Racist Reaction to Protests and Rioting

From It’s Going Down

[This post only contains information relevant to Philadelphia and the surrounding area, to read the entire article follow the above link.]

Posses of white vigilantes have been springing up across the United States in response to recent anti-police protests. While some of these groups are explicitly connected to existing far-Right organizations, just as many appear to be composed of reactionary white vigilantes previously unaffiliated with any particular far-Right groups.

In Philadelphia, a posse of men armed with baseball bats and rifles was seen patrolling the streets and posing for photos with local police officers. Though one of them was wearing a Three Percenter sweatshirt, it is unclear if they were all militia-associated.

Also in Philadelphia, a group of three paramilitary snipers were photographed on top of a Gamestop. Philadelphia Proud Boy Zach Rehl, who organized the November 2018 “We the People” rally alongside several militia groups, appeared to take credit for them, saying “We had some guys up on a roof” on a National File appearance. Meanwhile, Rehl, along with fellow Proud Boys Sonny Sullivan and Aaron Kitchell, posted photographs of themselves in the Philadelphia Proud Boys Telegram channel dropping off refreshments for the police.

Doxx: Joshua Knarr, Right Wing Death Squad Member in Norristown PA

from It’s Going Down

[This post only contains information relevant to Philadelphia and the surrounding area, to read the entire article follow the above links.]

Antifascist researcher We Will Be Ruthless have identified Norristown, Pennsylvania resident and Right Wing Death Squad member Joshua Knarr. RWDS became a far-right meme in 2018, and in response to the popularity of the meme, a Facebook group was created. According to the dox, Knarr has been involved with the RWDS Facebook group since January 2020 and posts frequently.

In his posts, Knarr refers to Black people as “farm equipment”, makes jokes about Jewish people and the Holocaust, reminisces about fascism and supports “rapewaffen”, a neo-Nazi accelerationist tactic that has been promoted by neo-Nazi groups like Atomwaffen as a way to send (accelerate, if you will) civilization into a race war.

His posts also include anti-Asian sentiment, Nazi nostalgia, and general racism and even mocks the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, who died at the hands of three white men. Knarr also participates in discussion around the indoctrination or “red-pilling” of younger people through Minecraft servers. He also occasionally posts memes that originate in eco-fascist and accelerationist terrorist circles.

Joshua Knarr is currently employed at Envestnet, a wealth management firm. You are encouraged to contact them via their twitter account, as well as reaching out to Envestnet CEO Bill Crager and President Stuart DePina. You can also reach out via email to the media relations team: media@envestnet.com.

Updates on George Floyd Protests, Riots, Repression, and Reaction

from Instagram

Today the cops and the racists waged war. A very unrowdy, chill march had a deluge of teargas leveled at them by the hands of state and city police agents from both the ground and helicopter as they tried to disperse. If you don’t know your history, in 1985 the Philadelphia Police Department dropped a bomb via helicopter on a residential block of West Philadelphia then shot people trying to flee the ensuing fire, murdering 11 MOVE members and burning down 61 homes. Helicopters and weapons targeting us here, that’s a trauma that hits HARD.

To make things more terrifying today, bands of white people were encouraged by the PPD to arm themselves and patrol the streets, beating the hell out of a number of folks with baseball bats, and then congratulated by the police. We did our best to support who we could, and will continue, but the horror of today was beyond words… #georgefloyd #blacklivesmatter

from Instagram

Another day of Philadelphia Uprising. People are still standing off across Philadelphia. In west philly police tear gassed the surrounding neighborhood of 42nd and market so we made this guide about tear gas. Send this to all your west philly friends. Love and Rage. .

from Twitter

After hearing several reports that Philly cops were “warning” white residents that “antifa is coming”, about 50 – 150 all white men gathered around Girard and Berks and started heading west down Girard. At least three reported by assaults by them.
This guy attacked street medics who were helping another person they attacked.
Some footage of them marching down Girard. They are being protected by Philly police, who seem to have intentionally instigated their violence
Please share more pics and videos if you have them. Make sure your comrades and loved ones are aware. As always, it’s on us to defend ourselves from violent white supremacists.

