Constitutional Rights Have Little Meaning For America’s Political Dissidents
A nineteen year old girl lay bloodied and broken in a pool of red on a street outside Washington, DC’s Black Cat nightclub. She had just left a punk rock show – the Goonies, to be exact – when she had been waylaid by a gang of twenty youths – white youths with shaved heads. Earlier in the evening, the girl had argued with another girl inside the club. Someone had noticed the color of her boot laces, and spread the word. Now two of the men were grabbing her. One yelled “Sieg Heil!” A third pounced on her, and began to pummel her. The mob joined in. She woke up hours later in an ambulance traveling to DC’s General Hospital.
A few months later the young girl’s name and photograph appeared on the website of the One People’s Project, placed there by webmaster Darrell Jenkins.
“Erica Hardwick's face saw fist in Baltimore [sic] months before,” it read, “We are going to see this one again real soon, and for her, that's not a good thing!” http://www.onepeoplesproject.com/hardwick.htm)
It was a direct threat from an organization which, though ostensibly founded to counteract a New Jersey rally by Nationalist Movement leader Richard Barrett and to “stop racist violence”, has been linked to at least one other recent attack, the clubbing of a man by tire-iron wielding youths at a political demonstration. The threat was giving to the police who responded – by doing nothing.
The lack of response was no surprise. Hardwick is a political organizer – for the National Alliance. The youth were political, too – members of Anti-Racist Action and Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, extreme members of the “anti-hate” movement managed by America’s rulers from the Democratic Party to MTV. For the politically dissident there is no longer any recourse for justice in America’s courts or police. For decades these institutions have become less an instrument for the rule of law and more an instrument of class rule and raw power. Their decisions are capricious and usurp the Constitution and written law for the benefit of the political forces which nominate the judges and employ the police. And while “anti-racism” and attacks on the right wing are always used as test cases for the latest totalitarian “security” measures, the effects of those measures always come back to bite the leftists that cheer them on.
The Kidnapping of Gary Lauck
Gary Lauck has always been an eccentric. With his brown-shirted SA uniform and his funny Hitler-esque mustache, he seems in photos to be a living caricature of what other Nazi’s deride as a “hobbyist” – someone who likes to dress up and play Nazi more than engage in right-wing activism.
But Lauck is far from a frivolous figure. Since 1972 he has been in the gun sights of German authorities for his role in importing into that country German-language National Socialist newspapers and material. Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, Lauck spent most of his life outside the rule of German law, protected by the US Constitution, which permits American citizens to say and publish what they please, even if it is eccentric or offensive.
But when Lauck traveled to Denmark in March of 1995, the Germans couldn’t resist the opportunity to attack him. In blatant violation of international law, which states that the sovereign Danish government’s recognition of it’s people’s right to speak freely must be respected, Germany invaded its small Northern neighbor with a kidnap team, snatching Lauck and imprisoning him on thought-related charges for which he had already been tried in absentia, without an attorney or the opportunity to make a defense, and on which the German government had already sentenced him to four and a half years.
The tyranny of social democratic Germany is already infamous internationally. Only China and a handful of dictatorships restrict their people’s speech more closely than the modern German fuehrers do. But it was the reaction of American courts, supposed bastions of freedoms, in recognizing Lauck’s imprisonment which should truly scare civil libertarians.
In July 1999 a Nebraska court judge ruled that since Lauck had been convicted – in absentia, without an attorney or defense – of felony violations of German censorship laws, that he had lied when he refused to note that conviction on his application for a Nebraskan concealed carry firearms permit, denying the application as a result. Foreign readers should note that in the thirty three US states that permit concealed carry (as opposed to open carry), the issuance of such permits is both routine and considered a right of any citizen that can only be denied under extraordinary circumstances. Lauck appealed, and the decision was upheld, almost solely on the basis of Lauck’s political views and appeals to the court and in the press made by American Jewish organizations. The story then got worse.
After having had his Constitutional right to carry a firearm taken away because of the kangaroo court politics of a foreign dictatorship, Lauck’s troubles grew worse. This man who had not had a prior criminal record in his nearly sixty years on the planet was then arrested and charged with lying on a concealed carry permit, a felony which carries five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. He goes to trial Monday, December 3, 2001, in Lancaster County, Nebraska.
Lauck’s case is not the only instance of the courts setting the Constitution aside in order to play lackey to America’s entrenched bourgeoisie. Another precedent setting attack, which has already begun to leak into the mainstream, has occurred in Illinois, where Attorney General Jim Ryan has demanded that a white-supremacist religious organization be recognized as “not religious” and therefore subject both to registration under state charity laws and the confiscation of those assets which it has failed to register.
