Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mark Solotroff, of Fortieth Day, Tries to Escape His Racist Past

Mark Solotroff, a musician in the electronic/noise genre and operator of Bloodlust! records, was
AWB Record label
recently called out in Chicago for his "art project" AWB recordings and the pseudonym under which he released what was described as “white power racist noise”. As stated before, we are anti-fascist and not art critics. Crypto fascist "artists" have been attempting to make inroads in various music scenes for quite some time and their impact has only been increasing as of late. Despite these recordings taking place in the late 1980's/early 90's, they continue to have impact based on the new found popularity of their provocations. White supremacist america has answered these provocations boldly. Fascism? YES!
 
      By aiming to be provacative, Mark Solotroff succeeded in provoking a response by fascists and anti-fascists alike. One of admiration and respect and the latter of disgust and anger. When conceiving art projects on horrid subjects we would hope the aim is to stare into the abyss, then recoil in disgust. That is not the case with AWB/Terre Blanche. The extremist imagery and content of these recordings caught the eye of Antifa and fascists alike. Whether it's nazi skinheads Sieg Heiling on album covers, song titles like "Sickle Cell", an obvious reference to a disease that largely affects people of African origin, or "They Kill Their Own, And Blame Us", a reference to the Atlanta Child Murders, a series of murders between 1979-81 in which the victims were Black, and attributed to a man who was never tried and convicted in many of the cases. Its also been asserted by many that the actual perpetrators of the murders were members of the local KKK but it was covered up. It becomes immediately apparent Mark Solotroff’s work in this time period took a very specific course, to target Black america specifically.
"New Slavery" Depicts death of Harold Washington and slave imagery


Despite being of limited copies the music and myth of AWB/Terre Blanche spread. In 1989, In response to a notification he’d received from Electronic Cottage, a popular publication of the genre, that there were protestors upset with their advertisement of AWB/Terre Blanche, Mark escalated by deliberately taking out a full page ad in the next issue, boldly claiming that “AWB rcording artists are racists...” to provoke anti-fascists even further. Also in 1989, Mark gave an interview with a magazine called Chemical Castration, in which Terre Blanche is described as being unique in the electronic music genre because of the raw expression of racial hatred pervading their music. In this interview Mark attempts to separate himself from groups like the KKK by saying where they attempt to victimize others, he is the one who has been victimized. He repeatedly claims that white people are an oppressed class and that this music is their way of taking a stand against this. All of this he did under his pseudonym, before it became widely known in the early 90s who had been behind AWB/Terre Blanche. An article was published in 1991 by Ben Gilbert, an editor for Chemical Castration magazine, detailing a series of correspondences and events that led folks like himself and PBK to discover that Solotroff was behind the project.

 
 In 1991, musicians in the industry from the U.S. to Europe, like Philip B Klingler and Frans de Waard, concerned about the normalization of these hateful themes in their network, worked with other artists on an anti racist compilation called "Anti-White Bastards" in response to Mark Solotroff's label. Artists from all over contributed to this effort likening people like Solotroff to known white supremacists in the industry like Death in June or Boyd Rice.
 
 Following is an excerpt from an interview with Philip B Klingler with Personal Best: Issue #6 on 1/2016 Norway:

      "I certainly don't object to extreme content as a narrative within noise music, so I'm not trying to say that controversial subject matter shouldn't be addressed, it really should be. But anything done stupidly, immorally, or only for shock value, has a lot less value when the shock has worn off, and the shock aspect wears off pretty damned fast. If your defense is that you were only trying to shock people and make them think, well in my opinion you should've provided a better point of view of what your angle was, otherwise it's too obtuse. There are better, more intelligent ways to do that, ways that don't leave it open for interpretation as to what the artist's point of view is in relation to the content. On the other hand, if you align your work closely to these backwards ideologies, then in the long run you've ruined your legacy, especially if you don't believe in what you are saying, but are just trying to make a controversial statement, to shock the audience. It's fakery. But there isalways going to be a subculture in the fan base that enjoys this extremist content. So.. for those of us who have been honestly trying to use the medium as a means of evolving the language of music, those groups, those labels, made it harder for us over the years to be taken seriously in a genre where racist or licentious ideas were the norm."

