Tuesday, August 29, 2017

So, Once Again, Is It OK to Punch a Nazi?

Two days ago a small group of anti-fascists or antifa attacked a larger crowd of right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley, California. 

And triggered that old question again: is it OK to punch a Nazi?

And now Martin Patriquin, after seeing that and what happened in Quebec City recently.  

Jumps into the fray with this answer:

It may be a pleasure to watch an alt-right/neo-Nazi like Richard Spencer getting punched.

But please don't do it, because it only makes things worse. 

Delighting in such moments is entirely natural. The sudden mainstreaming of white supremacy is as shocking as it is disheartening, so there is a certain catharsis in watching one of its leaders get the spit knocked out of him. Still, much like a sugar high, delighting in such moments is ultimately bad for one’s health — for more than one reason.

It makes our side look bad he says, and makes the Nazis more powerful.

Though immediately satisfying, the punch made Spencer look like a victim to his myriad followers. And what do self-professed victims do? They come back stronger, louder and with renewed purpose.

But while I can understand where Patriquin is coming from. And I'm not big on fighting fascists by throwing chairs at police...

I also feel like this...

And I think it's important to remind everyone that while Donald Trump may like to compare the Nazis to the antifa, while acting like a Nazi himself...

There is no equivalence.  

In truth, there is no symmetry between either “alt-right” and either “antifa” or “alt-left.” Antifa is the backlash to the backlash, a defensive response to the growing presence of right-wing extremism.

Over the decade ending in 2016, estimates of the percentage of politically motivated killings committed by right-wing extremists range from 73 to 92 percent, according to the conservative Daily Caller. Despite the spurious rhetoric of equivalency, supporters of antifa have, to date, killed no one.

And that when Nazis are on the march they must be confronted...

In the name of all our heroes who died fighting them.

And so they can clearly understand that we will not intimidated, and that they will not win.

And what happens next depends on them. If they want violence then that's what they should get.

But since they are few and we are many, I much prefer to see what happened in Vancouver recently.

When about twenty neo-Nazis tried to  stage a rally and were met by 4,500 peaceful demonstrators...

Who sent the fascist scum scuttling back to the Roach Motel they came from. 

And of course Patriquin is definitely right about one thing, tubas are good too...

Long live our people.

Long live The Resistance...


Anonymous said...

Great post Simon! While I'm sure some of your audience will disagree with you (mr far from perfect for one), violence is definitely not the answer.

Anonymous said...


Goes both ways...

Anonymous said...

I could write an entire "guest column" and more on this topic for you Simon.

We all have to do our part to make the world a better place.

Bree Newsome climbed the flagpole and took down the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina state capital grounds in 2015. Tsk, tsk... but then... Governor Nikki Haley soon signed a bill to remove the flag permanently. Coincidence? I think not. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat at the front of the bus. Nine years before that Viola Desmond refused to move from the seat she had paid for in a movie theatre. All of those women were arrested and charged for their non-violent protests.

Physical violence is an enormously important part of the American identity. They glorify their overwhelming military superiority as they do the gunslinger of the old west. Most of American culture revolves around the gun. Violence resolves the crises presented in books, movies, and video games.

Sometimes, not always, violence must be met with violence. It is better to confront those who threaten to do violence with an overwhelming message of disapproval in a non-violent manner. The examples of the crowds Boston and Vancouver come to mind. However, cowardly haters like Richard Spencer need a visceral reminder of their mortality. They need to be looking over their shoulders knowing their physical safety is not assured. They need to feel like prey, as I am sure Jason Kessler did stumbling through the gardens into the shelter of the police line. (The very cops he was blaming for his problems only moments earlier.) They've got to feel that the consequence of their spewing hate could land them in jail or worse.

In Quebec City La Meute were penned in the parking garage. Woof, woof, bad dogs. Those mutts learned a lesson. They aren't as tough as they think they are.


jrkrideau said...

I really don't have a problem with a few Nazis getting hit. It may teach them something; that they are not sacrosanct and can be beaten up just as they would, and do, beat up any one they don't like.

I also have the theory, particularly based on the frat-boy appearance of most of those Nazis appearing in Charlottesville, that a lot of so-called Nazis or Alt-right are young, white privileged asses who think that they are entitled and that they have the right to despise the rest of humanity.

A few kicks in the bollocks just might make them reconsider just how much fun it is to intimidate or beat up vulnerable minorities, women and the neighbour's cat.

I found this article rather interesting. Very different circumstances, etc. and Antifa might have a problem assembling as tough a bunch of combat veterans let alone a top-notch hair dresser like Vidal Sassoon. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/the-43-story-of-how-uk-jews-fought-a-wave-of-post-war-anti-semitism-to-be-subject-of-new-tv-series-a6677751.html

I loved the tuba. Much better marching music than the Horst Wessel Song. Ridicule has its place. I wonder if the clip appears in places where the friends and relations of those proud Nazi marchers can see it and laugh?

BTW, have you seen this? Great fundraiser. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/18/neo-nazis-tricked-into-raising-10000-for-charity

the salamander said...

.. never 'buy into 'the arguement' .. or drama
That's how they drag you into their cage ..

Work from other directions ..
surprising, powerful and valid ..

Fight the battles you can win ..

