Monday, September 5, 2011

NSM Holds Rally in West Allis Surrounded by Thousands of Counter-Protesters


On Saturday September 3rd the neo-nazi group known as the National Socialist Movement(NSM) held a rally at the courthouse of West Allis WI to protest what they described as "violent black-on-white hate crimes" at the county fair a month earlier. Their rally was met with thousands of counter-protesters who voiced that they did not want the NSM's racial hatred in their community. Police from multiple jurisdictions came out in full support to protect the NSM's rally, making sure that "freedom of speech" reigned supreme by separating the Nazis and counter-protesters with a system of barricades and rows of armed riot cops. The rally ended without much incident with the state, the fascists, and the counter-protesters declaring a victory. While the the majority of West Allis came out to denounce the Nazis hate speech, the fight to drive out fascism in Wisconsin is far from over.

The rally was organized by Wisconsin NSM unit leaders Harriet Paletti and Paul Paletti (20225 W Coffee Road, New Berlin 53146, 414-554-2483) who had also recently protested Milwaukee Pridefest and the roller derby team "Rushin’ Rollettes" earlier this year. Speaking to the press, they denied being a "hate" group and talked about their "non-violent" intentions but NSM members have a long history of racial violence: Paul Paletti himself has done prison time for hate crimes where he attacked a Mexican teenager outside a bar while shouting racial slurs. Paul's husband Harriet is also running for local political office in 2012 for her district's alderman position as well as the Crime Prevention Committee. She also operates a business called "Garfield Accounting Services" but it is hard to imagine anybody who would trust these neo-nazi scum their their personal finances or electoral positions.

Chicago's Art Jones sieg heils and
tells the media "I wish there were
50 Hitlers, one for every state!"
Not surprisingly they were not successful in drawing many people to their membership however, they did manage to mobilize over a dozen white supremacists who were not members of the NSM. The NSM and close comrades included John Alexander(a Chicago Blood & Honour member who attended the failed 2010 White Pride World Wide march), Arthur Jones (who organized the failed 2011 Hitler Birthday celebration and was protested at his home in Lyons IL), Eli James(Chicago Christian Identity pastor), Mike Delaney (from Milwaukee, WI and who runs prothink.org), NSM "Commander" Jeff Schoeppe and "Chief Of Staff" Jason Heicke (both who also got whomped at the 2011 NSM Nationals in NJ), Herr Junker (former SS during Nazi Germany who now runs a Hitler memorial in Elkhorn, WI), amongst others. Although the NSM had only 25 people what the counter demonstrators failed to realize (exemplary by their na├»ve claims of “victory”)is that there were far more local and somewhat organized support for the fascists then there should have been. Although the NSM themselves are a joke, and they may not have built their organization numerically, their opportunist attempts to gain and mobilize local supporters by capitalizing off the incidents at the state fair a month earlier seemed to be somewhat successful. It appeared as if there was a small, but noteworthy, appeal towards white supremacy amongst some residents and youth of west Allis.

The liberal belief that we should "peacefully voice our opposition" while respecting the fascists' "right to free speech" creates a platform that allows nazis to spread their ideology and makes them think they are safe to come back. The State considered the West Allis action a victory in that they protected the nazis' "right to free speech" while restricting the counter-protesters to certain penned-in "freedom of speech zones", even arresting a few troublemakers who allegedly stepped out of line. The Fascists considered the action a success in that they were able to bring local as well as out-of-town racists to West Allis without much confrontation (although there were allegedly attacks by militants against fascists on two separate incidents), and that they had an opportunity to make a physical presence, as well as news headlines, (even getting several TV interviews) in an attempt to spread their racial hatred while fanning the flames of an already intense situation.

The counter-protest failed in that it allowed fascists to have the floor at all: there were several dozen other racists who were not part of the NSM openly walking amongst the protesters to and from the neighborhood with little to no opposition. Despite the fact that several of these bigots were seen with knives and were said to be armed with guns, a crowd of mostly black protesters did move to confront the racists in our midst only to be stopped by self-appointed "peace patrols". This act of betrayal on the part of protest organizers reveals the poverty of the liberal non-violent doctrine: it is not up to anyone to dictate and control the way in which people challenge oppressive forces. Fascism is a grass roots movement that must be defeated at the roots with militant confrontation. Playing the pacifist role and stifling peoples natural desire to confront neo-nazis is not only authoritarian but actually helps the fascists build their movement. The counter demonstration also failed in the fact that not only was there no analysis of the supposedly racially motivated mob attacks and their relationship to race, privelege and power(if they were even racially motivated to begin with) but there was no analysis whatsoever. "Lets all just get along" seemed to be the only other thing they had to say aside from “no violence". If the police weren't there to protect the nazis, how would this protest turned out differently? Would the liberals themselves act as police and prevent the community from getting near the fascists? Would the protesters be able to defend themselves if the nazis truly were armed and prepared for another attack like Greensboro, as some nazis on stormfront.org suggested? Sure, the fascists were outnumbered, but how many people in the counter demonstration were ready and willing to hold their ground physically? And would the nazis be so quick to arrogantly show their faces in the Milwaukee area ever again if they got a severe beatdown?