The following is a quote from one of our correspondences with popular noise artist, PBK,  active since the mid-80's, who has released over a hundred albums and collaborated with such well known experimentalists as Jarboe (of Swans), Jim O'Rourke, Wolf Eyes and many others. He has been very outspoken about racist/fascist/nazi and hateful imagery in music:


       “In noise music the artist is creating an abstract expression which, if listened to on it's own, without a title guiding it's narrative, it is probable that every person would come up with a different set of correlations. Once the artist titles the piece they set the metaphor in a direction for the listener. When they create a work that has a racist title and then say 'well, i was simply being a provocateur', that's too easy, they are escaping responsibility. I have made a number of protest works in noise: 'Domineer', 'Asesino', 'Warfare State', 'Politics Of Aggression' and others. None of these works requires a defense or explanation from me as to my point of view yet they are all provocative. Truth in art is essential, hoaxes are a con man's game. It's a misconception that art needs to be elusive, ambiguous, not easily interpreted. I think the work can be challenging, disturbing, it can explore many sociocultural aspects, it can be mind-blowing, inspirational, or give a pure feeling of dread. So many things can be encapsulated in abstract art ----- and still stay on the right side of history.”

When confronted by a group of antifa recently, Mark attempted to use the limited nature of the
recordings as an excuse that many hadn't heard or would even know of them. Our goal in confronting Mark was to hold him accountable for this past and encourage him to denounce the reality of these provocations by denouncing AWB/terre blanche and Fascism as a legitimate political ideology. From our conversation at the Hideout in Chicago, Mark agreed to put out a statement doing just that. He eventually did release a very wordy statement full of excuses and deflections, seeming to completely miss the point.

   In reading the expected statement from Mark regarding the racist roots in his music career, its become amply clear that he does not and will not take ownership of his misguided and hateful views at the time. He continues to dismiss his work as a joke or silly art project. He continues to allude to his own Jewish heritage and the people of Latinx descent in his life, as well as his apparently queer identifying friends, in an effort to insulate him from the white supremacist ideologies he glorified through his “art”. Not once in his statement does he address the community that he continuously attacked and incited violence against, the Black community. The very record label itself is an homage to a neo-nazi separatist group in apartheid South Africa.


               Particularly offensive is his assertion that as an artist he reserves the right to explore the topics that pique his interest. Mark, you didn’t explore them, you glorified and capitalized on the violence, hatred and oppression of the Black community. For that, the community reserves the right to retaliate against the oppressive forces and imagery that you elevated and contributed to. This is not suppression of your artistic expression or free speech, it is literally self defense. Mark Solotroff was given the opportunity here to atone for his past and ask the communities he openly attacked for forgiveness because that is what restorative justice looks like. However, he has proven that he is just another crypto-fascist hiding behind the guise of art and free speech.

               Antifa does not use the state to prevent anyone’s free speech. We reject the concept of constitutional free speech, as the constitution was never meant to protect human rights. It is a human right to exist in a society free of fear that people will attack you for your physical or social differences. That being said, the constitutional right to free speech supposedly restricts the state from censoring ideas, but that same constitutional right as well as basic human rights do not stop the public from opposing hateful ideas in defense of life. The fact that people dislike what bigots have to say and want to make that known is not prohibited by the concept of free speech. If bigots actively go out of their way to tell people that 90% of the world’s population should be enslaved or that the best thing they can do is kill someone because of their skin color, religion, ethnic background, immigration status, sexual orientation, disability, etc., they can’t use “free speech” to silence opposition. Anti-racists and antifascists have an obligation to deny a platform to bigots so that they can’t spread their message and recruit. Concert venues, meeting halls, radio programs, and the like make choices about who to host on a regular basis. These choices have a very real impact on bigoted ideas taking root in one’s community. Responding to bigoted speech is important. We believe in being proactive when it comes to fascist violence, which means confronting fascist views in music scenes before they have a chance to put their ideas into action, and taking fascist threats seriously.



