white supremacist fascist movements are connected, one is not a gotcha-level of greater importance.

  2. Jon66
    August 18, 2017, 8:39 pm

    It is not a victory for free speech when speakers are cancelled due to threatened violence by protesters.

    Ms. Elia continues to advocate for speech only from those she agrees with and then claims victimhood.

    The antidote to bad ideas is better ideas, not silencing them.

    • yishai
      August 20, 2017, 12:45 am

      This liberal canard is sorely out of date, it always was. My comment immediately below, to Steve, applies equally to you. This is dangerous neo-liberal thought that aligns with trump and against all oppressed people and their comrades. Its also anti-Semitic, among other things. Both Arabs and many radical and/or non-white Jews are made especially vulnerable by this tired ‘logic’. This is utter apologia for racism and Islamophobia, for which no equivalent of any kind exists on any “other side”. As the great anticolonial scholar and activist said, “By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?” If you had good intentions in your post, I hope you are honest enough to reconsider these widely held but utterly fallacious suppositions.

      • Jon66
        August 20, 2017, 12:44 pm

        Yishai,
        The problem with your approach presumes that there is some all knowing arbiter of what is appropriate speech. The southerners who opposed Dr. King thought his ideas were dangerous and would have stopped them. It was his right to free speech that allowed him to prove the superiority and ultimate victory of his ideas. Censorhsip is the death of democracy.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2017, 5:50 pm

        Sure “Jon 66”, speech asking for equality to be extended to African-Americans and discrimination against African Americans be stopped, is the equivalent of speech advocating racism and that a racist hierarchy imposed by violence.

        That’s a very good stance for a Zionist to take.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2017, 9:34 pm

        “Censorhsip is the death of democracy.” “Jon66”

        And without a scintilla of doubt, your stance on the efforts to criminalize BDS are in accord with that principle.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 20, 2017, 9:59 pm

        LOL! bull’s eye mooser.

  3. Steve Macklevore
    August 19, 2017, 2:32 pm

    I wasn’t aware there was much fascism on the average American college campus.

    In any case the prevention of free speech on campus for whatever reason (Jewish students feeling “uncomfortable” is one) should always be condemned. Free speech is an essential right for pro-Palestinian activism. Applying it selectively makes it nonsensical.

    • yishai
      August 20, 2017, 12:37 am

      Actually the high-minded ideal of applying free speech equally to all is profoundly liberal and dangerous. Its like the free trade idea capitalists use to defend their hegemony. It only makes sense if you are ok with the current and profound asymmetries of power in our world. Its like supporting NAFTA: CEOs love it, but regular working people and the dispossessed are more efficiently exploited under it.

      Then you say: “I wasn’t aware there was much fascism on the average American college campus,” in response to an essay that enumerates said fascism in some detail, and historicizes it. Racism, Islamophobia, fascism, patriarchy, ableism and all forms of injustice from our wider society are alive and rampant on campuses, not just because they are in and of society – like the rest of our spaces and institutions – but also because these are spaces that are intended and structured to produce knowledge that buttresses power structures. Students and faculty who question power or simply dare to exist and be truthful about the world find their speech and lives repressed disproportionately in the extreme. In 1930s Germany you would be arguing that Jews and those labeled disabled should stop complaining and seeking attention because both sides, or lots of other ‘sides’, also deserve attention. To side with trump so soon after Charlottesville in a Mondoweiss thread is pretty extreme. If it was unintentional, which is possible, its kind of worse. Martin Luther King wrote his Letter From a Birmingham Jail about you, 55 years ago…

      I am sorry if this sounds harsh, I am admittedly edgy and perhaps a little more intense than usual, its been a violent and terror filled week for those most vulnerable and historically/currently oppressed.

      • echinococcus
        August 20, 2017, 11:12 am

        “yishai”

        Actually the high-minded ideal of applying free speech equally to all is profoundly liberal and dangerous

        OK, so you lose your right to even protest when it’s you who are selectively silenced.

        Doesn’t take a genius to understand that where what speech is to be allowed can be selected, the selection is done by those who own the big guns (on behalf of whom you may be spreading such nonsense.)

        While others continue to fight for the rights of even the most clueless like your good self.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 20, 2017, 3:46 pm

        To side with trump so soon after Charlottesville in a Mondoweiss thread is pretty extreme.

        i don’t know, people’s ideas about free speech were likely formulated way before charlottesville and i don’t agree expressing ideas like steve’s (“prevention of free speech on campus for whatever reason (Jewish students feeling “uncomfortable” is one) should always be condemned.”) as “to side with trump”.

