Charlottesville spells the end of the Alt-Right, a US activist speaks

Fascist protests in Virginia at the weekend left one counter-demonstrator dead and twenty others injured. US public attitudes to the Alt-Right are changed forever.

Fascist protests in the US city of Charlottesville left one person dead and twenty injured this weekend after a car crashed into the counter demonstration. An anti-fascist who was on the streets speaks.

Despite inflicting huge amounts of violence on the counter-demonstration, the Alt-Right lost in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s important to explain why.

The Alt-Right lost because their entire protest was a visual nightmare, broadcast across the country, alerting the US public how extreme they actually are.

Their protest ranged from people with Adolf Hitler shirts and actual Nazi flags walking around the town like they were at Disney World, people carrying flaming torches while screaming “Hail Trump!”, and Nazis giving out Seig Heils like they were Valentines Day cards.

Their torch-lit march on Friday night sums this up. The 500-strong march literally attacked a group of about 20 students that included kids as young as 17.

While I’m sure that the torch march will be used in Nazi recruiting videos for years to come as some glorious stunt, in reality images of over 500 Nazis surrounding 20 kids who refused to back down while they had racial slurs screamed at them and were beaten, doesn’t help their cause.

I want people to really appreciate how much an utter and complete visual disaster this is. The Alt-Right is dead.

Not in the sense that they will simply give up tomorrow, but in that the rebranding project to make the Alt-Right something more respectable, something beyond paleoconservatism of old and the neo-Nazism of people like George Rockwell is over.

They lost because their ’cause’ to rally around didn’t really attract anyone outside of their scene. Support and numbers at Trump and “Free Speech” rallies are down, and even most Confederate related events turn out low numbers.

They lost because we had more people, drawn from the local community, and mobilised a broad base of support. From what I’ve heard, the people leading things were Charlottesville locals.

People that knew the town and knew the area. These people also came out to confront the Nazis and also were celebrating with counter-demonstrators when that car barrelled down the alley.

They lost because they horrifically murdered someone and injured up to 20 more. The whole of the US has been galvanised by this tragedy.

Sympathy for antifascists and those willing to physically oppose the Alt-Right is now probably the highest it has ever been.

The Alt-Right lost because the driver of the grey Charger is a member of Vanguard America, a group which provides security detail for Richard Spencer. The 20 year old’s Facebook has already been found and it’s full of memes of Trump, Pepe the Frog, and Nazi bullshit.

The Alt-Right won’t like being dragged into the limelight. And this is something that is going to be blasted onto every television screen, every magazine cover, and every news station. It’s now going to be a lot harder for police and politicians to protect the Alt-Right and give them cover.

Charlottesville was horrific. An amazing comrade was killed, many more were hurt. People will carry scars for years to come. But this isn’t new.

They shot us in Seattle and Minneapolis. They stabbed us in Anaheim and Sacramento. Bloodied us in Berkeley and Portland. We’re still here and we’re still fighting.

Remember that the fastest growing demographic that is fleeing the Trump base is white men without college degrees. The whole country is turning against Trump. Alt-Right rallies are still being planned across the US.

Let’s use this momentum. We have an opportunity to have not only a conversation with millions of people but also engage them in action, organisation, and mobilisation on a mass scale. Let’s do it.

This is an extract from an article by an anonymous contributor on itsgoingdown.org. The full post can be read here.

One Response to “Charlottesville spells the end of the Alt-Right, a US activist speaks”

  1. Alasdair Macdonald

    I wish that it were so, but, there is a cyclic nature to these things.

    I hope, as the author has written, that it is a defeat which sends this baleful philosophy back into the fringes. Just over 70 years ago, my father and millions of others returned home believing they had slain this terrible dragon which had burned Europe. But, they had merely banished it to dark places where it festered until the conditions for it to feed again returned.

    And these conditions are created by the financial ‘elite’. When they feel their powers are under threat by people realising their collective strength and using it to redistribute these powers more widely amongst us, which let us share more equitably the fruits of the earth and of our labours and brain.

    They impose ‘austerity’ – or whatever name they give it – to start reversing the redistribution. They favour some groups to the detriment of others; they divide-and-rule. YOUR welfare is under threat because of these Irish, these blacks, these Muslims, these Polacks, these Highlanders, these …OTHERS. They use their media to direct your attention away from them on to people whom they have impoverished more than they are impoverishing you. And, they are having to impoverish you because of the insatiable demand for social welfare these UNDESERVING poor are demanding. They are taking your jobs, they are getting priority in housing, they are a danger to your women, they are responsible for the crime, the disease. All lies!

    And this wealthy elite brings the dragons back from the shadows to which they had been exiled, to amplify these lies, to attack these ‘immigrants’ and ‘scroungers’, but, most of all to frighten us, because these thugs are not constrained by the kind of social laws we honour.

    They were let loose in George Square in Glasgow when the people of Scotland dared to try to become independent. Just as they had been let loose in Tahrir Square in Cairo, or Tianmin Square in Beijing, in Santiago in Chile – anywhere that this ‘elite’ feels threatened.

    But, often the thugs do not win. The elite ease back, make concessions and give us all a better share. But, if we let them, they will try again as they have done through the centuries.

    The question for us is how to disperse powers more widely and irreversibly. Taking the longer view, even with the retrenchments there has been a gain in the goods gained by the great mass of us. In any age, in some places, many of us will see losses over a lifetime, but, taken as a whole, there are gains.

    So, I hope the people of the United States are beginning to push back this cycle of racism, sexism, religious intolerance, neoliberal economics and neoconservative social policies, which gained ground after the Johnson presidency. It was the ‘military-industrial complex’s’ Vietnam War which was used to maim the Great Society, just as it is ‘The War on Terror’ that is being used to divert our attention. Maybe in Charlottesville the good people have won a victory.

    I hope so.

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