Mark Solotroff
Most current addresses:
3528 W Fulton Blvd. Chicago, IL 60624
165 N Canal St. APT 1131 Chicago, IL 60606


Solotroff has an upcoming show at Cafe Mustache in Chicago on March 18th with other shows following at Subterranean on April 2nd and The Empty Bottle on May 8th, both also in Chicago. Feel free to stop by and give your opinions on his shady past.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Rockford IL "Daily Stormer" Meetup Disrupted by Antifas


The meeting between the two chumps in this picture was not just any cordial chit chat over a beer at some bar.  These two are not old buddies, or co workers kicking back after a long day of work.  Nope, these two adorable strangers were brought together by a site we all know well, “The Daily Stormer”.  It started on January 27, last Friday afternoon when it was brought to the attention of Antifas within the Midwest region that a group of people were openly planning to meetup in Rockford, IL that night. This planning process unfolded in an open thread on “The Daily Stormer” among several people, but those who seemed most interested and likely to partake went under these usernames:

(Click to see Screenshots)

Little known to these unsuspecting Nazis, one of those people involved in the discussion tipped the Antifas off. The mastermind behind the meet, seemed to be the one calling himself “brotheryellow” (pictured here) , apparently quite the runner (as he was about to prove later on that night). He claimed to be a mobile homesteader, traveling the country and looking for like-minded people to meet up with.  He was even kind enough to include in his profile on The Daily Stormer a real picture of himself, and the fact that he drives a van. He even let everyone know that he would be wearing a yellow hat when he got there! Aside from the one in that forum who let our comrades know about the potential meetup, “brotheryellow” proved to be just as useful.

After going back and forth amongst themselves, seeming unable to agree on a time and place, and even rejecting a Starbuck’s as the location because it was too “Jewish”, they were, finally satisfied with a little dive bar called the Oasis at 901 State Street in Rockford. Upon the arrival of some of our comrades, prior to the agreed time, it seemed obvious that one of the Nazis from the forum was already there waiting. After some time passed and the presence of Antifas in the bar grew, the lone fascist grew visibly uncomfortable and took off, just as our two unsuspecting pals above, along with a woman in their company, entered the bar.

They had a few beers and pushed their way through what looked like some awkward conversation, then finally asked for the check. They seemed to think it prudent to use the emergency exit pictured behind them and clearly weren’t enjoying the vibe that this bar was putting off.

As the trio headed toward the parking lot they were greeted by some comrades, obviously shocked and confused, and politely asked not to come back to the bar….. Just kidding they were all actually given an entire can of that special hot sauce (see: bear mace) point blank to the face. The last anyone saw of “brotheryellow” he was seen sprinting down the street the other direction, true to his claim in The Daily Stormer profile he has. Obviously no hero to his fellow Nazis. The last that was seen of the remaining two, they were left in the parking lot, stripping off their clothes in the frigid weather, clawing at their faces, awaiting the WAHmbulance and piggies that they would call.

As satisfying as it can be to punch a nazi or, in this case, empty a can of bear mace in their face, it's also important to notice something particularly alarming about this report. The sheer stupidity in which they openly planned this meeting and were unable to detect the presence of Antifas in the room is great for the action, but its indicative of the lack experience these fascists have. Their profiles all showed recent membership with The Daily Stormer site, and through that platform they intended to set up a meeting, to share already toxic and hateful perspectives of their worlds, to further radicalize their fascist ideology. The same trends we are noticing on our side with the amount of people rising up, maybe taking action for the first time in their lives against this oncoming wave of fascism, we see the equal and opposite reaction on the right. It’s at this crucial stage that we have to strike; to smash fascism at its very inception can quite literally save lives. It would have to be assumed that going forward from here, these folks will be somewhat hesitant about having the audacity to put their oppressive ideology on full display in the community among the very people they would oppress.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Matthew Heimbach and Traditionalist Workers Party Sneak Rally in Daley Plaza

On Sunday January 8th, Matt Heimbach and his petty hate brigade, better known as the
Traditionalist Workers Party, gathered on the steps of what they apparently thought was city hall but was actually Daley Plaza, to little fanfare, to spread their message of racism and ignorance to the citizens of Chicago. Despite claims of not being afraid of either Antifas or the “Black gangs” of Chicago, this action was planned in secret and executed with neither supporters nor foes being aware of their presence. Heimbach, in his usual long winded manner, had much to say, most of it the played out drivel he has become known for, and most of which he has proven time and again incapable of and unwilling to execute. In other words, he was talking awfully big for someone who chose a Sunday afternoon to have a secret rally outside of a nearly empty building, in a non-residential area of downtown that sits mostly empty on Sunday afternoons.

