giovedì 23 febbraio 2012

Key SAP organizer Monica Stone
speaks at 'Aryan Nations' conference

Several days ago, Modesto Anarcho became aware that white power/nationalist groups were planning to conduct demonstrations across the United States against attacks by black South Africans against white farmers, who own the majority of the land that blacks work on, before and after Apartheid. The sponsoring group, 'The South Africa Project,' features a link to a video with David Duke, former Klansman and long-time activist in the white nationalist movement. The site also contains links to essays which rail against the supposed link between "Jews" and "Communist" groups in South Africa that have fought against the Apartheid state. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL):

A coterie of American white supremacists is working to organize “nationwide” protests for February 27, 2012, as part of an effort dubbed the South Africa Project (SAP). This “project” has as its stated goal stopping the alleged “genocide of Whites” in South Africa. Participants and organizers include representatives from all five of the major white supremacist movements in the United States (neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, “traditional” white supremacists, Christian Identity adherents, and racist prison gangs).

The protests got their start in 2011 thanks to Monica Stone, a long-time member of the Louisiana-based white supremacist Christian Defense League and immigrant from South Africa. In September 2011, she spoke of the alleged plight of white South Africans at Morris Gulett’s Aryan Nations World Congress event in Louisiana. In fact, SAP uses Gulett’s Louisiana mailing address, while several protests are being organized by members of Gulett's Aryan Nations. For example, Robert Radyn is organizing the Albany, New York, protest, and Ryan Mullins, the “Imperial Wizard” of the Gulett-associated Aryan Nation Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, is organizing the Nashville, Tennessee, event.

White supremacists from other groups are also involved with SAP events. California-based Mike Myers, SAP's “Chief Coordinator,” is organizing the rally at Sacramento. Myers is a racist skinhead who claims membership in the Golden State Skinheads
A martyr for white power activists and especially those involved in the SAP, is Eugene Ney Terre’Blanche, who was killed on his farm in 2010, by several workers during an unpaid wage dispute. As The Economist wrote:

...[I]n 1973 he founded a group called the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, better known later by its Afrikaner initials, AWB. He attracted as followers the kind of Boers who enjoyed donning absurd uniforms and playing soldiers. He adopted a flag that looked remarkably like a swastika, though he insisted that the design was of three interlinked 7s and represented a Christian riposte to 666, the Number of the Beast. His ideology, stripped to its essentials, was that blacks were not only inferior but also a mortal threat to the Afrikaner volk. Plenty of white South Africans agreed.
[As Apartheid began to crumble], with about 100 of his followers, he invaded Bophuthatswana, a nominally independent “homeland” created by the apartheid government as a dumping-ground for jobless blacks. They drove around in their bakkies (pick-up trucks), killing black pedestrians at random, and seemed genuinely surprised when black policemen shot back at them. After three khaki-shorted AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) thugs were killed, the rest fled in disarray. And that was that for the white counter-revolution. Some of Mr Terre’Blanche’s supporters set off bombs to disrupt the poll, killing around 20 people. But that was nowhere near enough to stop millions of blacks from turning out to vote.
Mr Terre’Blanche opposed every tiny concession. Give the black terrorists and communists an inch, he predicted, and they would destroy the country. To preserve white supremacy, he threatened a civil war. And for a while, the world worried that he might make good on his threat.
Helping to Organize the event in Sacramento is the 'Golden State Skinheads,' a group which has ties to other racist skinhead gangs such as the American Front, KKK groups, and others within the white power/nationalist movement. In 2005, the Golden State Skinheads along with the American Front and other racists held a protest in Placerville against gay rights which brought out over 75 white power activists. Taking a look at the racist website Stormfront, a message board for a variety of white power/nationalist tendencies and organizations ranging from the KKK to racist skinheads to racist militia types, it becomes clear that white power groups are bottomlining the organization of SAP events.

