North Dakota Town Braces for Neo-Nazi Takeover

Ed Pilkington

The tiny town of Leith in North Dakota is bracing itself for a potentially turbulent weekend. Its 24-strong population is set to be overrun by opposing busloads of neo-Nazis attempting to create a white supremacist community there and their anti-racist detractors.

Jeff Schoep, commander of the American National Socialist Movement (NSM), is preparing to travel from Detroit to Leith to hold a town-hall meeting and press conference on Sunday afternoon. On the NSM website, he describes the trip as a “gesture of goodwill”, but goes on to say ominously that the aim is to “plant the seeds of National Socialism in North Dakota”.

Anti-racist activists are also expected to descend on Leith from other parts of North Dakota and neighbouring Minnesota. “We cannot accept this racist hatred they are bringing here – Leith is in crisis and is crying out for help,” one of the organisers, Jeremy Kelly, told the Bismarck Tribune.

For the residents of Leith, the prospect of a weekend filled with white supremacist grandstanding is highly unwelcome. The town mayor, Ryan Schock, told the Guardian “people are very concerned. They do not want people to come to this town who have hate in them.”

Leith’s conundrum began when a newcomer called Paul Craig Cobb began buying up deserted plots of land two years ago, accumulating 12 plots in total. Last month it was revealed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors right-wing extremism, that Cobb, 61, is in fact a white supremacist wanted in Canada for promoting hatred in a blog.

It was also disclosed that he had moved to Leith in the hope of quietly constructing a neo-Nazi community along with allies in the National Socialist Movement and White Aryan Resistance (WAR). He is in the process of transferring some of the properties to Schoep, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard called Tom Metzger, and to April Gaede, founder of the neo-Nazi group National Vanguard.

Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center said Cobb’s attempt to form an extremist community was in line with previous efforts to set up such collectives in Idaho and Montana. “Cobb has probably gone further than anyone before him in pursuing this white supremacist dream,” she said.

The publicity surrounding Cobb’s plans in Leith is likely to put a stop to his acquisition of any further land in the area, as local property owners are now wary of dealing with him. But there is little that can be done, Beirich said, to force him to give up the plots he already owns.

Leith residents are trying a variety of different moves to encourage him to leave town and have created a defence fund to pay for legal fees. One potential tactic is to have his house condemned under local amenity laws – Cobb’s property is not linked up to water or sewer services.

A more extreme move that is being discussed would be to abandon Leith’s status as a town before neo-Nazi supporters get close to outnumbering the other residents and thus controlling the town hall.

In a statement, Schoep accused “far left extremists” of trying to drive Cobb from his home. “Craig Cobb is not alone,” he said, “and will not be driven out, or forced to leave. Legal paperwork is being drafted to insure the civil rights of Mr Cobb, and other new residents of Leith will not be violated.”

Drop Charges Against Greek Anti-Fascists!

Spartacist League

The Trotskyist Group of Greece (TGG), sympathizing section of the International Communist League (ICL-FI), demands that all charges against Savvas Michael Matsas, Secretary General of the Workers Revolutionary Party (EEK), and Konstantinos Moutzouris, former rector of the National Technical University of Athens, be dropped. Michael is being targeted because he is a leftist and because he is Jewish, and is falsely accused of “defamation” against Golden Dawn because the May 2009 issue of the party’s journal New Perspective characterized them as a Nazi organization that incites racist attacks against immigrants. He is also charged with “disturbance of the civil peace” and “incitement of violent assaults and conflict.” Konstantinos Moutzouris is accused of allowing the independent news portal Indymedia to use university servers.

Following several anti-fascist demonstrations in early 2009 in defense of immigrants, the fascist Golden Dawn filed a lawsuit against numerous parties and individuals, such as the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the left coalition of ANTARSYA, SYRIZA, as well as immigrant organizations. In total, they listed 80 people. After three years the police conducted interrogations and Konstantinos Moutzouris and Savvas Michael were singled out for prosecution. Their trial is scheduled for 3 September 2013.

