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Independent Left: Le Chéile December 4, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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From Independent Left. A piece on contemporary anti-fascism that raises a lot of important points about new developments and what directions those who seek to work to check fascists can and should take.

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1. CL - December 5, 2020

Fascist to hold rally tomorrow.

President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Valdosta this Saturday, Dec. 5.

“Trumpism is at this point nothing more than a blend of cultism and fascism, a violent, nihilistic howl against the pillars of American democracy unparalleled in presidential history….
people surrounding Trump are calling for dictatorship…
much of the broader GOP, especially at the federal level, has remained silent in the face of this escalating assault on the democracy.”
https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/trump-coup-dictatorship-fascism/

“Trump’s refusal to concede is an attack on the state and democratic government. While his actions may be dismissed as merely tantrums, the history of dictators in Latin America over the past century suggests the need to take this dangerous moment seriously….
in defeat he is edging away from being a typical right-wing populist and toward being someone who poses a dire threat to democracy.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/11/16/what-history-coups-tells-us-about-trumps-refusal-concede/

“A conscious political strategy by Trump, Republican leaders, and their white nationalist allies to build a permanent mass authoritarian movement to take back power, fed by the mythology that the election was stolen and Biden can never be a legitimate President.” -?
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/24/trumps-no-concession-endgame-stab-back-gambit-which-helped-bring-nazis-power

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2. gregtimo - December 5, 2020

“it is not the aim of Le Chéile to organise counter-protests to far-right rallies.”
Surely it doesnt have to be either/or ? It would be nice if Le Cheile were to explain that decision and how it was reached of course.
But these are very scary and worrying times for many including myself and I can see it might have been to re-assure us that we would not be expected to police the streets in the interests of achieving the widest possible coalition. Given that there are some who never comment on the serious crime of ultra-capitalist drugs gangsters (not to mention wannabe teens) and imagine the manifold problems of that trade can be contained by Liberal left legislation alone, it is maybe not that surprising that this decision was reached. (Personally I can imagine a Colombia style situation evolving using said drugs trades as death squads, they are part of the Fascists as far as I am concerned).
Pragmatically I like many have a Long Term Illness and do not want to be dragged into scuffles with the hairbrained (I have avoided the city centre almost entirely since March). But I support those who feel able to counter street Fascism of whatever kind .
There’s a danger that Le Cheile could become yet another paper coalition that does little . The directive does not forbid counter-protests , though it sounds lame and should be changed to something more supportive of those who wish to directly challenge the real fascists in our midst.

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3. lcox - December 5, 2020

Good piece I thought. We absolutely do need to oppose fascism and the far right in a range of ways, for practical and political reasons. In the face of media and police who at best will “both sides” things and at worst actively sympathise with the politics of racism, the work of dismantling the coalitions that are boosting the far right in Ireland has to happen in a range of different spaces. But then it always would have done anyway.

It is really disappointing that the opportunity to pull together different groups for active and well-organised counter protests has been missed, but let’s hope this won’t be the only such attempt.

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Colm B - December 5, 2020

Its a basic flaw in the whole PbP/SWN model of campainging – in theory they support a variety of tactics such as mass mobilisation, lobbying, direct action etc but in practice they largely discourage or avoid direct action.

It has been standard practice since the anti-Iraq war campaign. My guess is that it arises from a fear that direct action will drive away the liberals that they want on board but also that they can’t control these actions.

Of course, as Independent Left point out, there is no need to counterpose these tactics, they can be complimentary. Confronting fascists directly is a serious business and, for a variety of reasons, comrades may not be able or wish to do so, but we should support those who do so in an organised way. I think the IL statement will generate a healthy debate and push PBP/SWN to have a rethink.

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E - December 7, 2020

Perhaps Colm but as I and Conor have FB friends in common, I can see he is being called out for this statement and questions were being raised about ILs actual level of involvement in the Le Cheile meetings itself. Maybe Conor still has his problems as an ex-Big Cheese in the Irish SWP.

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Colm B - December 7, 2020

As someone who was a small cheese in the WP many years back I see no shame in learning the lessons from mistakes and flaws of your previous experience.
If you listened to Conor’s discussion of his experience in the SWP on the recent podcast posted on CLR, you would know that he has acknowledged both the flaws and the achievements of that organisation.

His critique is entirely political and it’s rather insulting to the members of IL to suggest that they are motivated by some petty sulk by an exSWP member. Failure to contend with ILs dual track approach to anti-fascism and attacking them rather than their views, indicates a distinct lack of confidence in PBP position.

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E - December 8, 2020

Fair enough.. my cheese comment was unwise. Yes maybe I will listen to Conors opinions in that webcast but as we used to say ‘The Personal is Political” so you’ll have to look into Conor personal conduct within the SWP which was questionable at times and lets be frank, the rejected slate system of PC elections kept Conor in his leadership position, I think he would not of survived a open vote as happened in the last SWN conference. No one, party or a person is perfect.

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WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2020

Woah there, ‘personal conduct… questionable’. That’s not an appropriate statement to make. By all means question and critique Conor or anyone’s political statements but alluding to or alleging something about people that is irrelevant but more importantly no one here can have the slightest knowledge of one way or another and is just plucked out of thin air is out of order.

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Colm B - December 8, 2020

Second that WBS.

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E - December 10, 2020

Not plucked out of the air I am afraid… I know the guy a lot longer that you both do so these things did in fact have political consequences with people leaving the organizations over it.

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WorldbyStorm - December 10, 2020

The problem is not that we know someone or don’t, and for the record I’ve met CK just once – it’s not even that we don’t know who you are, after all you’re someone who infrequently posts on here albeit almost always in the context of criticising CK – it’s that making thinly veiled hints about someone’s supposed (though unproveable personal failings) is just pointless on a social media site.

Do you not see how negatively that reflects on you (and indirectly on the politics you claim to represent)?

I can’t state it any more clearly than I did before. By all means critique mine, or CK or COB’s or anyone’s political positions – but any more dark mutterings about other peoples personal failings and I’ll be forced to block your IP as per our moderation policy.

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4. lcox - December 5, 2020

Let’s hope so! It does sound a bit like “let’s give people something radical-sounding to do but then it turns out to be something that could have been much more effectively done by liberal NGOs and celebrities”. Will sell well in colleges no doubt.

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