The World Charity Of The Creator
Matt Hale is certainly an offensive figure. He is the pontifex maximus of the World Church of the Creator, an organization which believes that “our race is our religion” and who openly abuses and claims superiority over non-white people. His supporters have been repeatedly implicated in violence, and are known by their reputation for their extreme and unstable behavior even among other extreme and unstable members of the national socialist right.
That said, Hale’s views are not more extreme or more violent than other recognized religious groups in America. The Church of Scientology, for instance, is a group that openly brainwashes its members, forces their children to work long hours for little wages, and which has established facilities for confining, and in one case has killed by confinement, its dissident members. After twelve of its members were convicted of breaking into the offices of federal law enforcement to steal documents and short circuit a federal investigation of its finances, and after other members were found to have threatened and assaulted journalists who attempted to report on these practices, the “Church” was still permitted to file as a tax-exempt religious organization with the IRS, and is recognized as such in every state of the union. In 1999, after contributing significantly to Bill Clinton, Scientologists were even allowed to meet with National Security Advisor Sandy Berger to discuss policy concerns. And Scientology is only the largest of dozens of nutty cult groups who openly preach violence and who’s temples dot the American fringe religious landscape.
Hale, who holds a doctorate in law, was denied his membership in the Illinois bar because of his views, and was subjected to another attack by the Illinois state government, who moved to confiscate all of his assets, claiming that, since his group wasn’t a recognized religion, it was subject to regulation by the state as a charity, and thus since it hadn’t registered as a charity, must be ruled illegal. The argument, and the law, were a clear violation of Hale’s right to assemble, right to speak, and right to be secure against the seizure of his property, as guaranteed in the American Constitution.
Hale also wasn’t the only one attacked under this law. A Vietnam Veteran’s group was also persecuted under this law by Ryan, who claimed that a telemarketing agency hired by the organization had violated the law by not informing the people they called that only 15% of the funds raised actually went to VietNow.
Hale challenged the law on the basis that it gave the State’s Attorney discretion to prosecute any organization that accepts money on a discriminatory basis. VietNow made essentially the same argument. Not surprisingly, the same court dispensed two different forms of justice. The Illinois Supreme Court denied Hale’s challenge, stating that the term “charity”, defined as anyone who accepts money, wasn’t overly broad and didn’t give the state unlimited discriminatory powers. The same Supreme Court then upheld VietNow’s challenge, stating that the group had a free speech right not to tell those from whom funds were being raised that 85% of it was being pocketed by the telemarketers. The reason for the discrepancy in the decisions was political and had no basis in law. The Illinois law in question was designed to give the public full disclosure over how much of their money was actually going to a given organization. It was not designed to suppress or seize the assets of political or religious dissidents. But under the rule of a government who’s courts are corrupted by raw political power and a zealous desire to destroy, the rule of law and the context in which laws are passed and intended mean nothing.
And while self-proclaimed “leftists”, often with the support of the government and particularly the Democratic Party, like to cheer these decisions on, often showing up, like the Progressive Labor Party, during controversial speech cases waving signs reading “No Free Speech For Fascists” and advocating a repeal of the “bourgeois” First Amendment, these laws always turn against them as well. Witness only the latest maneuvers of the “War on Terrorism”.
Anti-Globalists Are “Terrorists”
"Anarchists and extremist socialist groups -- many of which, such as the Worker's World Party, Reclaim the Streets, and Carnival Against Capitalism -- have an international presence and, at times, also represent a potential threat in the United States."
-- FBI Director Louis Freeh, testifying on “domestic terrorism” to Congress, May 2001
Though the government always uses “right-wingers” and “fascists” as the test cases in the application of their laws, it is always leftists and dissidents in general who suffer the effects.
Since the September 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the “usual suspects” – the American Jewish Lobby [see “Israeli Lobby Fears Decline In Influence”: http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/10/25/19188.html], the CIA-Mossad Intelligence Lobby [See “The Businessmen Behind David Horowitz”: http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/23/21825.html], and most of the ruling class – have launched a campaign to integrate “left-wing” and “anarchist” groups into their wacky “hate group” conspiracy theories, and have pushed for laws limiting the civil liberties of left-wing, anti-racist, and communist organizers.
The attack was begun last year by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which stood up to defend the corporate interests of the Democratic Party against the anti-globalist rioting that had been threatening its entrenched interest group. Writing in the Winter 2000 issue of their Intelligence Report, the SPLC stated:
“Right alongside the ‘progressive’ groups that demonstrated in Seattle -- … defenders of labor, the environment, animal rights and similar causes -- were the hard-edged soldiers of neofascism. … How was it that members of the far "left" and "right" found themselves facing down police together? … The common enemy was, in a word, globalism.”