Savvas Michael and Konstantinos Moutzouris had done nothing criminal. This prosecution by the state is nothing other than an attempt to intimidate anti-fascists into silence and passivity. The actions of these two men were in defence of the working class, the left, immigrants and minorities. The trade unions, minority organizations and the left – all intended targets of the fascists – must rally behind those accused and demand all charges be dropped immediately!

This case has also fueled a climate in which a vile online anti-Semitic campaign has been whipped up against Savvas Michael with calls to “hit the Jewish vermin” and describing him as “an instrument of the World Jewish Conspiracy to foment civil war among Greeks to impose a Judeo-Bolshevik regime in Greece” (“Resolution of Solidarity” at http://www.change.org/petitions). The savage attacks by the Greek capitalists and by the imperialist EU against Greek working people over the past 5 years have led to many protests and struggles by the working class and the left. At the same time attacks on the left are increasing while nationalism, anti-immigrant racism and hostility to anything not considered “pure Greek” are on the rise. It is in this context that Savvas Michael and Konstantinos Moutzouris are facing charges.

It is in the interest of the working class and all the oppressed to defend Savvas Michael and Konstantinos Moutzouris against capitalist repression and chauvinist poison.

We demand that the charges against Savvas Michael and Konstantinos Moutzouris be dropped now! 

Chicago Protesters Say ‘No’ to Golden Dawn

Workers World Party activists at Jan. 19 anti-fascist protest. Sign, left, reads, “O thanatos sto fasismo!” (death to fascism!), with picture of the Meligala well. Meligala is a Greek town that was liberated in 1944 by ELAS, the communist guerrilla army

Workers World Party activists at Jan. 19 anti-fascist protest. Sign, left, reads, “O thanatos sto fasismo!” (death to fascism!), with picture of the Meligala well. Meligala is a Greek town that was liberated in 1944 by ELAS, the communist guerrilla army

Erich Struch

About 100 concerned anti-fascists showed up on Jan. 19, a very cold winter day, to demonstrate at the Greek consulate in Streeterville against the rumored opening of a Golden Dawn office here. That fascist group had already tried to open an office in Queens, N.Y., which is home to a large Greek community and the county with the most immigrant communities in the U.S.

Golden Dawn is a neo-Nazi party from Greece that has a violent history of attacks on immigrants, homeless people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer communities. Golden Dawn members reportedly worked with Greek cops to attack leftist anti-austerity demonstrations and even physically attacked a woman representing the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) on a television talk show.

Chicago, a city that is nearly one-third African American and one-third Latino/a, has no room for violent, Hitler-loving, immigrant-hating racists. Many Hellenic-Americans who showed up to oppose Golden Dawn fascism told stories about how their relatives fought the Nazis and their Greek collaborators, often paying the ultimate price for their opposition to fascism.

The demonstration was part of an International Day of Solidarity Against Fascism and Racism called by progressive and revolutionary forces in Greece. Many different organizations and individuals in Chicago answered this important call, including members of the Gay Liberation Network, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, the Service Employees union, Workers World Party, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the American Party of Labor, Occupy Chicago, International Workers of the World and the International Socialist Organization.

The Chicago/Greece Antifascist Working Group, one of the organizers of the demonstration, issued this statement:

“Chicago is known as a city of immigrants, and today the people of our city and our nation confront the same threats that the people of Greece confront — a rising tide of state-sponsored repression, extreme austerity measures designed to serve the rich and impoverish the rest of us, and a growing wave of right-wing extremism. As in Greece, we face a police infrastructure and government policy that serves its corporate masters with attacks on people of color, immigrants and any who challenge the power of the elites.

“In Chicago, we also confront the aspirations of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party to expand its operations into our city. We have a simple response to the elites and the Golden Dawn fascists who serve their interests: No pasaran! [You shall not pass!].”

Progressives, revolutionaries and anti-fascists in Chicago will continue their vigilance against the Golden Dawn fascists.

Greek Students Speak Out Against “Golden Dawn” Nazis

A 2011 demonstration of pro-communist Greek students.

A 2011 demonstration of pro-communist Greek students.

