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Portland Protest Shows New Far-Right Trend: Multiethnic Groups with Fascist Heroes Like Pinochet

Portland Protest Shows New Far-Right Trend: Multiethnic Groups with Fascist Heroes Like Pinochet


This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The
War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. This year marks the first anniversary of the white
supremacist, neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the deadly “Unite the Right”
rally protesting the Charlottesville decision to remove a statue of a Confederate general
from a downtown park, General Robert E. Lee, became the biggest and deadliest white supremacist
rally in U.S. history in decades. We are joined by A.C. Thompson. The documentary he did,
the correspondent for Frontline PBS, is called Documenting Hate: Charlottesville,
premiering tonight on PBS stations across the country. In Part 1 of our discussion,
we discussed the documentary. As this documentary comes out, you were in
Portland, Oregon, for yet another white supremacist rally, and one took place in Berkeley, California,
as well. Describe what you saw, A.C. Right. Actually, you know, I would revise
that, and I would say that it was perhaps a fascist rally in Portland, but not a white
supremacist rally. And that’s sort of another new wrinkle in the far-right movement. So
the groups that were in Portland, they wanted you to know, “Hey, look, we’re not racist.”
And many of them had leaders who were people of color. But they also said, “Hey, we’re
really into fascist characters like Pinochet.” The first guy I met had a huge shirt on that
said “Pinochet did nothing wrong.” And other people had shirts on that would say
things like “right-wing death squad.” And so, these are what I would call multicultural,
multiethnic fascist groups, that they laud characters like Pinochet. They laud characters
like— The dictator of Chile that ruled with an iron
hand. The Chilean dictator who killed tens of thousands
of his opponents and whose folks often threw them out of helicopters. You know, they are
fans of folks like the Indonesian dictator Suharto, someone that you’ve studied very
much. And they would say, about somebody like Suharto, “I don’t care that he’s Asian.
I’m not prejudiced against Asian people. I just like that he was involved in slaughtering
tens of thousands of—in fact, hundreds of thousands of suspected communists.” Over a million. Yeah. So that’s the kind of—these are
the kind of groups that we’re talking about. It’s a new wrinkle on the fascist movement
and on—and they’re not explicitly white supremacist. They’re a little bit different. And so, talk about how police dealt with them
versus the anti-fascist protesters. You know, what I saw in Portland was sort
of a response to Charlottesville, that they were trying to keep these two groups separated,
and, unlike we had seen in other events, they were trying to keep these groups from fighting,
which police had failed at in many cities before. But I think, from what I saw, it seemed
like the group that was getting the harsher police treatment seemed to be the leftist
faction, the anti-racist faction. And I think the concern, I would say, in Portland is that
police were using less lethal munitions and firing them in what seemed to be somewhat
indiscriminate ways at the counterprotesters, the leftist protesters, in a way that really
could have seriously injured people. And the same happened in Berkeley. This similar thing happened in Berkeley. I
wasn’t there, but that’s the reports that I’m hearing. And I didn’t document it,
so I don’t know all the details there. Wasn’t a guy shot in the head in Portland? That, I have seen the photos, and my colleagues
were actually at that scene when it happened, and it sounded terrifying. I was in a different
part of town when that incident happened. And it looked—but that looked scary, the
photos, absolutely. And do you think there’s any relation to
this crackdown on the counterprotesters, more harshly than the protesters, and Donald Trump
being president? You know, it’s hard to say. A city like
Portland is not a place where Donald Trump has a lot of sway, I would say. A city like
Berkeley is not a place where there are a lot of Donald Trump fans. I think, really,
part of what we’re seeing here is just a longtime problem with sort of police adjusting
to the dynamics of this current political moment and still trying to actually effectively
police these situations that we have, that we’re going to continue to have, where you
have very intense standoffs between people on the left and people on the right who are
concerned about this particular moment. Are you saying these fascists are the Proud
Boys? Here’s what I’m saying: Patriot Prayer
and the Proud Boys are extreme-right groups that I don’t think they’re—they’re
not white supremacist groups. They’re just not. But they have a lot more in common with
certain fascist movements that we’ve seen over time than, say, other groups. Before we go, you’ve been doing a lot of
reporting on Blaze Bernstein, the murder of this young man. Explain who he is and how
it fits into this whole movement. So, Blaze Bernstein is—was a gay Jewish
college student who was from Orange County, California. And when he disappeared and was
murdered earlier this year, my colleagues and I thought, “Hmmm, that looks like a
case we should probably be following. You know, we don’t know yet, but it looks suspicious.”
When we started getting more details about it, we kept investigating. And eventually,
we found out that, hey, the guy that has been charged by the police, Sam Woodward, with
the murder is a member of the most extreme neo-Nazi group in the country, Atomwaffen
Division. And he spent all of his time in the Atomwaffen chats— Now, Atomwaffen, A-T-O-M-W-A-F-F-E-N, A-T-O-M-W-A— German for? German for “nuclear weapons” division.
I believe, if you were German, you would say something like “Atomwaffen,” something
like that. But yeah, so he was a member of this incredibly rabid, incredibly extreme
group that’s dedicated to domestic terrorism and the overthrow of the United States government— The man who’s charged with his murder. The man who’s charged with this murder—virulently
anti-gay, virulently anti-trans, virulently anti-Semitic, anti-people of color—I mean,
really, really intense group. And Vasillios Pistolis, the leader of this. No, he was— One of the people in it. Vasillios Pistolis was a chapter leader for
the group in North and South Carolina, but he was another character who was a key figure
in the group. The group’s lovely leader goes by the handle “Rape.” And his name
is John Cameron Denton, but he uses the handle “Rape.” And who is he? He’s a Texas neo-Nazi based outside of Houston. And you’re also investigating him. Yes, he will be in our second film, our follow-up
film, that will air on PBS in the fall. Finally, one of the issues we didn’t deal
as much with is the whole misogynist part— Right. —of these movements. And if you could talk
more about it? You touch on it in the documentary. Right. It’s really interesting, because
the earlier waves of white supremacist groups were highly patriarchal, but they weren’t
openly and violently misogynist. And I think this wave of white supremacist groups have
even worse sort of gender politics. And a lot of them are just absolutely aggressively
anti-female. And that’s the kind of thing that you get with a guy who goes by the handle
“Rape.” Well, we’ll do Part 2 of this soon, as you’re
doing Part 2 of your documentary. It’s coming out soon? In the fall, October/November. I want to thank you, A.C. Thompson, correspondent
for FrontlinePBS, reporter for ProPublica, his documentary, Documenting Hate: Charlottesville,
premiering tonight 10 p.m. Eastern on PBS stations around the country and at PBS.org/Frontline.
To see Part 1 of our discussion, go to democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks for joining us.

