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Fascism and pacificism at 420
An encounter with violent fundamentalists at UCSC 420 prompts questions about pacifism and politics...
420, we know what it's all about, yes, yes, free the herb, f'sho. It was nice to read R. Norse's expressed hope for the gathering to turn into some kind of political demonstration against the racist, classist drug war, against fascist laws on bodily experience and medicinal plants, against the police and the ruling class entirely. Of course, as to be expected, nearly everyone was just out to party, and way too stoned besides. But the comment had left me with a thought that i might see some absurd, violent, hypocritical vein of Santa Cruz political reality exposed at the event, and i wasn't disappointed.
I was expecting it to come from the bureaucrats and cops, and of course, the "state of exception" was in force with limited bus service in the afternoon, uniformed cops posted along a widely dispersed perimeter, administrators telling people they couldn't sit down in Porter Meadow because it was a "non-sanctioned" event. But there were also 4 out and proud Christian fundamentalists, all of them really burly white dudes, standing in the middle of the meadow with huge signs and rhetoric threatening eternal torture for pot smokers, queers, and pretty much all us "sinners."
This probably sounds like an absurd encounter to begin with and it was. What are a bunch of stoned as fuck young people going to do when confronted with something like this but laugh? Unfortunately that's the weed talking and doesn't reflect the reality of fascists as real people who are a real threat to us, and a lot more is at stake than weed or some imaginary afterlife. (More on that later.) Some people tried to argue and reason with them which is also ridiculous. Fortunately a few people chose to express their feelings more directly, with spit and one person trying to run off with the sign which provoked a violent response from its holder. So much for turn the other cheek eh?
Unfortunately, conditions weren't right for a brawl with 4 dudes who were built like cops, not hella stoned, and totally hating us. Not only was pretty much everyone else really high, there was hardly anyone who had our backs, instead preaching "peace" which means "peace with fascism." For instance, after the sign-grabbing incident i heard one dreadlocked and flowingly-garbed individual whine, "Stealing is VIOLENT, they have the right to free speech!" Indeed quite a few people i mentioned the situation to responded "we should just ignore them and stop giving them negative energy to feed off, and they'll disappear."
How fucking high do you have to be to actually believe that?
Fascists are real. They are really our enemies. Groups like the Minutemen, the Tea Partiers, and other patriotic and fundamentalist Christian groups are fascist infrastructure in waiting. Given the right circumstances - say, further economic downturn and a sharp political turn to the right in this country - these volunteers could become state auxiliaries. In fact, in some cases they already fulfill this function by spying on left and radical activists and passing info to the police. In Greece, where social momentum against authority and capital has torn apart the facade of social peace with attack from the exploited and excluded classes, fascist vigilantes are working openly with the state. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, white supremacists with guns terrorized black New Orleanians while the police kept relief workers out.
So it goes. These people are getting ready, for collapse, for conflict, for civil war. So should we. Because we can't just think them out of existence and because when the chips are down we are going to see whose really done their homework.
--a stoned ewok