Source

265 Greek school students recently carried out their own political intervention regarding the developments. In this letter of theirs they condemn the racism and attacks of “Golden Dawn” against immigrants in Greece. The letter of school students from Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Leverkusen, Bochum, Essen and Gutersloh, which was published a few days ago in “Rizospastis”, the contents were the following:

 

“We are Greek school students in Germany. Most of us were born here. Our families were forced to immigrate to Germany in previous decades due to the difficulties and also now because of the crisis in Greece. With this letter of ours, we want to express our rage and our condemnation of the attacks against immigrants, workers and our fellow students in Greece by the Nazis of “Golden Dawn”.

As the children of immigrants in Germany, we know from experience what racist violence means, what Nazism means. We and our families have faced the activity of Nazi organizations in Germany like “Golden Dawn” on many occasions, organizations which attack foreign workers living and working in Germany. Racist violence does not distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants, it has only one goal; to divide the peoples, the workers, the youth so that they don’t see what is really responsible for their problems.

We want you to know that every time the Nazi “Golden Dawn” in Greece chases immigrants and strikes against school students who are struggling, it gives an excuse for similar fascist organizations in Germany to attack us and our parents in a similar or an even worse manner.

We see our parents every day sweat in the factories and big businesses of Germany to support us, they struggle in a restaurant at night or a small business. We as school students on many occasions work to help our parents. We know that our fellow school student of a different colour, religion or country, is not responsible for the daily torments of our family.

The fascist “Golden Dawn” and its sister Nazi organizations in Germany have one goal with their lies and thuggish attacks: to intimidate us and our parents so that we do not react with justified rage and indignation , which we feel ever day, so that the policies of capital and its governments remain untouchable, policies which make the workers and youth of Greece and Germany destitute.

We condemn and isolate the activity of the Hitlerite “Golden Dawn” and its fellow thinkers in Germany. We strengthen the struggle in Greece and Germany. This is our answer.”

 

This letter comes at a time when an organized plan is unfolding in Greece, so that a force of this system, the “Golden Dawn” party, with a Nazi ideology and murderous activity, can be presented as being an anti-systemic force.

So “Golden Dawn” is carrying out social policy by handing out food. But only to Greeks and not to immigrants. Golden Dawn organizes voluntary blood donations, but only gives blood to Greeks. Golden Dawn “sells protection” for free to people who are endangered by crime, but only protects them from the criminality of immigrants. Golden Dawn together with its MPs attacks immigrants, and then in a military formation together with the official authorities they parade all together in the litany with the icon. Golden Dawn shares out free food, stealing from the immigrant’s shop. Golden Dawn holds discussions with businessmen so that they hire Greek and not immigrant unemployed workers, or demands that they dismiss immigrant workers and hire Greeks with very low wages. In this way Golden Dawn operates as an “employment agency.”

This entire scenario is suitably promoted and reproduced by the bourgeois mass media, in order to allegedly show “its repulsive face” and chiefly to allegedly fight against its racist activity. But actually what they are consciously achieving is to present Golden Dawn as a mechanism which replaces functions of the bourgeois state to the benefit particularly of the destitute sections of the working class and people. And indeed as a force that does not even hesitate to use violence to solve such problems. But not against the capitalist system, not against the big businessmen, who create and reproduce these problems. They support them, because they have problems in their profitability due to the crisis. It is for this reason that they urge Greek workers to work for starvation wages instead of struggling, and they mediate for them in order to allegedly find them work.

Golden Dawn is striving to demonstrate that it is an “anti-system” force. Against what system? “The rotten establishment”, “the corrupt politicians”, the “false patriots”. It says: “NO to the memorandum of submission”, “NO to the corrupt politicians”, “NO to the false patriots”, “NO TO THE FOREIGN OCCUPATION of the Troika”,. This is everything that was expressed by the so-called “movement of the squares”, about the “treacherous politicians” who are “selling Greece out”. This “movement” of the “indignant citizens”, which was embraced and supported as a “safety valve” by the bourgeois mass media, and also by the forces of the “renewed left”, in reality “ploughed” the political terrain for Golden Dawn to sow the phraseology of indignation, which is however “empty”, because it does not take a position against the exploitation of the people by the monopolies.