White power groups have a deep history in the Sacramento area. In 1999, when white power groups were holding music festivals and flyering campaigns, 3 synagogues in the Sacramento area were attacked by arson - white power flyers were left behind at the scene. Skinhead groups and gangs such as the American Front call the area home base and hold cultural and white power music festivals, some featuring the pro-American Front band and Sacramento locals, Stormtroop 16. One of the members (person on far-right [no pun intended!] of picture on left) of Stormtroop 16 can be seen in the following video when they appeared at a protest against immigrants in Modesto in 2006 in support of the group, 'Save Our State.' In the video they clearly identify themselves as a Neo-Nazi and they can be seen wearing a t-shirt with white power bands as well as having an American Front symbol tattooed.

Another group that calls Sacramento home is the National Alliance, which publishes and distributes The Turner Diaries, which in part inspired Timothy McVeigh to attack the Oklahoma Federal building in 1995. Upon visiting the National Alliance's website, one can see that the group unlike many of their skinhead compatriots, takes a much more conservative approach, publishing books and magazines, maintaining a radio program, as well as doing public outreach such as tabling at local gun shows. A recent post on their website shows how much the group wants to push their ideas in more face to face and public ways:

Our staff [at a local gun show]...talked with dozens of decent, racially conscious White people and it is expected this will glean new support and memberships from these visitors. People were pleasantly surprised that a pro-White organization would be so “out in the open in public”as one visitor put it. Our websites are not enough, we must demonstrate our reality among the public with members meeting new people offering the most necessary personal interaction to motivate recruitment.
The white power movement is in turmoil. Many of it's key leaders are in prison, (in the case of the National Alliance, for child pornography) and several have either died or been killed. Many groups have folded or retreated back into their ghettos, apprehensive to work with each other. In the Central Valley, we have seen what happens when groups like this are allowed to organize out in the public and grow larger, being able to have concerts and festivals, openly propagandize and recruit, and spread their ideas among the public. Where this ends is not only in the burning embers of synagogues and racist attacks, but also in stronger fascist movements which seeks to strengthen the already very racist and white supremacist nature of the existing state.

This is why so many skinhead and white power groups have gotten on the SAP bandwagon. By purposely ignoring the history of Apartheid, a system forced racial segregation and inequality that did not end until 1994 (after massive resistance, uprisings, riots, and international solidarity), and also the present impoverished position of blacks on their native land, white racists help to obscure any real dialog about the situation in South Africa. The argument that non-white people will rampage and attack whites without an authoritarian state controlling them is the same argument that Neo-Nazis attribute to the United States. Blacks and especially immigrants from Mexico and Central America, as they argue, need to be controlled by an Apartheid authoritarian state run by fascists, such as themselves.

But of course Apartheid, whether in South Africa or in America, will only benefit the capitalists as a means of dividing the working class population, giving benefits to whites which kill any potential for cross-racial resistance to class ineqality. It is the economic system of capitalism as well as the intense racial divisions that it has engendered as a means of maintaining itself that have given rise to these antagonisms and systems of violence. As some African anarchist comrades wrote on Apartheid:

...[T]he forms of social control of Apartheid laid the basis for capitalist development in South Africa. The pass laws, the migrant labor system, the lack of the most elementary political rights, the ban on Black trade unions, the housing of workers on barracks– these created a very cheap and vigorously controlled labor force to service the mines, farms and factories of South Africa. In many cases, such mechanism’s allowed workers to be paid wages below the level of subsistence. Racist ideology justified this oppression.

The hyper-exploitation of black workers has continued since Apartheid, and the ANC (African National Congress) has also made moves to further privatize the country in an effort to 'liberalize' the economy. Again, our African comrades:

Although the ANC campaigned under the slogan “A Better Life For All” in 1994, it has now firmly committed itself to a neo-liberal form of capitalism in the form of the “GEAR” (“Growth, Employment and Redistribution”) macro-economic strategy released in June 1996. GEAR calls for the privatization of State assets, the liberalization of international trade and capital flows, a flexible labor market, and a minimal role for the State in economic activity.
But it would be a mistake to think that the ANC has simply been forced to adopt such policies against its will. The ANC has long been committed to the capitalist economic system, and its leadership and officials have long been a central part of the growing Black bourgeoisie. As such, they identify with the class interests and privileges of White capitalists. They do not suffer from the exploitation of the working class but instead benefit from it.