        Then you say: “I wasn’t aware there was much fascism on the average American college campus,” in response to an essay that enumerates said fascism in some detail, and historicizes it.

        actually, that was the first thing steve said, and it’s perfectly normal to express ones unawareness of something one was previously unaware of in response to an essay that enumerates in detail.

        In 1930s Germany you would be arguing that Jews and those labeled disabled should stop complaining and seeking attention because both sides…

        i’m really not clear how one could extrapolate this from steve’s comment.

      • yishai
        August 20, 2017, 8:04 pm

        Annie, sorry as I said earlier if my post was a little intense, its been a long hard week because of the white supremacy, but also because of the liberal mis-reaction and over-reaction to it. I almost always agree with your interventions here over the years, so that gave me pause too… For many years I bought into the ACLU logic of defending hate speech because I know restrictions will be disproportionately levied against less powerful voices. The problem is that speech is already and always has been unequal in de facto practice. Further, institutional structures make speech and power extremely uneven. The tepid response of police in Charlottesville during nazi violence stands in stark contrast to the free speech rights of people in Ferguson, Baltimore, etc, who we both know (and detest) were met by tanks and other war materiel, and training in Israeli ‘practices’. The speech rights of ann coulter and spencer are better protected that those of BLM activists, and certainly of those who express pro-Palestine speech.

        Steve and Annie, if I read your post wrong Steve, my bad. I took your initial statement that you did not know about the fascism on campuses to be diminishing of the credibility of this statement, rather than just surprised to learn it here. Probably because you followed it with “In any case…” But if I misread this, my bad.

        However, the defense of Jewish students feeling uncomfortable on campus is a very freighted issue right now. While I am still very concerned about Antisemitism and support any reaction to it on campus, there is literally a well funded movement looking for and finding some Jews who will claim to feel uneasy because of BDS or anti-zionist speech, or even the presence of Palestinians in their spaces, and using this supposed concern for free speech to shut down the speech of social justice. This is a tactic shared by the new Right and white supremacist movements. Disingenuously fighting for ‘claimed’ and ‘supposed’ civil rights.

        I am glad that national debate has opened up around the ACLU and its tactics, and glad it is shifting to think harder about them now that they have been even more coopted.

        The 1930s Germany reference is that most Jews then and there were trying to assert rights from within a system that did not see them as human, but which they hoped they could reform. Jews as a group may not be there yet in the US context (or they might, depending on how we understand and guess the reality of trump’s actual power), but people of color are pretty much there it seems, and have been, and therefore all social justice fighters with commitments to these issues are also in similar territory. I share this 1930s point of reference because I am legitimately alarmed by the comparisons.

      • yishai
        August 20, 2017, 8:16 pm

        “echinococcus”

        “OK, so you lose your right to even protest when it’s you who are selectively silenced.”

        My point was that this is already happening. All the things I fight for (Palestine, Queer and Trans rights, BLM, BDS, etc.) are already less tolerated than other speech. Even when they are defended at some level, they are actively eroded at others. Treating speech equally is a great ideal, its just that we as a society have never practiced it yet. Until we do, I am trying to raise some hard questions about the underlying assumptions behind the current thinking on this subject, because its clearly not working well.

        My allusion to trump was not light hearted either, though I see it was not well received either. I think the existing ACLU approach to free speech and the profound equalization of trump in his “many sides” crap are disturbingly similar. They share assumptions which sound neoliberal. Of course they are not the same, and the former group is my comrades and friends in the movements for justice, so its a shocking thing I am saying, I get that.

        This week has made me question my existing ideas about the ACLU, and so too has it for the entire CA delegation of the ACLU (from their open letter) not to mention many others in that fold nationally, such as the legal studies fellow at Stanford who recently wrote a smart op-ed on the subject…

      • Annie Robbins
        August 20, 2017, 9:52 pm

        My allusion to trump was not light hearted either, though I see it was not well received either.

        i am no fan of trump, so my reference to your comment was not in his defense. i just wasn’t clear on how you were making the connection to steve, as being ‘just like trump’.