Their proclaimed reason for this sneak attack in Chicago, a city they are proclaiming to be “the seat of leftism in the Midwest” (if only) is despicable and, naturally, exploitative. Lets be honest Heimbach, you don’t give a shit about what happened to the man who was kidnapped and beaten here. No more than you cared about the high school football players in Idaho who assaulted and raped a young mentally challenged Black kid in the locker room. Nor the countless incidents of violence perpetrated against marginalized people, largely emboldened by your hateful lies. Nor do you give a shit about the 400 years or so of oppression that Black people have faced here. That’s the difference between what happened to that young white kid and what people of color face on a daily basis. There is no white genocide nor any systematic racism against white people. What those four kids did was just a symptom of the systemic oppression that Black people have faced for centuries, and of the hateful rhetoric that scum like you spew.

Let us make ourselves clear, we do NOT condone what those four did to that young man. What happened was tragic and sad. However we realize that this is not a part of some larger conspiracy to oppress white people. Those who hold power cannot be oppressed by the marginalized and oppressed. Oppression stems from power. The State acted swiftly in this case because those responsible are Black. They will serve significantly more time in prison, compared to white people found guilty of similar acts, because they are Black. They will likely be shown no mercy, no leniency and for the most part people wont care. THAT is what we do not condone and are working towards dismantling. THAT is what oppression looks like.


Despite the pathetic nature of this display, it does highlight a new found boldness on the part of these cowardly hate mongers which cannot be taken lightly. In these times even sad attempts at publicity like this sneak attack cannot be allowed to stand. It is imperative that if you see a display like this, that you contact your local antifa chapter and members of your community so that we can uphold our tradition of ensuring the safety of our community as a fascist free zone.

Heimbach, we see you. We will not allow you to exploit tragic incidents within our communities, so that you can mold the narrative to suit your own despicable ends. Your cowardice has been noticed. Your fragile male ego and rancid world view have no place in our city and will not be tolerated. You have been weighed and measured and found wanting.  Chicago eagerly awaits your return, should you have the spine to make your presence better known. This is your warning, one we are not afraid to hide from public view, as you did.  Your next visit will be met with force.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Chicago Antifascists Shut Down Neo Folk Show Featuring King Dude, Blood and Sun, and Et Nihil


Chicago antifascists celebrating victory outside the venue
On the weekend of December 16 and 17, 2017, Neofolk band King Dude was scheduled to play several shows throughout the Midwest along their recent tour with known Neofascist bands, Blood and Sun(lead by Luke Roswell Tromiczak), as well as Et Nihil. In a coordinated effort across several states, they were met with resistance in Minneapolis, Milwaukee and, in anticipation of direct confrontation in Chicago, they were finally compelled to cancel their remaining shows and crawl back to their homes. Enclosed is a statement from some of the Antifa groups in Chicago who were stood up by the cowardly fascists outside of The Beat Kitchen in Chicago, the venue they were set to play that Saturday night.



Let's make it clear! 

We are not art critics, we are anti-fascists. Neo-Folk is not a strictly fascist music scene. Paganism is NOT fascist. Assatru is NOT fascist. Heathenism is NOT fascist. That being said, Wotanism IS a fascist bastardization of those ideas.

Pictured here is Luke(right) from Blood and Sun. Luke has a tattoo emblazoned on his chest supporting the insanity of documented racist and fascist David Lane. Luke has been photographed with his arm around documented Neo-fascist and white supremacist militia member Robert Taylor.

Unfortunately, as with other music scenes, fascists and racists make attempts to co-opt and infiltrate in order to shape those communities to their liking.

By not confronting and rejecting known fascists in your scene you are defacto giving them your solidarity. By acknowledging and allowing space for Blood and Sun as artists you are acknowledging that fascists and Wotanism have value in your scene and community. Luke and other bands and artists are crypto fascists who attempt to be somewhat under the radar with their actual fascist ideologies under the guise of art and free expression. Their success is measured in involving and indoctrinated many young and impressionable white music goers seeking belonging and connection to their ancestry. There is nothing wrong with getting to know your roots and seeking an alternative to a hallow culture in the United States that is based in racism and white supremacy and transcended to include empty consumerism and what....sitcoms?