Proud Boys Go A.W.O.L. As #RefuseFascism Steals the Show at Philly’s Branch Covidians Car Caravan

From Ida Vox

5/8/2020: Counterprotesters to the ReOpen Philadelphia protest block and disrupt the event.

The anti-fascist group, along with independent political actors blocked, diverted and diminished the caravan away from the City Hall roundabout.

Philadelphia, PA– Anti-quarantine and pro-Trump activists sought a successful anti-quarantine car caravan protest around City Hall Friday. But the demonstration ended with a whimper as opposing protesters caused problems for them.

In addition, the Philadelphia chapter of the neo-fascist Proud Boys, who announced a three hour joint protest time for a rally outside City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza that was supposed to start at noon, ended up not showing up at all.

The car caravan moved en mass from the south at Broad and Oregon Streets, towards City Hall. At the intersection of Chestnut and Broad Street, they were stopped by activists who went into the street and blocked them for up to 15 minutes. The car caravan was able to proceed when police arrived and cleared the roadway.

One of the vehicles that were a part of the Branch Covidian outing.

The caravan made a few spins around City Hall but it was again disrupted once again on the west side of City Hall where Market Street intersects with 15th Street when a line of roughly a half-dozen cars that were a part of a counter-action organized by Refuse Fascism intercepted the caravan at the stop light and blocked the intersection. After paralyzing the caravan, they got out their cars to chant and “banner drop.” One side of the banner said “Trump-Pence Must Go” and the other side said “REOPEN = DEATH.”

This is where the Proud Boys were going to be if they didn’t punk out.

After another 15 minutes or so the Refuse Fascism contingent left this major intersection, and left the anti-quarantine caravan seriously irritated. One caravan supporter reportedly threatened to slash the tires of the counter-demonstrators’ cars. No damage was observed however.

Soon after, police re-“routed” traffic away from City Hall, taking it off JFK Boulevard and moving it on to North Broad Street, and, Arch Street for a three block detour. This severed the caravan’s mass as it was fractured into small groups. Further aiding in this were counter-demonstrator elements within the caravan who instigated further interference. After approximately 80 minutes of a 180 minute-planned demonstration, large swaths of the car caravan were seen driving away from City Hall, heading in the direction of South Philadelphia.

Conservatives keep trying to pretend that neo-fascists that make them look bad are some sort of leftist plot. Why do they think that works?

The rally was organized by ReOpen Philadelphia, which was started by Victor Della Barba and his mother Jody, both longtime right wing activists in the city, Jody working as a secretary for Former Mayor Frank Rizzo, who was known for his racially polarizing efforts against the Black community. In addition to their Facebook page, there is another called ReOpen Philly, of which Proud Boy Zach Rehl is an administrator. The Philadelphia Proud Boys announced on their Telegram page that they were holding their rally at City Hall “to protest the unethical actions of tyrannical government arresting people for not closing their businesses!” At noon, there was no activity on Dilworth Plaza where they were supposed to hold their rally. At the time of this posting, the Proud Boys have not explained their absence.

Tensions flared on the ReOpen Philadelphia page over ReOpen Philly’s activities, prompting some there to disavow any association with the Proud Boy-related page. In 2018, Facebook banned the Proud Boys and any pages related to the group from its platform, but some like Sports, Beer and Politics, also maintained by Rehl, still remain, and they still create new ones such as ReOpen Philly.

This was one of the first times there was a counter to the ReOpen rallies that have been taking place across the country in the wake of the pandemic shutdown. “We stood up for science over willful ignorance, humanity first, not ‘America first;’ and chanted ‘Humanity, not Me-Me-Me.’” Refuse Fascism Philly posted to their Facebook page. “We are facing the immediate prospect of hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths from this regime’s handling of the pandemic alone, and they are using this to advance their fascist, genocidal agenda. It’s time to get organized to drive them from power.”