23 comments on “Portland Protest Shows New Far-Right Trend: Multiethnic Groups with Fascist Heroes Like Pinochet

  1. I was there in downtown Portland that day. I was on the ANTIFA side. I talked to some of those White Supremacists. They were the worst kind of White supremacists, you know, the brown and black White Supremacists. They told me they weren't racists. We were having a really great conversation until my friends threw poop on me. But, I shouldn't have been talking to them, I was wrong. I still wonder how black and brown people can be White Supremacists, but I know they are because Rose City Antifa says so. They have pictures of a couple of them in the same park protesting one time. Fascists make me so angry! I like ANTIFA because we are right so we destroy innocent peoples property, but NOONE is innocent if you live in Trump's America. We are all guilty…except us…#walkaway

  2. I was there when this went down. Crazy. I wanted no part of the chaos. I was trying to sneak out of the area when I came across 12 antifa members sucking each other's cocks. They told me that's how they get ready for a fight. Didn't make sense to me but like I said I wanted no part of the fray

  3. @1:33 "these are what I would call multi-cultural, multi-ethnic fascist groups"………WTF ???????? you can`t make this shit up, comedy gold once again from another brainwashed cumstain

  4. You forget to mention that before antifa was hit with flash bangs they had been told numerous times by police to clear the intersection. That they walked into the event chanting 'all cops are bastards'. Then began to rain bottles, rocks and whatever else down on police.
    Meanwhile the right side stayed out of the street and did not provoke the police.
    Tell me something: why is antifa 97% white kids? And their dumbass professors?
    But there are multi ethnic fascist groups?
    How hard is it to believe that American minority groups might love their country and be nationalists?
    Inquiring minds want to know!

  5. He just casually stated that Pinochet killed tens of thousands of people. I'm no Pinochet fan but I believe that the estimated deaths under his regime was around 3 thousand.

  6. LoL !!
    Neither side of those nitwits can smell each others Troll Poop even when they step in it!
    And for Democracy Now, thats a laugh too.

  7. Kinda hypocritical from the socialist left. Communist drones wearing Che Guevara shirts, A man who was a blood thirsty killer.

  8. It's just a rebranding effort because they know they need to do it to maximize their recruitment and support or at least minimize how badly society perceives them.

  9. BLACK PEOPLE: This is a worldwide multicultural rally against US!!! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “PEOPLE OF COLOR”, and the sooner you understand that WE HAVE NO FRIENDS, the sooner we’ll understand that we have to rely on OURSELVES against the MAIN proponent of evil, the Caucasian! All these other cock sucking groups will fall in line as soon as their MASTERS are sent back to Hell! That goes for the Hispanics and DOUBLY for Asians! NOBODY is as hated and hated on as much as black people, and everyone has the exact same reason for it….THEY AIN’T US!!!

  10. Honestly these guys could not even come close to defining any of the ideologies that they align with.Not Socialist , or even facist !
    They are basic racists ,basic homophobes, basic Machismo psychos.

    They are immature , with impotency issues to the extreme. They are seaching out a scenario where they can be violent and feel powerfull.

    Ideology is a convenience. There is no real ideology. Not one developed by any critical thinking.
    They simply need a target!! They are brutes.

  11. Rich, dark people often feel set apart. Like they are seen worthy by the white supremests. When in reality, they are despised.
    Although, I believe they all have common obstacles in life. They are not each other's enemy. They are both victims.

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