As Election Approaches, Trump’s Supporters Step Up Violent Attacks



Editors' Note: We aim to keep readers informed about key dimensions of the overall fascist advance of the Trump-Pence regime in a timely way, driving home the urgency of ousting this regime.

Beginning during his campaign and since he got elected, Trump has been whipping up his supporters, including attacking protesters and all those opposing him1. This spring, Trump began directly calling for fascist individuals and militias to act on his behalf2. In April he called for them to “LIBERATE Michigan” and other states where shutdowns were in effect to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Fascists with heavy weapons and sometimes Confederate flags stormed state capitols, shutting down legislatures and threatening Democratic politicians with lynching.

Then during the George Floyd protests, Trump whipped up these forces by screaming about how “violent” the protests were3 and spreading conspiracy theories about “antifa.” Soon peaceful protesters in dozens of places were being confronted—and sometimes attacked—by fascists, many of them armed. These attacks happened in small rural towns like Minden, Nevada, and Nevada City, California. The Republican Party also plans to mobilize 50,000 “pollwatchers”—drawing especially from ex-cops and military, targeting Black and Brown urban areas as well as Indian reservations—in order to intimidate and suppress their vote.

Things continue to escalate, with an increasing number of murders of protesters by fascists, including Garrett Foster in Austin, Texas, and many others. In Kenosha, Wisconsin, reactionary militia openly organized on Facebook to carry out armed “defense of private property” during the protests after police shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back. One of those militia, Kyle Rittenhouse, was charged with shooting three protesters, killing two, and seriously wounding the third. Trump quickly jumped to support Rittenhouse, claiming he fired in “self-defense” because he was being “very violently attacked.” (Trump is referring to video of protesters chasing Rittenhouse, after he had allegedly already killed one man, and Trump leaves out that the protesters tried to disarm Rittenhouse, not kill him.)

Three days later, hundreds of Trump supporters near Portland, Oregon, formed a truck caravan that drove into town to harass and attack Black Lives Matter protesters, sometimes getting out of their trucks to confront people on the street. This led to an altercation in which one of the fascists was killed—the exact circumstances are unclear.

Again, Trump jumped to defend the fascists, insisting repeatedly that their assault constituted “peaceful protest.” Trump even re-tweeted pictures of the fascists shooting paintballs and pepper spray at protesters, with this comment: “The people of Portland won’t put up with no safety any longer.”

On September 3, Michael Reinoehl, an anti-fascist activist who was accused of shooting the fascist in Portland, was gunned down by federal agents and local police under suspicious circumstances. The next day, Attorney General Bill Barr issued a statement celebrating this: “The streets of our cities are safer with this violent agitator removed.” Note that gone is any notion of “innocent until proven guilty” through legally required due process.

What is all this other than a further incitement from the regime to violence by armed fascists on the ground, official and unofficial?

1. In 2016, Trump encouraged supporters at campaign rallies to attack protesters (“knock the crap out of him”); called Mexicans “rapists”; said Central American refugees were “an invasion of our country”; and called for banning Muslims. These comments didn’t just attract fascists and white supremacists, they legitimized their most vile and violent tendencies, emboldened them, and cohered them into a fascist movement—with Trump as The Leader—that would take on and crush all of “America’s enemies.” Trump also fed the “QAnon” movement, which imagines that a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles (mainly liberal politicians and cultural figures) runs the world, but that a “storm is coming” in which Trump will lead the battle to annihilate them. All this lunacy has “inspired” Trump supporters to massacre Latinos in El Paso and Jewish people in Pittsburgh; others have carried out or attempted smaller scale acts of violence. [back]

2. To maintain barely credible deniability, Trump refers to them as “Second Amendment people,” “Bikers for Trump,” or just “patriots.” [back]

3. A new study shows that only seven percent of BLM protests involved vandalism or any form of violence. [back]

And that's what fascism is....
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Angry Viking Militia activists, LouisvilleHundreds of militia activists with the group “Angry Viking” at Cox Park, Louisville, September 5. Photo: @FordFischer is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow until our demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! We welcome individuals and organizations from many different points of view who share our determination to refuse to accept a fascist America, to join and/or partner with us in this great cause.

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