This reaction of the Greek school students from Germany to the Neo-Nazis is not the first. There have already been very many examples which demonstrate that the workers can expose the “Golden Dawn”, their dirty role as the lackeys of the big employers, to deal with them, to isolate them. A volume of people’s mobilizations has already accumulated against the presence, activity and poison of the fascists.

These are reactions which are far removed from the propaganda of the system’s forces e.g. of the governmental social-democratic party PASOK, the governmental “left” Democratic Left and the oppositional “left” SYRIZA, which together with various “NGOs” organized a demonstration regarding the need for an “anti-fascist front”. A “front” which will wash away its “sins” and the “sins” of various others, who have contributed to the strengthening of neo-fascism. An attempt of the bourgeois parties, the state mechanism of the bourgeois regarding the “need” to protect the “democracy” of the monopolies and the capitalists, “against the extremes” (equating fascism with communism), against “violence wherever it comes from”, equating the demonstration and strike of the worker with the attacks and thuggish behaviour of the Nazis and neo-fascists.

The neo-fascist party cannot be dealt with by any “anti-fascist front” together with those who are responsible for its creation and who are now shedding crocodile tears. The labour movement must crush it!

At the beginning of November school-student members of KNE, who were carrying out political work outside a high school in Thessalonica calling for participation in the strike and PAME’s demonstration which was taking place on the same day, were attacked by fascist elements. Striking workers from the factory AGNO (dairy industry), who were participating in the picketing of the strike, rushed to assist the young communists. They disarmed the fascists and forced them to flee. Now the instances when labour unions, workers, unemployed, youth, school-students, oppose in practice the thuggish activities of Golden Dawn are multiplying. The class-oriented trade unions are waging the struggle to isolate the fascists, to practically impede all their efforts to divide, muzzle and chain the working class to the benefit of big capital.

Golden Dawn must be and is already being faced politically by the labour and people’s movement itself, by its structures and organizations and not outside of it.

Italy Honors Fascist War Criminal

Also see: Germany: The Fourth Reich and Its Nazis

Source

A political row has erupted in Italy after a memorial was opened to fascist commander Field Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, a convicted war criminal.
Graziani was honoured with a mausoleum and memorial park, built at taxpayers’ expense, in a village south of Rome.

He was notorious as Benito Mussolini’s military commander in colonial wars in Ethiopia and Libya where he carried out massacres and used chemical weapons.

Italy’s main leftist party has protested against the commemoration.

“Is it possible to allow, accept or simply tolerate that, in 2012, we dedicate a park and a museum to the fascist general and minister Rodolfo Graziani?” asked Esterino Montino, head of the Democratic Party in the Lazio region.

He pointed to the “crimes against humanity committed by Graziani in Ethiopia in the 1930s”, La Repubblica newspaper reports.

Graziani was sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment for war crimes in 1948 but was released from jail after serving only two years, and died in 1955.

‘Butcher of Fezzan’

The BBC’s David Willey, in Rome, says that the cult of fascist heroes remains alive in certain parts of Italy despite the outlawing of the fascist party in the country’s postwar constitution.

He adds that it is curious, however, that there has been no formal protest that a crypto-fascist mayor of a small town near the capital can, in 2012, publicly honour a man who brought death to thousands of Africans and dishonour to his own country.

The mayor of the village of Affile attended the opening ceremony on Saturday, together with a representative from the Vatican.

Although almost unknown to modern generations of Italians, the Fascist military officer was known as the Butcher of Fezzan for the executions of Libyans he ordered while military governor of Cyrenaica in North Africa, our correspondent says.

He used poison gas and chemical weapons against Ethiopian tribesmen during Italy’s colonial war in what was then called Abyssinia.

Towards the end of the war, Graziani was appointed defence minister by Mussolini in the short-lived Fascist Republic of Salo.

He commanded Italian troops alongside the Germans at the Battle of Garfagnana in December 1944, one of the last military victories of the Axis forces.

According to La Repubblica, the mausoleum in Affile cost 127,000 euros (£100,000; $157,000).

About 100 people attended its inauguration, the paper adds.

Mayor Ercole Viri was quoted as saying the memorial was of national importance and dismissing criticism as “idle chatter”.