        For many years I bought into the ACLU logic of defending hate speech because I know restrictions will be disproportionately levied against less powerful voices. The problem is that speech is already and always has been unequal in de facto practice. Further, institutional structures make speech and power extremely uneven.

        i totally agree with you there’s a problem, that speech is already and always has been unequal in de facto practice and that institutional structures make speech and power extremely uneven. but i don’t have an easy answer as to how to solve this and i also don’t know the ACLU limits applied in defending hate speech because the 1st amendment has limits to free speech — called “fighting words” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words

        “insulting or ‘fighting words’, those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace” are among the “well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech the prevention and punishment of [which] … have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem.”

        further, i completely agree w/nada elia’s point about suppression of palestinian activism. i support pal legal and all they do documenting and defending this. but i am very reluctant to take positions on curtailing speech because i don’t want it to come back to bite me. this is why this issue is so contentious — and why i stated earlier “people’s ideas about free speech were likely formulated way before charlottesville”, and for me way before the milo protest or even my activism for palestine. these kinds of ideas people have been arguing about way before i was even born.

        i can tell you feel very passionate about this, and it can be very frustrating especially to see university administrations using the “uncivil” excuse to silence only one side and state and fed legislators pushing (and for some succumbing to) bills trying to outlaw our speech (taylor bill). but i don’ have the answers other than CAN efforts such as nada’s link, the anti-fascist syllabus https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FX_x2dbvXqblpZQ3JuUTYxTnM/view — educate people about fascism! call out hate speech (which is not protected) when we see it. vigorously defend and support people whose rights have been squashed and who have been sanctioned or jobs lost for speaking out about white supremacy. but i’m up there in the years and my personal opinions regarding speech (the freer the better) i can’t imagine what it would take to get me to change that opinion. i think that’s where steve’s “in any case” comes from. it means literally — in “any” case, prevention of free speech (on campus or anywhere, for whatever reason) is something i would loath to advocate. but does that mean i think supremacists have a right to publicly incite or call for death or violence, no of course not.

        i think in the long run, the first amendment will work in our favor. i think the anti bds legislation will land in the courts and then the burden will be on those defending the legislation to prove how “demands for equality and racial justice” it is not protected political speech. they will have to prove those demands are based on national origin and bigoted — which is patently absurd. but, that legislation likely won’t land in the courts until it’s applied, until someone or some company gets fined, arrested, or imprisoned.

        Treating speech equally is a great ideal, its just that we as a society have never practiced it yet. Until we do, I am trying to raise some hard questions about the underlying assumptions behind the current thinking on this subject, because its clearly not working well.

        raising tough questions is admirable, especially under circumstances of societal upheaval and when things are “clearly not working well”. and tough questions force us to confront our own ethics. but i don’t think it makes your points stronger to tell someone “you would be arguing that Jews and those labeled disabled should stop complaining” — that makes it very personal and more likely people will disengage.

      • echinococcus
        August 20, 2017, 11:37 pm

        Yishai again.

        A lot of blah and casuistry in defence of plain ole censorship, period. Same goes for Ms Elia, too.
        I don’t agree with some of what Annie says (especially the lawyers’ invented, added nonsense about “fighting words”, as if words were sticks and stones –they aint) but she is damn right that requests for censorship will come back to bite you right where it hurts.

        And you sure as hell deserve to get bitten until you learn about freedom of speech.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2017, 12:27 pm

        “And you sure as hell deserve to get bitten until you learn about freedom of speech.”

        As for me, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between a tiki-torch and a molotov cocktail.

      • echinococcus
        August 22, 2017, 10:58 am

        Mooser,

        All about use. I suppose that’s why we have the verb “to torch”, and why there is a limit to how long one can hold a lit Vyacheslav before getting burnt.
        And the difference is huge.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2017, 12:41 pm

        If I see bunches of angry guys with torches, I figure they are ready to light stuff on fire.

  4. Ruth1940
    August 19, 2017, 3:29 pm

    I think it’s helpful to learn the history and remind them of it. Albert Einstein (and other American Jews) were clear from the beginning.

    https://archive.org/details/AlbertEinsteinLetterToTheNewYorkTimes.December41948)

  5. Citizen
    August 19, 2017, 5:03 pm

    So, Spencer can’t join the diversity movement? Because he’s a separatist?

    • yishai
      August 20, 2017, 12:52 am

      Exactly Citizen! Fascist attempts to coop space and ideas and practices of liberation movements are not connected to any real social movements or consciousness, so they are shallow and flat. Their contradictions lie at the surface, are clumsy. They want free speech to silence, terrorize, commit genocide, and generally deny it to others. They are also unworthy of actual debate and engagement, because they are not bring actual thoughts to the table, just agendas and alignments with power…

  6. Elizabeth Block
    August 19, 2017, 8:23 pm

    Some years ago I heard Steven Rosen, on the NPR program On the Media, saying that there are academics who have been denied tenure, or had trouble getting tenure, or suffered in other ways in their academic careers, because of their pro-Israel stand. The interviewer didn’t ask him for any names.
    I emailed him and asked for a few examples. He said he didn’t keep records, and couldn’t remember any names offhand. He referred me to a monograph called Ivory Towers, and to the Campus Watch website, which I looked at and found only information about academics whom CampusWatch deems to be insufficiently supportive of Israel. As for Ivory Towers, it seems not to cover the subject at all.
    I asked a few people – Norman Finkelstein was one – whether there were any such people. Nope. If there were even one, he would have been front page news.

