U.S. and World Politics

Fascists Defeated

Left overtakes the fascists and their fronts in San Francisco and Berkeley 

By Chris Kinder

August 27, 2017—Anti-fascist demonstrators in huge numbers overwhelmed the conservative, Christian-prayer and pro-Trump cover operations for the alt-right/white-supremacist/fascist mobilizations scheduled for the San Francisco Bay Area yesterday and today. Media outlets tilted their coverage of these events against the left, blaming black bloc and others for what little violence there was. But the huge numbers of counter-demonstrators sent the needed message: fascism must be crushed and not allowed to grow into a new level of threat against immigrants, Black and Brown people, other minorities and the working class generally.

In San Francisco on Saturday the 26th, the reactionaries’ cover group—“Patriot Prayer”—chickened out at the last minute from their plan to assemble at Crissy Field, and planned instead to have a “press conference” (with the same speakers!) in a smaller park nearby. But that plan was swamped by thousands of counter protesters, while the fenced-off park was left empty. A tiny handful of these rightist creeps were left to wander around town, and out of town, to no avail. 

Mass mobilization is what dissuaded these fascist enablers from going forward, and that included a resolution by the ILWU longshore workers Local 10 to shut down the port that day and march to Crissy Field to show the resolve of the anti-racist working class to oppose fascism. This resolution to shut down the port in protest of a racist event, on the part of a union, which has opposed apartheid in South Africa, the police murder of Oscar Grant, and the imprisonment of innocent former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal with similar actions, gave a big boost to the anti-fascist mobilization. The fact that this workers’ action turned out not to be necessary—due to the event’s cancellation—is a credit to all those who came out. The message received from the ILWU was “we’re there when you need us.”

In Berkeley, where we were today, the “hundreds” or “thousands” of counter-demonstrators to the “No Marxism In America” rightist rally—as it was reported in the media—could easily have been 10,000 or more. They filled the streets for many blocks around the downtown area, and soon took over MLK Jr. Park, where the rightists’ rally was to have been held. Their numbers included many individuals and organizations, perhaps as many as 100 organizations. Some arguments and fights occurred between anti-fascist demonstrators and the handful of rightists who showed up, allegedly to defend their “free speech.” And herein lies a problem to be addressed.

Rightists were shown the door

The rightists who showed up and who were shown the door—chased out of the park and in one case beaten to the ground—mostly portrayed themselves as “Trump supporters.” And the media—as in NBC Local Bay Area (, and SFGate (—both underestimated the size of the protestors’ demonstration in my opinion; and also blamed the leftists for restricting the “free speech” of these rightists, and for causing the violence. NBC blamed the leftists—black bloc included—for “assaulting” “at least three people.” KPFA News, however, reported that at least one of these so-called Trump supporters had on an Islamophobic T-shirt. This “Trump supporter” reportedly said to his leftist opponent in argument, “When is the last time you saw a lynching?” And his opponent said, “What about Charlottesville?” (

In Charlottesville, a “Unite the Right” rally claimed free speech rights as well. They did this as a Black man was beaten nearly to death by a pack of Nazis in a local garage near the rally; and a protestor, Heather Heyer, was killed by a Hitler-lover participant of the rally who drove his car into a crowd of protestors, also wounding many others! 

We won’t forget Babi Yar!

One sign seen among the marchers in Berkeley today, hand written and barely legible from a distance, referred to some deep background about Nazis that must never be forgotten. It spoke of a person’s grandparent who had been killed by German Nazis at Babi Yar in Ukraine when they invaded that country (then part of the USSR) in 1941. Their plan was to kill all the Jews, along with others, and enslave the rest of the population. Nearly 34,000 Jews were shot down and dumped into the ravine at Babi Yar on that day, September 19, 1941. 

And this is not some irrelevant story that you can dismiss as ancient history! The local Ukrainian Nazi organizations that aided the Germans that day still exist; and they were key players in the U.S.-orchestrated coup in Ukraine in 2014, which was a major anti-Russian aggressive move. (Ukraine has never conducted any war crimes investigations against its Nazi sympathizers!) And now Trump, the idiot-in-chief of American imperialism, has (whether intentionally or not) unleashed the rotting corpses of Nazism and KKK in the U.S., like so many living dead. Their threat against minorities and all working people digs up the pogroms, Babi Yar, the Holocaust, and the brutal lynchings over many decades in the U.S., the nooses of which still swing sometimes today (including in the port of Oakland!) Their threat to humanity remains alive. 

Support free speech, but not for fascists

Free speech is important, and the left must oppose all official state legal controls on speech, whether of the left or right. And while free speech should be extended to non-fascist speakers that some of us on the left may disagree with (such as Richard Dawkins, for instance), the left should not extend this to actual fascists, or to groups which cover for them, like the Alt-Right, or these “Christians” or “Anti-Marxists” in San Francisco and Berkeley this weekend. For these people, “free speech” means let us continue the KKK-enforced racism of the South after Reconstruction, the murderous thuggery of the Greensboro Massacre of 1979, and Charlottesville today. 

So what about it? “Free speech” for these groups and their alleged “Trump supporters” who, in the wake of Charlottesville, wanted to repeat the same thing in the Bay Area? I don’t think so. Today, the left did its job pretty well.