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Indybay Feature
Berkeley: Trump Supporters Kicked Out of Town by Community
by Antifa
Sunday Jul 9th, 2017 11:49 AM
Far-right Trump supporters attempted to antagonize and incite Berkeley residents. After confrontations with locals, they ended up calling the cops and fleeing the city with police protection.
On the evening of July 8, a small group of red hats spontaneously decided to hold what they called a “social experiment,” in which they would walk around Berkeley openly with their Trump gear. That it was spontaneous and unannounced beforehand was a requirement for them, as was the fact that almost every single one of them was operating a camera and livestreaming their activity online. They’re not brave enough to announce they will be in Berkeley because this would give opposition time to gather and plan, and they know that if they record and/or livestream everything, there would be an even lower risk of being held accountable by the local community. Or so they thought!

Most of the group parked their cars in the Allston Way parking garage located downtown, while some others parked around the nearby MLK Civic Center Park, the site where “free speech” rallies have been organized in recent months for fascist recruitment. Once their livestream was up, they headed from the downtown garage down Shattuck Ave and then up Bancroft, where they made their way to Telegraph Ave.

Despite their cameras and impromptu action, this group of far-right trolls was challenged everywhere they went in Berkeley. They were followed, shouted down, and nearly got into physical fights several times. Calls to stick together and “keep it tight” were frequent from inside the tiny and pathetic band of bigots. Once they were allegedly threatened with being stabbed by a passerby on the street, they’d finally realized how unsafe it was for them to be doing what they were doing. After calling the police and begging for an escort, they made their way back to their cars along a similar route as when they arrived, with the addition of a few cop cars following close by for protection.

While they walked around with police supervision, they defaced anti-fascist posters, crossing out “anti” and leaving the word “fascist" and getting a thumbs up from BPD waiting in the car. They argued with anti-racist skinheads and nearly broke their own brains trying to understand how such a thing can exist (read a book and learn some history, trolls). The most prominent streamer in the group, Vincent James of The Red Elephants, gloated over the presence of token people of color among them and used them as a shield against claims they were white supremacists, despite the fact that he himself has close relationships with members of a violent neo-nazi gang called DIY Division/Rise Above Movement. James later explained to one black person in their crew how good it is for him to be an "uncle tom." During their stroll, some in the group recounted what happened on the night of February 1, when Milo Yiannopoulos and the Berkeley College Republicans were shut down and defeated. They nearly cried when they walked by what they perceived to be damage that’s still been left in the city from that night, which it seems they will never get over, like a stalker trying to hang on after a bad breakup.

At the end of the day, they’re short-lived and bumbled action didn’t prove much except that these people are terrified. And they should be! Hate crimes in Berkeley, like elsewhere, have increased since the election. Far right meet-ups like this, big or small, are never just innocent fun for them. Recent fascist rallies in the city have not only erupted in violence but also lead to less spectacular acts of terror such as the shooting at windows of local Berkeley businesses displaying Black Lives Matter signs. If it’s not their material acts of intimidation, it’s the attempt to put up posters, stickers, or other propaganda in order to create a climate of fear, until the next time some attack takes place.

It is not only justified to unite as a community in and drive these people out of it in self defense, it is simply necessary for us, our loved ones, and our neighbors if we want to be safe. They plan to come back to the Bay Area next month for a “Patriot Weekend.” Joey Gibson is organizing a “Free Speech rally” in San Francisco on August 26 and a fan club of Based Stickman Kyle Chapman is organizing a “No to Marxism in America” rally in Berkeley on August 27. Both of these groups are close and have been coordinating. Let’s do the same and plan now how we will let them know that their hate is not welcome here in the Bay!

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by reader
Sunday Jul 9th, 2017 6:43 PM
Hounding people out of town for their (gasp! admitted) support of (yet another) bad president -- way to go.

If Hillary supporters were walking through Berkeley they would be untouched, since Hillary is good, and Trump is bad. Right?

Presumably if HRC had won, then we would be bombing Syria, as HRC advocated, potentially already at war with Russia (as the Hill-bot media continues to push with nothingburger Russia-gate), and TPP would now be the law of the land.

Sounds more like some bullies wanted to crack heads and be thugs because their Neocon Identity Politics Queen didn't win - then they post about how great they are for their big win by forcing some non-violent people whose views they disagree with out of town, force them to call the police, etc. Wow, cool!

