Anti-Racist Trump Supporters Call for Gandhi-Like "Peaceful Resistance" Against Antifa at Coming Rally
While the nation watches a series of rallies in which self-described "anti-fascists" arrive to physically assault Trump supporters who specifically denounce racism, some members of the moderate Republican and libertarian-leaning group, Patriot Prayer, have vowed not to fight back, but to employ "non-violent resistance."
Clashes between Antifa and Patriot Prayer go back to the beginning of this year, when the "anti-fascists" arrive to disrupt a previously scheduled event.
The call for "peaceful resistance" in an upcoming Portland rally was issued by Kyle "Based Stickman" Chapman, who has gained a sort of celebrity-status as a helmeted Captain America figure who uses a shield and a stick to do battle with attacking Antifa activists.
This week Chapman wrote:
"Pundits and politicians will make comparisons to Charlottesville and paint Trump supporters as racist agitators...The strategy (FOR NOW..) should be one of peaceful non-violent resistance in the spirt of the 1960s civil rights marches. Optically these marches could not be spun. The aggression and violence of segregationist democrats was on full display because the marchers did not fight back. We should avoid seeking direct confrontations. Let them come to us. Take the abuse and get it on video for the world to see. We'll continue to expose the violent left and the corrupt cities that enable them. There is great risk in this type of resistance. The presence of women should be minimized."
Critics of police response and behavior toward Antifa sometime maintains that police have been "standing down" at some events, or failing to keep opposing sides from coming into contact.
Patriot Prayer has consistently proclaimed that racists are not welcome to their rallies. The so-called "anti-fascists," or Antifa, who proclaim that it is necessary to use force against Neo-Nazis, have not confined their attacks to Neo-Nazis, nor even encountered any except at Charlottesville.
On February 1, 2017, Antifa arrived to disrupt a speech at Berkeley by Milo Yiannopoulos, a British conservative commentator who nevertheless describes himself as being disliked by the hard-right for being a "degenerate, race-mixing gay Jew" The speech was canceled.
On March 4 in Berkeley, a "March 4 Trump" rally of Trump supporters was attacked by Antifa.
On April 18, a speech by conservative columnist Ann Coulter was canceled due to concerns over the presence of Antifa.
A Hallmark of Antifa is that members nearly always hide their faces by wearing masks.
At the same time, Patriot Prayer has discovered fake Facebook pages using its name but which have posted images of Confederate flags and other incendiary symbols, which Patriot Prayer denies having anything to do with. Patriot Prayer has repeatedly and strongly denounced all white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazis, and any other racist ideology.
Nevertheless, "Antifa" has unconditionally labeled all persons who support or who voted for Donald Trump as "fascists," "Neo-Nazis," and "racists."
However, a list of particulars defining what makes Trump a fascist cites many items of fairly standard historical divide between Republic and and Democrats, along with grievous and incendiary errors such as US Attorney General William Sessions supposedly calling Mexican immigrants "filth."
In a section entitled "The Trump/Pence Regime on Immigrants" The Refuse Fascism site writes:
"In prepared remarks for an appearance at the U.S.-Mexico border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote: “It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth…. This is a new era. This is the Trump era.”
However, even in the "fact-checking" site Snopes, which generally leans favorably towards Hillary Clinton and Democrats, the "fact-checkers" acknowledge that Sessions was referring to criminal organizations which operate on both sides of the border, and which kill with impunity. Sessions said at an April 11, 2017 appearance in Arizona:
"We mean international criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into warzones, that rape and kill innocent citizens. It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth."
Other "indictments" listed in Refuse Fascism are banning transgender people from the US military, appointing anti-abortion US Supreme Court Justices, and escalating the war in Afghanistan by sending 4,000 more US troops. Immediately after his election Obama escalated that war by 33,000 troops. The "indictments" which lead Antifa to equate all Trump supporters to fascists also include a campaign against whistleblowers, saying:
"Attorney General Jeff Sessions has launched an aggressive campaign to identify and prosecute people who leak information to the press..."
But the award for prosecuting record numbers of whistleblowers easily goes to Obama, who prosecuted Chelsea Manning.
In all, the Refuse Fascism "indictments" resemble a laundry list of policies which are offensive to progressive sensibilities put into place by previous presidents, not least of all Obama. However, supporting any of these presidents was distasteful perhaps to some on the far left, but not equated to "fascism," and "racism," words with emotionally loaded connotations.
The law responsible for the greatest spike in incarcerations among Blacks and Latinos in recent history, "Three Strikes You're Out," was passed by a president commonly perceived as liberal, Bill Clinton.
Patriot Prayer was in the eye of the political storm again last month, when it organized, then cancelled, a rally in San Francisco it dubbed The Freedom Rally. A week before the rally, Democratic former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi labeled the Patriot Prayer rally a gathering of "white supremacists," drawing thousands of counter-protesters and Antifa, even though most of the speakers at the rally were Black or Latino.
The next Patriot Prayer event will be the "Peaceful Portland Freedom March" in Portland, Oregon on September 10.