The idea that fascism and extremely racialized authoritarian state capitalism offer poor and working people, whites included, anything - is beyond laughable, it's wrong. For the skinheads and white power activists trolling this site that do come from working class backgrounds or poverty, we ask you why you continue to fight in a movement that seeks to replace one ruling class with another one? How will a 'national socialist' America be anything but a more authoritarian and racialized version of what exists already? America was founded on white supremacy and genocide, and capitalists have always used the division of the working class along racial lines to their advantage. The fascists and Neo-Nazis that pick up that banner seek not to liberate poor and working class whites at all - but to further enslave them to an authoritarian, one-party police state which sees mass incarceration and the gas chamber as tools necessary for social control. As some comrades in Phoenix wrote:

The [Neo-Nazis] can never advance the working class because it reinforces (duh!) the system of white supremacy. The system of white supremacy is a cross-class alliance between rich whites and working class whites, the objective of which is the maintenance of the exploitative system of capitalism. White supremacy, by providing some meaningful, but in the grand scheme of things, petty privileges to whites, seeks to undermine class unity. These privileges are petty not because they aren't real and sometimes meaningful, but because those that accrue to the white working class are much closer to the ones that non-white people get than they are to the ones that adhere to rich whites. That is, Bill Gates gets to exercise way more benefits of whiteness than the lowliest Nazi scumbag.
In another article:

As for all the “pro-white working class” rhetoric that the [Nazis] pump out, they are clear enemies to all working people: black, white, brown, and everything else. According to our would be fuhers, they want to do away with all “Marxist” trade unions, (by that I suppose they mean the ones that exist now?), and force workers to belong to National Socialist ones, ie, unions run by the state. While the [Nazis] promote a beefed up welfare state (money for schools and health care – not for Jews!), they are not enemies of capitalism. Breathe easy big wigs and fat cats! In fact, despite all their attacks on “communists,” the [Nazis] are bigger fans of the “nationalization” of major corporations than any Obamaites and probably most trustifarian college Trotskyist grad students that you’ll ever met! That’s right, in the state capitalist future of the [American Reich], you’ll work for a state run corporation, belong to a state run union, and live under the “unconditional authority of [a] political central parliament over the entire nation and its organizations.” Feel like a wage slave now? You ain’t seen nothing yet!
But that’s not all! In order to make sure that the white people who don’t get herded off into camps for having a Mexicano boyfriend or owning a copy of a Howard Zinn book don’t get any big ideas, they’re also going to control everything you read, see, and say! As the National Social Movement [Neo-Nazis organization] wrote, they want their new government to “[Stop] the publishing of papers which are not conducive to the national welfare...We demand the legal prosecution of all those tendencies in art and literature which corrupt our national life, and the suppression of cultural events which violate this demand.” All of this of course means total political control, all run by the [Neo-Nazi] political elites, which equates to a massive political and military hierarchy that can only be protected and backed up by an extensive police state and massive violence. For all their talk of destroying the “evil empire” of “the jews,” the NSM would replace the very real power of the upper class with their own ruling class.

We cannot sit by and allow fascists, racists, and Neo-Nazis to organize, whether it means them flying swastika flags, holding demonstrations at the capitol, or putting up flyers. We all must take an active role in fighting systems of domination, whether that means fighting fascists in the street or capitalists and politicians. To paraphrase Hitler, "The only way our enemies could have stopped us was by smashing us in the streets."

For once, we agree.

Further resources:
Anti-Racist Action
LibCom's South Africa Library
History of Anarchist Movement in South Africa
Fighting and Defeating Racism by the Zabalaza, South African Anarchist Federation

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