Pennsylvania has seen over 50,000 cases of Covid-19 and almost 3,500 deaths. Gov. Tom Wolf has said the shut down could extend into July.

UPDATE: 5/11/2020: This article was updated to note Jody Della Barba’s history with former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo.

Information on ReOpen Philly Attendees

from Twitter

Let’s check in with some of the fine people who are attending the “Proud Boy” rally in Philly today…

This Week in Fascism #55: Astroturfed Rallies Attract Far-Right

From It’s Going Down

[This post only contains information relevant to Philadelphia and the surrounding area, to read the entire articles follow the above links.]

Twitter researcher Thirteen Roses documented the presence of Philadelphia Proud Boys and Three Percenters in several Pennsylvania Facebook groups associated with the [anti-quarantine] protests, including a Philadelphia Police Department Officer related to Zach Rehl, a leader in the Philadelphia Proud Boys.

The Facebook pages for the Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine, Minnesotans Against Excessive Quarantine, and Ohioans Against Excessive Quarantine also appear to be run by the Dorr brothers, who have a history of direct mail fundraising for conservative causes – gun rights, the pro-life movement, etc. – and then funneling the money back to direct mail services owned by the brothers. The brothers also appear to own a series of domain names for “ReOpen” protests in seven different states.

Call to Action

Deplatform Quarantine Protest Groups

In the past week, the far-Right has taken to a new tactic – public demonstrations against public health guidelines. As detailed above, the protests have often taken the form of blocking hospitals, which the far-Right believes is either responsible for new restrictions on gatherings, or else engaged in a massive conspiracy to restrict Constitutional freedoms.

While the classic Points of Unity long held by antifascist groups such as Anti-Racist Action demand that we confront the far-Right wherever they organize, we can’t ethically demand that our comrades gather to confront these rallies in-person. Any mass antifascist gathering would mean infection.

In the United States, the death rate of known cases hovers around 4.3%, but those numbers may be higher or lower, depending on access to medical care. Statistically, any mass gathering in sufficient numbers would mean that someone would die. Fascism has always been a death cult, and the public gatherings make that evident. The organizers of these protests – some true believers, some grifters – are more than happy to throw their followers on the corpse-fire of their quest for power.

But we can still disrupt their organizing. The protests center around social media pages, usually on Facebook. This week, we can disrupt far-Right organizing by mass reporting the Facebook pages spreading COVID-19 misinformation and putting our communities at risk by organizing live events.

Below is a list of the most active COVID-19 protest groups on Facebook, listed in alphabetical order by name of state. Find your state and report the groups active there, then share this list with friends and ask them to do the same. Though Facebook has yet to offer an official tool to report COVID-19 misinformation, the company’s VP of Integrity issued a blog post on Thursday, claiming that the company is tracking the potentially dangerous posts.

Reopen Delaware

New Jerseyans Against Excessive Quarantine

Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine

Joseph Berger, aka “GlockDoctor1488,” Host of Alt-Right Armory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

from It’s Going Down

[This post only contains information relevant to Philadelphia and the surrounding area, to read the entire articles follow the above link.]

Antifascist researchers exposed the real name of “GlockDoctor1488,” the host of the Alt-Right Armory podcast, who has disrupted a number of leftist and liberal events in Pennsylvania over the past year.

Joseph Berger, age 31, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, attended a protest of Drag Queen Story Hour at the Exeter Community Library in Reading, Pennsylvania, in February 2019, where he shouted obscenities at the families who had brought their children for the event, accusing them of being pedophiles.

In April 2019, he attended a show by Horna, a neo-Nazi black metal band.

In August 2019, Berger attended a Philadelphia Public Library talk by former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, where he screamed “Fuck you, you anti-white piece of shit! You will not replace us!” before fleeing the building.

Berger also hosts Alt-Right Armory, a podcast on Spreaker, where he disseminates antisemitic conspiracy theories and teaches the far-Right about guns.