The rise of fascist inspired werewolf workout clubs, the writings of misogynist and racist Jack Donovon or other alt-right shills, the election of Donald Trump are all serious signs that a neo-fascist movement in the United States in on the rise. These people and groups will not provide you with any real answers or ideas, but only hatred and xenophobia. You weren't a fascist before, but they have started making you into one and you didn't even realize. This is the true danger of allowing acts like these to perform and espouse their neo-fascist ideologies. Their music set isn't simply an expression of art, but a platform to inspire organized fascist groupings and recruit into those already existing.

These violent delights have violent ends. Blood and Sun are from this point forward banned from
Chicago. They will not be allowed to perform unchecked. Fascists attempting to take part in the Neo-Folk scene in Chicago are hereby put on notice that your presence will not be tolerated any longer. Southside Anti-Racist Action, Torch Antifa Network,(other groups)intend to take the fight to you in order to defend our communities. We fight to win!

Following is what local Antifas believe to be Lukes most current information:


Luke Roswell Tromiczak
281 St. James Place
Brooklyn, NY
(612)237-2523



Thursday, December 15, 2016

Neo Nazi Keith Kowal Exposed and Vehicle Redecorated

In recent weeks, local Antifa groups were put on alert that a man named Keith Kowal(pictured here) thought it was safe to drive a white Jeep Wrangler (pictured here) adorned with an anti-Antifa bumper sticker, a bumper sticker posing the question, “got pride?”( in obvious reference to white pride), as well as a giant skrewdriver emblem in the rear window of the ragtop throughout the Chicagoland area. Some Antifa folks in the area of the western suburbs, where the vehicle was traced back to, decided it best to relieve this piece of shit of that notion.

From an email:
The new Antifa arrows across each side are a great new addition to the vehicles otherwise bland paintjob. He probably won’t be needing that skrewdriver emblem in the back of the soft top any more so it’s probably good that it was taken off his hands.  Our comrades also couldn’t leave without a firm reminder to the local Nazi that “we are watching” and that if you ask for exposure and attention, then a giant “Nazis out” across the side panel would probably be another welcome addition.

It’s important to extend these small reminders to your local fascists that their ideology is not welcome and they are not safe in our communities, whether they’re driving around town or in their own homes. Speaking of homes, here’s some info about the owner of this vehicle.

Keith Kowal
http://imgur.com/a/kpANQ
813 Chicago Ave
Downers Grove, IL 60515
7/20/1965
Age: 51
(630) 541-6013
Plates: V51 3238

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Report back from 3rd Annual TORCH Antifa Conference

South Side ARA is very grateful to have attended the 3rd annual TORCH antifa conference. The first was held by our chapter in Chicago in 2014 and we are pleased to announce that in 2017, we will be hosting the 4th annual TORCH antifascist conference.

Taken from Rocky Mountain Antifa:

Rocky Mountain Antifa is pleased to announce the success of the 3rd annual TORCH Antifa Network Conference! TORCH is a network of various antifascist groups working autonomously. We come together to share resources, information, and strategy. Our purpose is to oppose and fight all formations of fascism. We confront neo-nazis, anti-migrant, anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, anti-Muslim, the KKK, Trump supporters, the Alt-right, and more. Such groups and individuals have never been a minor issue. Although it was only a year ago when many fascists were hiding, they still contributed and promoted violence against women, Muslims, people of color, LGBTQs, and social justice activists. Groups like Blood and Honour, Ku Klux Klan, Keystone State Skinheads, Golden State Skinheads, and the American Freedom Party continue to pop on our radar. In addition, new objects have appeared such as the Traditionalist Workers Party, Soldiers of Odin, Identity Evropa, and far-right militias such as Oath Keepers and Three Percent Patriots. With the state and mainstream media jumping at the chance to amplify their bigotry, the rising movement of fascism is not a joke. It's not a bad dream, bad movie, or section of a political science book. This is real.

On Friday Nov. 11th, TORCH chapters gathered in Denver to discuss the network and upcoming goals/strategies. In attendance were Rocky Mountain Antifa, Philly Antifa, WNC Antifa, Los Angeles People Against Racist Terror (PART)/ARA-LA, and South Side Chicago ARA.