A year later, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith now echoes those sentiments. Profiled in a press release, alongside national socialist websites like Vanguard News Network and the Aryan Nations, was the International Action Center and the mainstream black website BlackElectorate.com. In previous releases, the International Socialist Organization, a militant anti-racist Trotskyist group, had been targeted. And another major Jewish organization, the Wiesenthal Center, went a step further. While the ADL at least made note there was some difference between anti-racist communism and white supremacy, the Wiesenthal Center threw them together, stating in their report “9/11 Digital Lies: A Survey Of Online Apologists For Terrorism” that:
“9/11 Digital Lies … is based on data compiled by the research arm of the Wiesenthal Center which tracks the worldwide web for pro-terrorist and hate sites. …This study presents an overview of the propaganda and distortions being circulated by the enemies of the US, her allies, and most especially the state of Israel.”
Labeling the groups and individuals listed as “supporters of terrorism and mass murder”, the Wiesenthal Center dutiful went on to list them. At the bottom – leftist writer Michael Parenti, the International Action Center, and BlackElectorate.com.
Of course, the Wiesenthal Center has never been opposed to either terrorism or mass murder when such acts have been conducted by Jews. In one memorable radio broadcast carried by C-SPAN, the Wiesenthal Center openly defended Israeli torture and extra-judicial murder of Palestinian dissidents during an invited speech by chief Israeli torturer and former Mossad agent Carmi Gillon. The group has also openly lobbied to have the US government commit acts of terror against US citizens who challenge the hegemony of pro-Israeli American Jewish influence in Congress, and has openly called for the US government to abandon the Constitutional protections enjoyed by political dissidents. In one memorable moment, one the Center’s Rabbis, arguing for internet censorship, told the Virginia Bar Association Newsletter that:
“The Web is not a debating society. It’s there for marketing and advertising.”
He then went on to state that only businesses, not individuals, should have access to the web, and that entry costs to having a web page should be higher, so fewer groups would have one and so Jewish groups could boycott them if they got out of line – like they did in the early part of the 20th Century where they drove American newspapers out of business so their supporters could buy them up.
The People’s War
Another disturbing development in the post-September-11 world has been the consideration given by the US government to banning US leftist groups like the Revolutionary Communist Party and Refuse and Resist!, under the excuse that they are organizations providing funding to “terrorists”.
The Justice Department maintains a list of banned “terrorist” organizations, including among them many anarchist and communist organizations, most based in Europe. According to Pravda sources, John Ashcroft is considering adding to that list the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist), aka CPN (M-L), a revolutionary communist guerilla movement which is waging a “people’s war” to overthrow Nepal’s hereditary monarchy.. The CPN (M-L) is a member of a group called the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (coRIM). Others members of that committee include the Sendero Luminso movement of Peru, and another communist guerilla movement in the Phillipines. In America, coRIM’s affiliate is the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) of Bob Avakian, which often operates through its front organization, Refuse and Resist!. The RCP maintains close ties to the CPN (M-L), and has sent American party members to Nepal to live with and “observe” the tactics and strategy of the guerilla movement. Reporter Li Onesto of the party’s Revolutionary Worker newspaper, pictured on their website (http://www.rwor.org/s/nepal.htm) bandana clad and carrying the firearm she fought with during her time in the guerilla army, recently returned to America, stating:
“I witnessed the power and deep roots of this revolution when I spent several months traveling with a squad of the people's army through guerrilla zones in western, central and eastern Nepal. …Traveling in the isolated and remote countryside I didn't have to look far to see why peasants would support an armed struggle to overthrow the present order. … Small farmers, who fed and sheltered us, talked bitterly about landowners and corrupt officials stealing their tiny plots of land and money lenders charging them exorbitant interest … peasants embrac[ed] the revolutionary ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.”
And recently, according to a report that ran on the Marxist-Leninist Newswire, under the headline “Red Fraction Wins Internal Struggle”:
“Red fraction communists within the Communist Party of Nepal[Maoist] have won out in the internal struggle as to whether or not the People's War should continue. Right Opportunists in the Co-RIM, the RCP/USA and Human Rights and People's War in Nepal have quickly changed sides and have now declared that they have been on the side of People's War from the very beginning.”
This line is very dangerous for the RCP. Under an “anti-terrorist” law passed by the United States in the mid-1990s, the Attorney General can ban by fiat any organization he considers to be “sponsoring terrorism” by providing funding to an overseas organization that has been designated “terrorist” by the Secretary of State. Under the USA-PATRIOT act, the Attorney General can summarily arrest, detain, and confiscate the assets of any member of any organization that is associated with any group that the Attorney General, without evidence, designates as being on another, special list of “really bad terrorists”. Originally designed as a racist attack on the Muslim community by America’s official Jewish lobby, if that list grows to include the CPN (M-L), the law will have morphed into a tool the Attorney General is using to shut down a domestic dissident group that since the 1960s has been recognized as a legitimate voice of political protest.
