‘Alt Right Delete’ conference will build organized movement against far right

The International Socialist Organization invites all solidarity-minded students and other members of the Berkeley community to the launch of the “Alt Right Delete” conference. Please join us at the intersection of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue on April 27 at noon as we announce this conference and rally in defense of the oppressed majority. “Alt Right Delete” will take place at UC Berkeley on Aug. 19, at the beginning of the fall 2017 semester. It will be an important opportunity for new and returning members of the campus community who want to tackle the threat posed by the political right wing, which is growing emboldened from the White House to the streets of Berkeley.

In the past four months, Berkeley has witnessed and experienced the disturbing growth of a far right that is a threat to us all. We cannot depend on the campus administration to defend us. The absurd back and forth over whether the racist Ann Coulter will be allowed to speak at UC Berkeley proves this point. The administration, purposefully or not, has impeded Coulter’s visit through bureaucratic means such as declaring a lack of appropriate venue. This has allowed Berkeley College Republicans and its far-right allies to pretend they are carrying on the legacy of the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley.

The reality is that BCR and the far right are antithetical to the FSM, which was led by militant civil rights activists and socialists. In the 1960s, the UC Berkeley administration cracked down on campus speech to snuff out civil rights activism by students, who were becoming a thorn in the side of the California ruling class. It is absurd for white supremacists such as Nathan Damigo, Ann Coulter and their BCR supporters to claim this legacy. Free speech is a necessary protection for the oppressed, whose rights are always first on the chopping block. The administration’s suspension of a student-led course on Palestine is proof of this. (The course was later reinstated after widespread criticism.)

This absurdity, however, has dominated mainstream discussions of the far right in Berkeley. And it has done so because there is no organized movement of the mass majority of solidarity-minded people that is pushing the truth. This is the problem with depending on the administration to defend us. Not only are its anti-free speech maneuvers dangerous to our side, but the administration is fundamentally incapable of mounting a consistent defense. Its record is clear: hostility toward Palestine solidarity activists, student workers and survivors of sexual violence. The only people who can defend us are ourselves.

Moreover, the fights on the streets of Berkeley on April 15 showed that we also can’t depend on a small group of anti-fascists to rebuff the far right alone. The Berkeley community rallied with us against Donald Trump on Jan. 20 and in defense of the campus against Milo Yiannopoulos on Feb. 1. But without an organized mass movement, those who want to confront the far right will conclude that the only available choice to fight back is property destruction and street fighting, while others will conclude that this is no choice at all.

“Alt Right Delete” will be dedicated to developing a new choice: a strategy that can actually win. This is the strategy of mass mobilization, organization and commitment to the politics of solidarity. The conference will consist of talks, discussions and workshops on understanding the growth of the far right, the left’s long history of anti-fascist organizing, free speech as a principle of the left and proposals for how we should move forward. We will proudly declare and defend UC Berkeley as an anti-fascist campus. This will be the first step in building an organized movement that will outnumber and out-mobilize the far right whenever it rears its ugly head.

Mukund Rathi is a law student at UC Berkeley and a member of the International Socialist Organization.

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  • roccolore

    The alt-left wants to play the victim.

  • Killer Marmot

    In the 1960s, the UC Berkeley administration cracked down on campus speech to snuff out civil rights activism by students, who were becoming a thorn in the side of the California ruling class. It is absurd for white supremacists such as Nathan Damigo, Ann Coulter and their BCR supporters to claim this legacy.

    Translation: Free speech is only important if it’s left-wing speech.

    Anyone that thinks free speech is only for views they agree with doesn’t really believe in free speech at all.

    • Attila Iskander – A Déplorable

      What amazes me is the rationalization of it.

      But isn’t it amazing that IN FACT, the author is effectively arguing for handing Nathan Damigo, Ann Coulter and the BCR that legacy, by in effect becoming the “Red (in more ways than one) Coats” of the 21st Century.

  • lspanker

    the racist Ann Coulter

    As soon as I read stuff like that, I know I’m dealing with idiots. Coulter is snarky, caustic, and confrontational (a style she appropriated from the Left of the 1960’s and 1970’s, BTW) but she’s no racist. Dimwits who believe this type of nonsense, AND think it’s OK to ban people from speaking due to their political views, clearly lack the intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills to be allowed onto any self-respecting college campus in the first place…

  • Peter Chrzanowski

    UC Berkeley does have a right to limit the time, place, and manner of speech. BUT, as a public (government) university it may not discriminate based on the content of speech.

    Yet that’s exactly what the author proposes: that some political speech is simply unacceptable, and thus need not be tolerated. Nonetheless, legal precedent requires that government entities (but not private ones) espect the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. And never more so than when that speech is political speech. And no, there is no exception for disagreeable speech, or even speech some might categorize as “hate speech”: the Constitution makes no such distinctions.

    The assertion that some speech need not be tolerated reminds of H.L. Mencken’s comment on Puritans and Puritanism: that they were driven by the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be having fun.

