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, 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 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.