By Alexander Reid Ross (April 17, 2017)
It is indeed disappointing that Trump’s fascist supporters eventually got to take over a couple major intersections in Berkeley, CA—but don’t feel dispirited.
The alt-right and Oath Keepers streamed in from places as far flung as Colorado. They made a point of forcing their way through Berkeley *because* they’re so unpopular. The cops protected them against antifas, which is typical.
The fact that they were able to hold a rally in Berkeley isn’t a defeat, in itself—it’s just the state doing what it does. We stopped JT Ready in the streets in Phoenix in 2010, but the cops made sure they could still eventually make their way to their destination and rattle off boring speeches.
The antifascists who went toe to toe with the indiscriminate violence of misogynistic racists are courageous as fuck. They stood up for their communities, because they know that this is how pogroms begin. Fascists running riot through the streets is only a taste of what would happen were they are not opposed.
This was not Cable Street in ’36 but it also was not Rostock in ’92. The long-term struggle demands recalibration and forward thinking, making communities bastions against fascism, and maintaining broad-based solidarity. Claim no easy victories, as Cabral once wrote, but don’t concede defeat to a pathetic group of fascists desperately striking out at an entire metropolitan center.
Let them revel in their supposed “victory.” Their president’s approval rating is lower now (39%) than it was before he bombed Syrian air fields. The Oath Keepers have no further recourse to the rhetoric “freedom” having thrown in their lot with the fascist alt-right. The struggle against fascism and empire is clarifying in the minds of people around the world. The movement for collective liberation grows stronger and more powerful every day.