    Then there was the late Hajo Meyer, on a speaking tour a few years ago. Title of his talk: “Never Again For Anyone.” No Toronto mainstream Jewish organization would give him a platform, and some called him an anti-Semite.

    And I remember Harvard, fifty years ago, predominantly white, male, and, shall we say, upper class. No need for white-supremacy organizing there – whites were supreme, had always been supreme, and presumably always would be supreme. The place is very different now.

    • yishai
      August 20, 2017, 12:58 am

      Thank you Elizabeth!
      This is all exactly to the point! Not a single pro-Israel victim of tenure denial or firing, but in fact 100s of millions of dollars in funding for programs and scholars working in this direction, and even more toward repression of legitimate critics of the rogue Israeli state. This field isn’t just a little skewed, its one of the most skewed, it reflects one of the best examples of what the very concept of skewing looks like.

  7. yishai
    August 20, 2017, 1:06 am

    Thanks Nada! This is timely, brilliant, and helpful. Sorry the haters got to it as usual with their trifling hateration and dissemblance before anyone weighed in to say thanks for the good news, the hard work, and the helpful analysis and historical connections.

    The issues of the past week have cleaved the generally inert liberal mind wide open and rendered their contradictions crudely visible and unsustainable. Liberal mind in the sense of shared 19th century liberal humanist ideals underwriting imaginary concepts like western civilization and the span of neo-liberal to neo-conservative ‘thought’.

    I am particularly enjoying watching zionists and fascists in general, both here and elsewhere, try to side with Spencer and liberal free speech while thinking they can maintain their dignity and self respect, or even their intellectual coherence.

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2017, 12:40 pm

      “I am particularly enjoying…here”

      Do check back. I have a feeling you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.

  8. LHunter
    August 20, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Jon66

    “Censorhsip (sic) is the death of democracy”

    No greater censors than Zionists or Fascists. How does your foot taste?

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2017, 5:55 pm

      And as usual, “Jon66” obfuscates the difference between speech, and the consequences of speech.

    • Jon66
      August 20, 2017, 8:42 pm

      LH,
      Can you find a time I have advocated for any speech to be suppressed? I support the ability of all to express themselves, whether or not I agree with the position. I think that is a core American value. We should not be silencing people who have odious ideas, even Nazis. We should be countering them as in Boston.

  9. NorthCascadian
    August 22, 2017, 12:50 pm

    Here in the Northwest, the shut down of open dialogue is moving very fast on college campuses. The first indication that it was getting bad, was when I witnessed the ISO (international socialist organization) attempt to shut down “Students for Trump” on the Portland State University campus before the election. They were already deploying tactics that Antifa later uses. Non students from outside the campus came to stop PSU students from expressing themselves. I was blown away,

    Then of course there is/was the bizarre situation at Evergreen College in Olympia that had students panicked that they might say the wrong thing and be ostracized and attacked by the “keepers of the truth” There is a nice Jewish angle to what happened in Olympia, here is the link to Benjamin Boyce who is really doing some excellent reporting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbAWjxUtVv0

    It is not just Richard Spencer who is being silenced by the deep state sponsored Antifa but anyone who disagrees with Antifa is also being labeled a nazi.

    • Mooser
      August 22, 2017, 1:01 pm

      What are you, some kind of socialist? Alt-right speech is not being silenced, it’s just losing market share. The invisible truncheon of the marketplace of ideas is sweeping them from the shelves.
      Speech hath its consequences, and fire safety is no joke.

      I saw all those Docker’s-clad young men with torches. I didn’t see a single one with a fire extinguisher.

    • Mooser
      August 22, 2017, 10:21 pm

      “Here in the Northwest, the shut down of open dialogue is moving very fast on college campuses”

      It’s terrible. Anybody can talk about “The Bell Jar” but nobody wants to discuss “The Bell Curve”.