Way to go kids, way to go.
by Kevin
Monday Jul 10th, 2017 2:40 AM
If they came to Berkeley and people just ignored them or engaged them in reasoned dialogue free of name calling and broad generalizations, they would get bored and leave. If anything, trying to "chase them out" just feeds into a narrative the far right can use to discredit the left and justify the silencing of dissent.

Did you watch the video on their site? It's long and boring, and it's unclear whether they were threatened with being knifed or made that up. The "Uncle Tom" reference came as a result of an African American member of their group being called an "Uncle Tom" and "house negro." The video's narrator made a clumsy joke about it, but the person who should really be called out is whoever had called the guy that.
by Dan
Monday Jul 10th, 2017 9:09 AM
I'm just guessing here, but what do you think they wanted? That they were checking out their ability to walk unmolested in Berkeley? That a "success" for them would be to show a long video of *nothing* happening? That they wanted to *prove* that they could walk through Berkeley unmolested? Or perhaps they wanted something else? Perhaps what they wanted was video of being verbally and perhaps physically assaulted? That they could "prove" that Berkeley was intolerant and uncivil? I have no love for right wing idiots walking around with red hats and cameras - but that behavior doesn't scare me. What scares me is that what the writer seems to want is exactly what they are coming here looking for. Well done!
by Death to Fascism
Monday Jul 10th, 2017 11:04 PM
by Fight them back
Monday Jul 10th, 2017 11:13 PM
by Jack Nicholson
Monday Jul 10th, 2017 11:21 PM
It's a desperate strawman that you use to assault normal people on the street.
by not surprised, though.
Wednesday Jul 12th, 2017 8:03 AM
We're not "painting Trump voters as Nazis." We are recognizing that some, though certainly not all, Trump voters actually *are* Nazis. They are using the other Trump voters as cover and as human shields.

Don't fall for their lame attempt at rebranding themselves as "Alt Right" or "Identity Evropa" or "Proud Boys" or whatever. It's a ruse.

A Nazi is a Nazi is a Nazi.

If you raise your hand and shout "Seig Heil" you're a Nazi. If you have sex with a goat, you're not an "alt farmer," you're a goat fucker.
by Marianne
Saturday Jul 15th, 2017 10:46 AM
First off, I did not vote for Trump. I would like to comment how hypocritical the Left is. Berkeley is the crale of the Free Speech Movement. I really decry that conservative view points cannot be expressed and how the so called Anti Fa people cover their faces and attack Trump supporters, like a 70 year old woman. I also decry people breaking windows of businesses. I really believe in letting people speak, no matter what their political oppinions are. Walking around with Trump gear is allowed under the 1st Amendment. If we do not let them speak, we are doing the work for them. No one has to listen. No one has to be there. The democrats have only themselves to blame. Had they reached out more to people hurting in this economy, Trump may not have won. I suggest that people show more love to Trump supporters instead of hatred. Maybe, we can overcome some of the divisions and hatred.
by down with both
Saturday Jul 15th, 2017 12:11 PM
Actually, 'Nobody' won the 2016 presidential election — and it was a landslide:

Drumpf: 25.5%
Killery: 25.6%
Nobody: 46.9%
by (-A-)
Thursday Jul 20th, 2017 6:38 PM
"We stand for the maintenance of private property... We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order." -Adolf Hitler

Fascism: right-wing nationalism; promoting free market capitalism backed by the state, private armies and death squad militias. If WWII never happened, fascists would still be a target; just not as big a target as they are today. Free speech is supposed to be there to protect against tyranny, not give it a voice. Free speech given to fascists in Germany led to millions of Jews being loaded onto trains to be interned for extermination. The end result of giving fascism a voice at the political round table will always be Nazi Germany. Free speech can be used for good or evil and those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat history. Fascism is a real economic/political/social philosophy that is of the extreme far right. Capitalism has killed millions and continues only because people are controlled by capitalism via years of social conditioning by tv media and the threat of state repression. Not enough people feel free to use speech unless its to protect their billionaire masters and their establishment. People die because America is still afraid to attack capitalism and too many are not literate enough to understand the intelligence behind the system. Not all fascists are nazi's but all nazi's are fascists. Not all right wingers are nazi's but all right-wingers are fascists if not pre/proto fascists with hardcore fascists in their circles. They are loyal to big business which is historically anti worker rights. See Benito Mussolini and Engelbert Dollfuss as a reference to fascism. Fascism is real and it is far right by dictionary and historical definition. Labeling black bloc and antifa action "far left fascism" is an oxymoron. It's like labeling someone a conservative communist.

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