In a world where, in February of this year, a British anti-missile-shield demonstrator was arrested and charged under “hate crime” laws for dragging an American flag on the ground, no activist of any stripe is safe when the lobbyists for tyranny continue their crusade against “hate”. Just as in Maryland last year, where a Jewish third party Congressional candidate was denied access to public television because of a 1992 Supreme Court ruling stating an Arkansas National Socialist did not have to be granted access to public television, when laws are passed and precdents set that allow governments to abuse people, all sorts of people, not just the people the ruling class initially tells you they intend to target, become victims.
One only has to look at the example of the Soviet Union, where a government founded by Jews (more than 300 of the first 384 commissars were Jewish – 284 of them American Jews) was given power to systematically exterminate non-Jewish ethnicities, but then turned viciously in the hands of Stalin to purge the Jewish bourgeoisie:
Lev Bronstein, the man we know as Leon Trotsky, went from machine gunning striking workers outside the closed Duma in 1919 to being ice picked in the ear in Mexico in 1940.
Lev Kamenev and Gregory Zinoviev went from being the architects of Red Terror to being corpses with their face blown off in 1936.
Genhrik Yagoda went from running forced labor camps in 1930 to a state execution in 1938.
The nature of tyranny is that no group of people can hold onto it forever – power changes hands, and when it does, those that had held power before are the first to suffer for their sins.
The media loves a Nazi. They love to persecute, to ridicule, and to abuse. But in most cases, they do so knowing that they Nazi they are making into a threat is no threat at all. Witnesses the case of Andrew Greenbaum, the mentally ill twenty year old who declared himself “fuehrer”, and who’s crowning achievement was a “rally” in Washington which drew a total of four people, sticking the city, whipped into a panic by media frenzy, with a $1,000,000 bill for police overtime. Greenbaum was a product of media hysteria against Nazi-ism – and was the subject of an abortive attempt by the city of DC to sue him to pay the costs they had been bamboozled into shelling out. As DC’s grunting, semi-literate police chief Charles Ramset put it, “We’re going to sue him and take his tennis shoes.” Imagine if that precedent has been set – that a demonstrator, even an anti-globalist, could be held accountable for the damage done by other anti-globalists who merely showed up at their rally – or, even worse, that protestors had to pay for whatever level of force the police felt was appropriate – even if the police were to deploy four thousand officers to protect against a demonstration by four men.
All that saves the left right now is that they are doing something useful for the political system. When leftists wear masks and use mob violence to suppress “racism”, the police will refuse to enforce a mask ordinance because the ruling class views “racists” as a greater threat to their rule than “leftists”. But when the left threatens the power structure, such as they do with their anti-globalist rallies, the exact same police force will trump up charges of “criminal instruments” and arrest leftists for transporting PVC pipes (used to make non-violent lock-arms used in civil disobedience.)
Anti-racism and working class solidarity across racial lines may define the communist left. But these leftists bourgeois counterparts among the neo-liberals only use anti-racism as a tool for maintaining class rule, and they have no problem urging a State’s Attorney like Jim Ryan to prosecute them under charity laws, or having them kidnapped and extradited to foreign country if there is some political expedient to server. And the same principle that allows deportation of a Nazi to Germany will allows deportation of a Tibetan independence activist to China, a Palestinian activist (aka “terrorist”) to Israel, a supporter of People’s War to Nepal, or a drug-rights activist to Columbia, if such deportation serves the immediate class interest.
As the Southern Poverty Law Center put it in their Fall 2001 Intelligence Report, “When Laws Conflict”, advocating for US recognition of foreign anti-speech laws:
“The United States is a signatory to the United Nations’ Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, which states that ‘any advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence shall be prohibited by law.’ But international agreements cannot be used to skirt the principle of ‘double criminality.’ … The ‘double criminality’ principle does not frustrate only foreign countries. The same principle can stymie law enforcement here as well. European countries like France that have abolished the death penalty are now refusing to extradite suspected murderers to the United States without a guarantee that prosecutors will not seek their execution.”
Already the same principles used against haters are being used to strengthen the death penalty.
So what can leftists do? First, they have to recognize that the US federal government and the interests that control it are their primary enemies. “Haters” and fringe right-wing movements are secondary because, though they may be virulent, they have no real power to impose their views. Second, leftists need to realize that right-wingers are often issue-based allies on civil rights concerns to extremists, and that it is not okay for leftists to demand that anyone’s free speech be banned, even if the speech is “hateful” or “intolerant”, or that anyone’s civil rights ever be taken away.
If leftists can’t do these thing, then they will get what they deserve, when, in the back room of a gulag, a government employee puts a bullet into the back of their head and blows their “peaceful” “tolerant” and “loving” brains against a urine soaked basement cell wall. In the meantime, they can enjoy the secondary fruits of their labors, when they find themselves lying in a pool of blood outside a DC nightclub.