  10. gamal
    August 22, 2017, 3:44 pm

    “I saw all those Docker’s-clad young men with torches. I didn’t see a single one with a fire extinguisher”

    thats class man,

    “the shut down of open dialogue is moving very fast on college campuses” MrNC

    so the purveyors of “Campuswatch”, “Professor watch” etc, the people who supported and conducted endless campaigns against open the discussion of ideas are now worried that speech is being shut down, the people who strangle speech at every turn with either ridicule or denunciation or drown it out with semisensate ramblings about race or culture or “civilisation” now want a hearing from whom? They have been attacking universities since the 60’s, they are no friends of intellectual endeavour of any kind, read their material, they have nothing.

    the right has ruled and done as it pleased for the last 30 years, this is their mess now they shove the blame elsewhere, time to own it, the right is always up in arms its obscures the fact they have no ideas at all, purely opportunistic ideologues

    the adherents of nonsense ideas like “cultural” Marxism, who have comprehensively lost all argument in the world of real intellectual endeavour, resort to slogans about being heard.

    “Jews will not replace us” is not politics and the real targets are not Jews or Muslims or Blacks but the political potential of the working class, if you concern yourself with “free speech” and civility they, the right, will rolled over you, ask Black people.

    they can not discuss their ideas with any one because they make no sense when engaged they either repeat meaningless mantras, simplistic formulae or moral outrage,

    shit i have been reading breitbart and UNZ etc, they have no ideas a well read and informed 14 year old could not easily demolish

    you should confront them where they organise,

    There is no political speech worth its name in the US, just a series of deluding spiels,

    the series of reversals is amazing in the old days the middle class youth were conservative orderly loyal, now we are told the West Virginians and poor whites are the right and the left is composed of alienated yuppies, the rights target is the ” white” working class because their political potential must neutralised as a means of neutralising the whole class politically.

    Maybe Norm Finkelstein will rediscover Mao, who knows.

    the organized right is a dire threat to the working class. we didnt let them walk on our streets, never mind organise, because they came supported by local powers, mainly local business men associated with football clubs and Bookies and parasitising the already highly organised football supporters (including the Hooligans), they were not able to sustain a political discussion so we sorted out through the koine of the streets held them off for some years, it was very violent.

    you couldn’t walk in our area with any 18 hole DM’s, shave head, cut off jeans, well till the Mets SPG crushed us then any fucker could go where they wanted, theres always pros and cons, but it was the time of Thatcher and we were done, beaten, I left the country, when I returned it was so fucked up I had to work in Islam, the whole world I grew up in had vanished replaced by yuppies, gentrifiers and Artisanal butchers,

    So when people came and said to us “you are as bad as the Skin Heads” we used to laugh

    “what ya mean, look outside thats not our blood on the street, we are way worse, we wrapped them up in few days,” National Front? and our guys were at least 70% white, sons and brothers of Union men. I am only 50% and try as i might just can’t score any higher.

    Free Speech all things being equal, ha the Free Speech is a ploy to conceal that things are very far from equal.

    As to repression, if your concern is it will be used against “me”, well yes and it will anyway, whatever you do, they make the discourse to pursue their goals as they please, thats the process that has to be disrupted with strategic confrontations and speech.

    But you do have to talk to them, we used to go down to the Jenny Lind(Pub) and discuss shit with them, not politics we sold them weed and speed, its what they like and old ska 7 inches, they loved Prince Buster, shit in general makes no sense whatsoever and is often pleasingly surreal. I went to school with a good few of them nice lads just a bit thick, as we all are round here.

    There isn’t a way to fight polite.

    • RoHa
      August 23, 2017, 1:43 am

      Memoirs of your street fighting years. Is that you in the photo, just to the left of Tariq Ali?

      Don’t give up, gamal. If you can squeeze over that 50%, you can claim all the goodies that white privilege entitles you to. You know the British working class is rolling in them.

  11. Stogumber
    August 28, 2017, 2:32 pm

    The idea was – as far as I know – that freedom for both sides is the lesser evil: Better agree to freedom for both sides than be the loser in a fight about who silences the other.
    Seems reasonable to me.
    Leo Strauss tried to win over the Jewish public this way: They shouldn’t support Bolshevist laws against anti-semitism because in the long run they might be at the wrong end of the stick. (Seemed plausible in the Fifties, and that’s why the ACLU is now outdated and in trouble. Civil rights don’t get along well with civil liberties.)
    Inevitably, the side who pleads for liberty is the weaker side – and the side who pleads against liberty is the side who expects to win the fight.

  12. Stogumber
    August 28, 2017, 2:46 pm

    But I wouldnt be so certain that the Palestinians will win their own fight by joining the antifa.

    From what I see in Germany, the antifa is deeply divided over the Zionist/Palestinian question, one doesn’t know which side will win – and public opinion in antifa circles (as anywhere) depends more and more on that kind of journalism which is paid for by foundations. The question may be in the end: How much money have the Palestinians to fund and how much the Zionists?

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