Keep on keepin on, Simon .. !


lagatta à montréal said...

rideau, don't forget the Battle of Christie Pits in Toronto (fighting pre-WW2 antisemitism and fascist sympathies).

I loved the tuba. Vuvuzelas are good too. In Germany, antifas play klezmer and Roma (gypsy) music like Django Reinhardt when they confront neo-Nazi marches and "commemorations".

jrkrideau said...

@ legatta à montréal
don't forget the Battle of Christie Pits

Good point though as an non-Torontonian in Ontario one likes to forget about Toronto as much as possible.

Oops, sorry Montréal Simon.

I seem to remember, perhaps in Richard Gwyn's biography of Sir John A. that during a Anglo-Protestant vs Irish Catholic riot in Bytown (Ottawa for non-Canadians) on the second day the Irish showed up with a cannon.

Ah, the good old days.

Anonymous said...

The Germans have a word for it: backpfeifengesicht.


Anonymous said...

I think it's fine. My only real issue is that media and politicians will play false equivalency. But as for feeling bad about the Nazi who is punched? Nahhhhh.

e.a.f. said...

the term alt left was created by the alt right as a method of conveying that the left was just like them. its purpose is to roll them all in to the same ball of wax.

it is never good to throw a punch. Yes it might be emotionally rewarding on some level, but it accomplishes nothing. If you are going to be assaulted, yes, you have the right to defend yourself, but to simply punch some one because they disagree with you will solve nothing. Assault, is a criminal charge.

Now conversely had Germans taken base ball bats to the brown shirts as they marched through the streets, who knows how things might have ended for Hitler's party. it wasn't like they were ever elected with some huge majority. But when I look back on history, I think at some level people were willing to let Hitler and his brown shirts do what they wanted. it brought out latent racism and gave citizens some one to blame for the troubles of the time, sort of like now.

Racism and violence seem to go hand in hand and it never ends well. For those who do not believe in racism it is, in my opinion, best to stay non violent. Do not be dragged down by them. We have police forces which are able and willing to do their jobs to defuse the violence. Now if the police aren't doing their job, that will be another story and by that time lets hope voters will have taken care of the job

Anonymous said...

I believe I'm being called out!

I admit to have had thoughts of smearing facist faces in fresh dog feces in no small part to their support of an ideology that lead to the death of 50 million people in the 20th century. I'm guilty of posting as such. But I have never been charged with a crime nor do I have a record.

I have no qualms about Simon's post here. I am a physically big person with many years of self defence training behind me but I only use force to defend myself, my family and my friends and neighbours.

I do intimidate bullies and cowards. Sorry Anon 9:24.

mr perfect

David said...

Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America by John Nichols (Aug. 29/17)

Thankfully, Gorka is now gone.

From John Nichols' book:

Trump likes Gorka because he tells Trump what he wants to hear about Muslims. But what Gorka actually knows on the subject has been called into question by experts. “He doesn’t understand a fraction of what he pretends to know about Islam,” says Mia Bloom, a former fellow at Penn State’s International Center for the Study of Terrorism, while Adrian Weale, a former British Intelligence Corps officer, says that Gorka “has never been an operational practitioner of counterterrorism.”

What’s his weakness?
Gorka is plagued by reports about his involvement with a Hungarian group that the State Department includes on its list of World War II–era Nazi-allied and Nazi-directed organizations. Congressman Jerrold Nadler has said “there should be zero tolerance for anyone working anywhere in the Administration who shares the offensive views propagated by [such] organizations.”

lagatta à montréal said...

If it were only offensive views! Those neo-Nazi groups on the fringes of the far-right Hungarian government have made threats and worse against leftists, LGBT+ people and Jewish Hungarians, and have carried out actual pogroms against Roma (Gypsy) Hungarians, murdering some Roma people and beating up many. Karl Nerenberg has made a documentary on the threats to Roma people in that country, Never Come Back, freely available on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E26XukmkMP8

Simon said...

hi Mr Perfect...thank you I appreciate that. I have to admit I'm very conflicted. I was forced to fight for my life when I was only a young teenager, and the sight of bigots and bullies still brings out the worst in me, and the desire to attack them. But with the help of my companion I have learned to control myself, and try to use my head and my blog instead of my fists...

Simon said...

hi anon...so you're bragging about a Nazi hitting a young woman? Gosh, you guys are even bigger losers than even I had imagined....

Simon said...

hi p2p...well that's almost a column and it's a good one. ;) And I do agree with you, when possible non violence is a much better option, and that peaceful demo in Vancouver was a perfect example. But the Nazis only march to try to intimidate us, and they must never get away with attacking our side. And yes, I really enjoyed the sight of La Meute (the wolf pack) cowering in that parking garage. Woof Woof indeed...

Simon said...

hi jrkrideau...it's a difficult subject, and I'm glad to see these intelligent responses. Like you I also wonder where these privileged Nazis are coming from. They look like frat kids and you'd think they would know better. But they can march with their Tiki torches and chant "blood and soil" as much as they like. But we are more than them and much more creative. Oompah Oompah Oompah... ;)

Simon said...

hi salamander....you've known me long enough to know that I am far from perfect, and still a bit of a hothead, who can fly off the handle far too easily. But I like to think that as I grow older I am getting smarter. I haven't got into fight for ages. And your advice is always wise and welcome...

Simon said...

hi lagatta...a vuvuzela? Yes of course. That should get the Nazis attention... ;)