Photos of the opening ceremony were posted in a gallery on the village’s website, which lists Graziani as one of the village’s “famous sons”. Engraved on the mausoleum are the words “Fatherland” and “Honour”.

There is another side to Italy’s often schizophrenic attitude to its recent history, our correspondent adds.

Another ceremony was held the same weekend marking the anniversary of a tragic massacre of 560 Italian men women and children by German SS troops as a reprisal in a small town near Lucca, in Tuscany.

Martin Schulz, the German Social Democrat and president of the European Parliament, was present in Sant’Anna di Stazzema on Sunday.

He said: “I am a German and the language I speak is the same of those who committed those crimes. I shall not forget that.”

Writing on Twitter, he added: “Europe is our answer to the crimes of the last century – it is also our best chance for the future.”

Sikh Shooter Was a Neo-Nazi and Did PSYOPS for US Army

Editor’s Note: To work in psychological operations, or in any capacity for the largest imperialist army in the history of humankind, requires a complete lack of empathy — it requires the ability to slaughter men, women, and children who have done nothing wrong. A soldier has to swallow the official lies about why he or she is being sent to war — to defeat “godless” communism, to defeat terrorism, to defend all that is good from all that is bad. Doing this job well necessitates splitting — seeing conflicts in terms of “good guys” versus “bad guys.” Racism is a valuable tool in fomenting this mindset. Any realization that a soldier is putting their life on the line not for ideals but for soulless corporate interests can lead to cognitive dissonance, depression, and suicide.

The U.S. Army preys on those who are psychologically vulnerable. It lures people who are desperate for a better future to do imperialism’s dirty work with the promise of an education or a career.

The only difference between the atrocity this individual is responsible for and the state-sanctioned murders of civilians by drone attack or false flag massacres of children is that this does not serve the interests of Empire.

What is urgently necessary is to replace the violence, inequality, and injustice of the capitalist world with an egalitarian world order.

— Nina Westbury

New York Magazine

The man who allegedly killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin yesterday before being shot dead by police has been named by Fox News and CNN as 40-year-old former soldier Wade Michael Page. The “heavily tattooed” Army veteran was potentially a “white supremacist” or “skinhead,” ABC News reports, although the FBI has not determined a motive in what they’re investigating as a possible incident of “domestic terrorism.” (see updates below)

Page, a bald white man, reportedly stormed the place of worship on Sunday morning wearing a white T-shirt and black pants, revealing a 9/11 tattoo on his arm, which “implies to me that there’s some level of hate crime there,” said a temple member. (Sikhs have been mistaken for Muslims and targeted with hate crimes before.) It was Page’s tattoos, along with “certain biographical details,” that convinced the FBI to consider the domestic terrorism designation, which implies a political agenda, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It is being investigated,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Special Agent Thomas Ahern. “And what his tattoos signified is being investigated. They are all pieces of a possible puzzle to learn what was his motive in carrying out such a horrific act.”

Page was once stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where CBS News says he last served in psychological operations. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he rented an apartment one month ago in Cudahy, Wisconsin, not far from Oak Creek, where the shooting occurred. “I had him checked out and he definitely checked out,” said the landlord.

Local authorities have scheduled a 10 a.m. press conference Monday morning, at which point more may be revealed about the shooter.

Update: The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Page fronted a North Carolina–based white power band called End Apathy. The group’s MySpace page features photos that are allegedly of Page, along with a biography that claims, “The music is a sad commentary on our sick society and the problems that prevent true progress.”

Update 2: In an interview from April 2010, Page tells his record company Label 56 about his personal history with music and the founding of End Apathy:

A lot of what I realized at the time was that if we could figure out how to end peoples apathetic ways it would be the start towards moving forward. Of course after that it requires discipline, strict discipline to stay the course in our sick society. So, in a sense it was view of psychology and sociology. But I didn’t want to just point the finger at what other people should do, but also I was willing to point out some of my faults on how I was holding myself back. […]

The topics vary from sociological issues, religion, and how the value of human life has been degraded by being submissive to tyranny and hypocrisy that we are subjugated to. […]

