Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Berkeley "Riots"

Not to put too much emphasis on it, but there was a sequence of running street battles in Berkeley (the town, not the campus) last Saturday that the white rightist/fascist cadres are touting as the opening of the "Civil War." The combatants apparently will be called "Patriots" (aka Brownshirts, Fascists, White Supremacists, etc) vs "Antifa" (aka Commies, Communists, Pussies, Little Girls, Snowflakes, etc.)

I watched an hour, hour and a half of video of the confrontation and it was surprisingly civil most of the time. Except for the rather striking blondness and red hats of many of the fascist participants (although there was a smattering of black and brown fascists among the militant blond people), it was relatively difficult to tell the combatants apart, as many on both sides seemed to ape black bloc attire and ultimately in the street melees, it looked like black bloc was mixing it up with black bloc.

How special.

There were fights and such, objects were thrown (including a pot of pinto beans) and people got hurt. Word was that all of the arrests were Antifa, which if true is interesting. [Not true, if reports from fascists are correct. One can never be sure...] The police were said to be hanging back, letting whatever would happen happen, until some word came from on high to break it up. If Antifa was targeted for arrest exclusively, then we are looking into the abyss. There will be no Civil War (quote unquote) but the police state will, of its own accord, ensure the safety, comfort and convenience of the fascists against all enemies, foreign and domestic. There will be no ability to fight back openly. The fascists will have won before the contest is truly engaged.

From the first this was the danger of Trumpism and its neo-Fascism. When the roundups of immigrants began under Trump there was a good deal of garment rending, some resistance, but mostly there was fear and acquiescence. What can you do when the Gestapo breaks down your door? Especially when one or more of your family, schoolmates, friends or what have you is in a difficult legal status/condition? Apart from hiding, how are you going to fight them?

The general thinking is you can't. The law protects the enforcers, pretty much no matter what they do, and there is nothing the average citizen or non-citizen can do about it.

The immigrant sweeps have been a demonstration of what ICE (the most Trump - loyal enforcement arm of the federal government) can do -- if they choose to be gentle. As much as we've heard about rough treatment and unwarranted roundups, this is nothing compared to what they could be doing. Mayhem is putting it mildly.

There are rumors that camps to hold tens of thousands of potential deportees are being prepared as we speak, the harbingers of what is to come.

The immigrant sweeps are rather popular with the volk as well.

Mr. Attorney General Sessions, for his part, has made it a point to unfetter, unleash the police to do as they will in crime suppression. Which to him seems to mean limitless mayhem and bloodshed in targeted communities. Ie: Black, brown and Other.

The Stasi and the Gestapo will be allowed to rampage as they want, it would appear, without let or hindrance.

As long as the targets are Black, brown, and Other, Wypipo are not going to raise too much of a stink, even in the coastal enclaves.

It's already happening.

So what do we do now? Hunker down? Disappear? Pledge allegiance -- even if it is false? Do battle in the streets?

A lot of people will not be able to escape. While the initial effort is focused on immigrants, targets are already on the backs of political enemies of all stripes, be they Antifa, liberals, progressives or really anyone who expresses and/or acts on opposition to the regime.

I live out in the country. So far, we seem to be doing OK in "opposition" to the regime, in part because out here few people really care, and those that do, while proudly flying the Stars and Bars, are seen as loons to be avoided in any case. Whether or not...

Fealty to the King is low priority.

But in cities, the situation is far more complicated. While there is strong support for the undocumented -- at least officially expressed -- actions speak louder, and it's not at all clear that officials are acting to prevent roundups and deportations or to defend those caught up in the dragnets and sweeps. Pleasing words have little effect on the Stasi and Gestapo in any case.

Because the cities in New Mexico depend so heavily on federal spending (which has already been severely cut back due to long-standing budget constraints in Washington) we're liable to see less and less civic "resistance" as economic screws are tightened. It's not so much that the poor people will lose -- they've already long since lost -- it is that the striving middle-managerial class will suffer, and we can't have that, good god no.

There are plenty of "patriots" to act as enforcers, even if the majority of New Mexicans don't buy into the program.

One of the things about fascists is that it doesn't take a lot of them to rule over the Rabble; ten percent or less.

So while the combatants in Berkeley were fairly evenly matched (a few hundred on each "side") and the "patriots" declared victory, their "victory" (such as it was) could have come with only a handful of coordinated Brownshirts -- assuming they had obtained police complicity. And even if they had not, depending on what they were prepared to do, a relatively few fascists could have easily overwhelmed the massed Antifa -- had they been massed. They weren't.

So while I don't see a civil war in the sense of battling troops and a physically divided nation, I do see a war of subversion, attrition and threat being waged by officialdom in concert with fascist and white rightist elements to subdue and overwhelm political opposition to a regime that is more and more integrated into the system it was supposedly meant to smash.

What a whirled.


  1. As a small sidebar of the (learned? or simply scared?) helplessness of would-be protesters, I noticed that none of the passengers on that United flight where the poor doctor was beaten up by the cops and dragged off the plane after refusing to go along with the "give up your seat lottery" rose up to defend him, nor did any get off the plane in protest of his treatment. No-one offered to take his place, either. That incident, relatively inconsequential though it may be in and of itself, offers a glimpse into how few people will stand in solidarity with the abused.

    Americans talk tough on the innerwebs, but are scared to death of the po-po.

    - Teri

    1. Yes, thanks for that observation. It was striking, wasn't it? No one (physically) intervened and no one volunteered when push came to shove.

      And that's the state we're in.

      They are. They're scared to death, not without reason, but I'll say this, the oppressors are weak, and the right kind of resistance can defeat them.