Then on Saturday Nov. 12th, a much larger crowd gathered for the semi-public portion of the conference. Attendance comprised of groups and individuals from:

Denver
Philadelphia
Los Angeles
Asheville
Richmond
Dallas/Ft. Worth
Atlanta
Minneapolis
Portland
Chicago
Bay Area

The larger event kicked off with a speaking panel on Four Tasks for Confronting Contemporary Fascism:
    •    confronting machismo
    •    defense ideas and strategy
    •    counter recruitment to undermine white supremacy
    •    identifying our allies and connecting struggles

After a 20 minute break we regrouped for a workshop on antifascist prisoner organizing. Finally, we ended with a facilitated discussion on Alt-right formations, strategies and tactics for moving forward, collective resources and implementation, and a go around of the efforts in our different regions. The conference was a huge success, and with no disruptions from the enemy.


We want to take a moment to answer the question of "What happened to TORCH?" We assure everyone that we are still here and still fighting fascism in the streets and on the Internet. The TORCH network is not going anywhere. If you noticed the website was down, it was because of technical issues with the server. These problems are being resolved as we speak and we will soon be re-launching our twitter account. The network has expanded over the weekend and we are expecting much greater numbers by this time next year. The tactics of TORCH have been effective for us and many others. We will continue to neutralize the efforts of fascist organizing and recruitment. Under a Trump regime we cannot fall short of our goals. For more information on our analysis of fascism and our points of unity, as well as contact info for our chapters, go toTorchantifa.org. We have a lot of work to do. We intend to win!


The Trump Regime:

For years antifascists warned the world of nationalist formations and their influence in politics and mainstream media. Since the inception of the Trump campaign, we warned everyone of the seriousness of this man, the consequences of his presidency, as well as the uselessness of voting in electoral politics. We demanded ACTION to stop fascists from taking power. When we took actions ourselves, we were smeared by many on the liberal left. Perhaps the most notable example was the June 26th action in Sacramento to shut down the neo-nazi rally organized by Matt Heimbach. The aftermath was a sea of liberals defending the neo-nazis and shaming Antifa. Then on Tuesday November 8th, 2016, a fascist manipulated his way into office, changing things forever. Unsurprisingly, Antifa hasn't seen as much of the character assassination we saw just a short time ago. The shift is massive.

In light of the emergency protests erupting across the country, in enormous numbers, it seems many have finally acknowledged the grim reality we warned about. Social media is blowing up with encouragement to join your local Antifa groups. What does this mean for Antifa? It means our role has increased drastically. We are more than local crews combating local fascists. We are essentially tasked with building resistance to a fascist regime. For those of us who saw this coming as well as those who are just waking up, we need to recognize our significance at this moment. All social movement organizing is now antifascist organizing. We are at a pivotal point in the outcome of this overwhelming shit show. Mistakes made now are more detrimental than ever. Every step needs to note the masses of people looking at us for an idea of what to do.

We call on antifascists everywhere to be bold moving forward. If you haven't already, join your local Antifa group or start a new one. If starting a new one, pick your most trusted people and develop a secure strategy for recruiting more. Consider that Trump plans to immediately deport up to 3 million people. This means that 3 million friends, family, allies, accomplices, comrades, and community members need backup. Develop community-based coalitions and create local defense networks to resist raids and deportation. Secure your communications with Tor, Signal, Tails,  GNU Privacy Guard (GPG), Full Disk Encryption, and read the limitations of each. Seek firearms and self defense training and share skills with everyone around you. Stock up on medical supplies, emergency contraceptives, and hormones. Stay together, support one another, and keep fighting.

There has been a call for a mass convergence in Washington D.C. to disrupt the inauguration of Trump. The TORCH Network endorses this action with several other organizations. We encourage all who reject domination and oppression to be there.

Solidarity,

Rocky Mountain Antifa and the TORCH Antifa Network

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

South Side ARA Annual Zine #7 (2015-2016)



Readable version here

For a printable version, email us at southsidechicagoara@hushmail.com

Welcome to the seventh edition of the South Side Chicago ARA zine. Every year we put together a collection of our updates on local antifascist work and intelligence, as well as a few relevant articles and updates from other sources.

Enjoy

-South side ARA