I am originally from Colorado and had always been independent, but back in 2000 I set out to get involved and wanted to basically start over. So, I sold everything I owned except for my motorcycle and what I could fit into a backpack and went on cross country trip visiting friends and attending festivals and shows. I went to the Hammerfest 2000 in Georgia, over to North Carolina, up to Ohio, down to West Virginia, and out to California and that’s when I joined Youngland. […]

The Far Right And Self-Hatred: Jewish Nazis And Gay Fascists

Palash R. Ghoush

The recent revelation that a leading far-right, anti-Semitic Hungarian politician is actually of Jewish origin again brings to light the fact that many neo-Nazis and other fascists are deeply ensnared in a crippling, lifelong struggle with dealing with who and what they are.

Csanad Szegedi, a leader of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party and also a member of the European Parliament, admitted on Monday that he is Jewish.

It was even revealed that his grandmother, Magoldna Klein, was a Jewish Holocaust survivor.

While Jobbik denied that it has an anti-Semitic ideology, both the party and Szegedi have frequently vilified Jews – as well as Roma (Gypsies) — in their public utterances over the years.

In a bizarre interview with the press, Szegedi tried to downplay the revelation by declaring: “I think that what counts is not to know who is a pure race Hungarian, the important thing is the way one behaves as a Hungarian. To be Hungarian for me has always been a responsibility [towards my country], that has nothing to do with racial supremacy.”

Jews have had a long, illustrious (and ultimately tragic) history in Hungary — today, there are about 100,000 Jews left in the country, mostly concentrated in Budapest, down from an estimated 850,000 in 1941, just prior to World War II.

Hungarian Jews have frequently been attacked by nationalists and skinheads, among others. It is inconceivable that Szegedi did not know of his Jewish ancestry all of his life.

However, given the anti-Semitic environment in Hungary, Szegedi may have realized that it was best to hide his Jewish origins and camouflage himself by becoming a prominent member of a far-right political organization like Jobbik. In the coming weeks and months, we may learn why he concealed his ancestry for so long – out of self-hatred or political expediency?

It will also be interesting to see how his Jobbik comrades deal with this news.

Still, such phenomena are not that unusual in the milieu of Europe’s extreme right wing.

Szegedi’s saga reminded me of the bizarre story of an Englishman named Martin Webster, who was one of the most high-profile members of the National Front, the anti-immigration, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay neo Nazi group in Britain that reached the zenith of its power in the late 1970s.

Webster is gay — a reality that ultimately led to his expulsion from the NF by around 1983. To make matters even more interesting, in 1999, he told British media that he had engaged in a long-term homosexual relationship with Nick Griffin, the man who had by then taken over leadership of the NF’s ideological successor, the British National Party.

Griffin has denied the allegations, spewing the BNP’s official party line that homosexuality is vile (although he admitted that Webster had propositioned him for sex when he was a teenager).

He also said he was in “shock” over Webster’s behavior, given that the NF advocated the persecution of gays.

However, there has long existed a bizarre link between homosexuality and far-right political parties which purportedly espoused an anti-gay stance. Ernst Rohm, the founder of the Nazi Party’s Sturmabteilung (SA) Brownshirt paramilitary wing, was himself a promiscuous and predatory homosexual, while rumors about Adolf Hitler’s true sexual orientation have been debated by scholars and psychiatrists for decades.

Such behavior is also to be found in American political circles, where a number of conservative Republican lawmakers who pushed for anti-gay legislation were revealed to be secretly gay themselves. Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (who was arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s room at the airport in Minneapolis in 2007) is perhaps the most well known.

As for the Hungarian Szegedi, his case harkens back to the tragic story of Daniel Burros, a member of the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan who committed suicide in 1965 after the New York Times reported on his Jewish ancestry. He was only 28 years old and had a history of mental illness and behavioral disorders.

Burros was the grandson of Russian Jews, attended Hebrew school in his native Queens, N.Y., and even had a bar mitzvah. At some point during his adolescence, his fascination with World War II, the German military and Adolf Hitler metamorphosed into an all-consuming obsession with Nazism and an urge to join the 1960 variant of Nazism — and a desire to completely eradicate his true identity and background.