Fortunately amongst the crowd of boring and tactically inept protestors there were a handful of militant antifascists present, and word on the street says there were a few militant confrontations against the NSM and their supporters in two separate incidents. From One Peoples Project:
According to an account being circulated on the internet NSM members were confronted by antifa at a meeting point for those attending the rally, and in its aftermath. "The Milwaukee NSM was attacked in their car by antifascists as they(the NSM) attempted to pick up supporters for their rally, leaving their supporters deserted and unable to join up with the rally, the brief report read. "Following the rally a local nazi bonehead received blows to the face, including one with a glass bottle letting him know that you can't just freely walk about your neighborhood to and from the local Nazi demo and to send a similar message to the crew he was rolling with."
Although we assume that the counter-demonstrators will now go home and do nothing but pat themselves on the back and ignore the present threat of fascism there are many steps to be taken from here by antifascists. Yes we should work to push the counter-protests toward a more direct action based approach, but we should not limit our work to simply showing up at the expected time/places where we will fall into the role expected of us by the state. We must also build our intelligence files on local white supremacists, expose them(to their community family, jobs etc) and confront them while promoting a militant anti-fascist culture. We believe that a growing fascism should be met with hostility and repression as early as possible in an effort to prevent it from becoming something we may not be able to handle. Props go out to the militants who came out. As for the liberals and peace police... either change your game or stay the fuck out of our way.

8 comments:

  1. "Fascism" exists when only one side of an issue is allowed to be voiced. Who is the "fascist" when the object is to keep the other side from being fairly heard?

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  2. Flawed analysis, overly focused on building up self-styled 'militant' progressive action to advance petty divisions among the left. I was at the rally, your characterization of rhetoric as overly 'let's all get along' is only partial--some of the speeches certainly took that tone, but not all of them. Furthermore given the degree of police presence embedded among the counter-protesters, the notion of violent action against skinheads carrying forward meaningfully seems rather flawed.

    I certainly agree with your statement insofar as the need for more movement building and long-term structural challenge (Milwaukee as the most segregated city, the white complacent institutions being a far more forceful racist pressure than the fascist fringe now in operation in the area) your self-congratulatory appeal towards the "real" militants and notion of violence as a practical addition to that situation isn't very well grounded.

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  3. I was at the counter-protest. I agree that the presence of Nazi "supporters" outside the NSM's pen and among the counter-protesters (actually, more than were actually in the NSM Protest itself) was disconcerting. The thought occurred to me that these guys (among them members of the Outlaws motorcycle gang) could have done serious damage to our people if the cops hadn't been there. It's good that "the liberals" organized the anti-Nazi rally but in the end we can't depend on the state to defend us.

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  4. There needs to be an outlet for people who want to protest the fascists & aren't interested in getting knocked upside the head or arrested. So why the disparagement of the organizers of this counter-rally in West Allis? Surely the sort of "direct action" against the nazis you advocate could be a complement to their efforts rather than counter-posed to them? Let them do their "Peaceful, legal" thing and you do yours. It's just necessary to make a clear demarcation between the two activities so they're not confused in the public's eye.

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  5. Not everyone has to be ready to fight(There's more to militant antifascism then purely brawling btw), we are fine with them holding signs and all that however, acting as police by controlling the crowd and even denouncing militant confrontation is unacceptable and it is for that reason that we are calling out the organizers. As for liberal antifascists in general, we (miltant antifascists) oppose racism and see the state as racist, therefore we do not wish to collaborate with the police and instead wish to empower ourselves in the fight against fascism.

    " It's just necessary to make a clear demarcation between the two activities so they're not confused in the public's eye."

    Oh you mean so we can be denounced as the "bad apples of the bunch"? When militant antifascists put their life and safety on the line to shut down the fascists they should be supported not written off. We should be pushing the general public in a more confrontational direction anyway..because that is the approach to fascism that is most successful and genuine.

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  6. It's unfortunate that the NSM gets this much attention. I mean, seriously, Hitler would have had those freaks shot in the head. They're nothing but a bunch of drug addicted, rapist, wife beating scum.

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  7. Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively the pacifist is pro-Nazi. --George Orwell "No, Not One," Adelphi (October 1941)

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  8. Thoughts from someone who escaped -

    @Anonymous Sept 8 4:38pm - Make the NSM pay a large amount of money for insurance &/or bring them into court. What most of you don't understand is that the NSM is first and foremost a business that Jeff Schoep lives off of. The rallies are nothing more than recruiting sessions that bring new members who pay dues, are really active until they get burned out, and buy crap off of the records site. The larger the counter protest & news coverage, the "higher" on endorphins they get & the more successful they think they are. If the rally is small and ignored, they consider it to be a failure. The best way to stop them from rallying is to not go!

    The vast majority of their members will be gone within a year. Those who stay are either crazy or being blackmailed/threatened (or Feds). Sites like this - without your knowledge or intent - reinforce the blackmail/threats. They say, stay with us and we'll protect you bc the ARA will kill you. The NSM is a horrid place for women - it is possible to escape but you have to have the knowledge and funding to get away from them. The SS guys rape them into silence and fear and Jeff Schoep will not answer our accusations. Why won't you face us, Jeff? Why did you permit Mark Martin, Jon Snyder, and Mike Schloer to do that to us? It's common knowledge that Mark is scum when it comes to women, especially those of us who weren't good little quiet girls & didn't keep our mouths shut. Jon and Mike are were named as abusers in a court of law but you don't care, Jeff. They get promoted for such behavior. Mike knew what Mark did and got angry that I dared to say anything about it!

    I'm surprised that Art Jones is working with the NSM now... he refused to talk to the "leaders" in Chicago several years ago. Maybe he ran out of prozac that day, who knows?

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