Berger worked as a security guard at a water park in northeast Pennsylvania, but is currently laid off.

Fascist Alex Ferrandino Exposed

Submission

Alex Ferrandino is a student at Wissahickon High School* who claims to be a member of a white nationalist group, and publicly espouses white nationalist rhetoric, including praise for Hitler and Mussolini, praise for the genocide of indigenous people, and race science. He brags about being suspended from school for using racial slurs on other students, and appears to be mentally unstable, or at the very least isn’t afraid to threaten violence towards himself and harass others. At the moment, his white nationalist activity seems confined to the Internet, aside from the aforementioned school incident. If a young Italian man is seen postering for fascist groups, marching alongside them, or harassing people on the streets of Philadelphia, it is most likely this cretin.



Fred Arena, Vanguard American Member and Unite the Right 2 Planner, Sentenced to Six Months

from It’s Going Down

[This post only contains information relevant to Philadelphia and the surrounding area, to read the entire articles follow the above links.]

Fred Arena, a member of Vanguard America and a co-planner of Unite the Right 2, was sentenced to six months for lying to the FBI about his membership in the group in order to obtain a security clearance.

In January 2019, Arena applied for a security clearance as part of his job as a security contractor at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. According to a Department of Justice press release, Arena was “required to disclose whether he had ever been a member of an organization that used (or advocated the use of) force or violence to prevent others from exercising their constitutional rights. He falsely answered that he had not.”

In June 2018, Arena was doxxed as a member of the neo-Nazi organization when antifascist infiltrators leaked the event’s planning chats to Unicorn Riot. In the chats, Arena repeatedly discussed his capacity for violence, his links to and in a public Facebook post, endorsed a statement from Andrew Anglin associate “Ludovici Alibi,” saying that “The only answer to Antifa is Atomwaffen,” (a neo-Nazi group linked to five murders in the US) adding “Absolutely agreed! And a few other crazy fucks like myself!! HAIL VICTORY!”

In private chats with an antifascist infiltrator posing as a neo-Nazi, Arena claimed that he and other Vanguard America members were planning on hiding weapons in the Charlottesville park, should the permits be granted, and said he was organizing a group of Vanguard American, Hammerskins, and Atomwaffen members to attend.

“At a minimum I would have a shield, a really good stun gun. A medium-sized padlock tight on the end of a handkerchief makes it a very good weapon,” Arena told an antifascist infiltrator whom he believed to be a fellow member of the Unite the Right 2 security team via Facebook, where he used the pseudonym “McCormick Foley.” After Arena’s bail hearing in October 2019, journalist Nick Martin posted prosecution exhibits to Twitter.

A motion for pretrial detention notes that Arena had a history of threatening witnesses, including one Charlottesville resident whom he believed to be a federal informant. “During their investigation, agents also learned that Arena made online and verbal threats against two women with whom he had failed relationships…. In both cases he threatened to sever intimate parts of the women’s bodies and store the parts in a jar,” prosecutors argued in a motion for pretrial detention.

Though Arena faced up to 20 years in prison, he was sentenced to only six months, with two years supervised release.

Though This Week in Fascism does not endorse imprisonment (or the criminal justice system as a whole), as a collaborator of this author noted, this is disappointing because the length of prison sentences is often a shorthand for the importance with which society views a given issue.

Though some will celebrate Arena’s sentence as a victory of the state, it is anything but. It was antifascists, not federal investigators, who exposed Arena’s affiliations.

Even though Arena was interviewed by the FBI in August 2018 after he was doxxed by antifascist activists as a member of Vanguard America, he was allowed to keep his job at the Philadelphia Naval Yard for fourteen more months, and for 10 months after applying for a security clearance.

This is the failure of the State, and the degree to which it does not treat seriously the threat of fascism and white nationalism. The need for antifascists is greater than ever. We keep us safe!

Redecorating Jackson B Bradley’s house

Submission

Took a nice little stroll thru old city and updated a historical landmark to reflect the changing times

Claimed with love,

The antifascist contingent of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program