    Some of those on the Left seem to be driven by the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be saying something disagreeable. And therefore, like cartoon Puritans (and all too real fascists) they have decided that this speech must be opposed By Any Means Necessary, including violence (and credible threats of violence).

    Really, Mukund, no one has appointed you King, with the power to determine what speech shall and shall not be permitted, on U.C. campuses or anywhere else. In any case, disagreeable speech is pervasive, not only in person but in practically all media (such as print, radio, internet, etc.). What are you going to do, make war on all of it?

  • Larry Martin

    The writer and his/her group actually appear be the facists in this story. Grow up and learn what the first amendment is all about. Many have died to defend it, while you seem so nonchalant about destroying it. Sad American, if you are one.

    • lspanker

      They have not just APPEARED but have PROVEN themselves to be the violent fascists, given that their organization participates in many of these violent riots masquerading as “demonstrations” to begin with…

  • jim hoch

    “free speech as a principle of the left ” Uhhh no

    • Attila Iskander – A Déplorable

      Definitely NOT, if we go by leftist groups like BAMN and antifa.
      They are all about silencing ANYONE they define as “fascists”, even while their definition is actually incorrect and false.
      When the original antifa “Antifascist Aktion” was formed, it was really an internecine war among socialists. Because everyone one at the time saw fascists, aka National Socialists” as left-wing
      They were in fact competing among each other for the same turf.
      In Russia, the Communists won. In Germany, the Fascists won. In some places neither won. And so on Across Europe and the world.

      Since that time the meaning of fascist has magically morphed into “right wing” and this in part because it was an easy slur for the left to apply and use against the right.
      (If nothing else, it just proves how ignorant the left’s useful idiots really are.)

      So today, we have the left trying to silence by any means, including riot and violence, those who oppose them

      That is NOT demonstrating that “free speech as a principle of the left”
      Quite the contrary.

  • ESPM360

    Which speakers on the left have been shut down at Berkeley? Can you give us a list of acceptable conservative speakers who you will permit to speak?

  • Attila Iskander – A Déplorable

    It is interesting that the text of skeptical1776 is being blocked for alleged moderation
    And has been so for nearly 24 hours.
    How long does it take to actually “moderate” a text ?
    Or is alleged moderation and excuse to censor ?

    This is typicaly the speech that the left wishes to censor.
    And yet, it’s the very kind of speech that should be heard
    And countered with even more and better speech if you disagree with it.

    “Being a member of the International Socialist Organization exhibits exactly the same moral status as being a member of the Nazi Party.
    All members of these organizations are [pro-]murderers with blood on their hands. Hateful, horrible people who belong in a museum of horrors. Of course [pro-]murderers such as Rathi will happily militate for babies being wrapped in explosive belts and sent to jihad and their early death, like the mainstream “palestinian” culture dictates.
    The ilk of Mukund RAThi (whose very last name is rather predestined, and it speaks volumes about the quality of the family which projected him into the world he’s polluting) is what makes the world a dark place. The Rathis are filled with hatred, deep racism, thirst for violence, and an apocalyptic worldview which leans towards destruction because they have no ability to build anything.
    A disgrace.”

  • Attila Iskander – A Déplorable

    What these pocked fascists (and yes fascism is a socialist variant, being the nationalist version of Communism) have failed to learn is school is the following

    The principle of Free Speech, which is behind the 1st Amendment is applicable to interactions between people separate of any restrictions on government stated in the 1st Amendment
    To wit
    To have an open society, means that all people can express their opinion without either the majority, or a minority trying to censor anyone.
    And the process of free speech is a two-part exercise
    1) The right of the speaker to actually speak unhindered by what is commonly referred to as the heckler’s veto.
    2) The right of the audience to ACTUALLY hear the speaker, unhindered by the heckler’s veto.

    What the fascists posing as “International Socialist Organization” are proposing is in fact making the heckler’s veto their tool to
    a) silence anyone they disapprove
    b) prevent anyone from hearing from anyone they disapprove.

    It is ironic, that if anyone suggested that the proposed meeting on Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue on April 27 be shut down, we would have this “Alt-Right Delete” group squealing like stuck pigs about infringement on THEIR right of Free speech.

    Oh the hypocrisy of the left.

    • Pebo

      So true. Opposite sides of the same coin.

  • Halford Mackinder

    The Free Speech Movement was actually started in Philadelphia 1776 by cishet patriarchal white supremacist slave owners. “Free Speech” is a menace to the existence of women and racial-/sexual minorities. It’s time to put “Free Speech” where it belongs: in the ground with the bodies of the middle class bourgeoisie.

    • Attila Iskander – A Déplorable

      It that was written as irony, then it’s funny
      If that was written in all seriousness, then the author is an idiot, and it’s a tragedy/

  • Left Unsaid

    Law enforcement officers: please infiltrate this subversive and violence prone group. They are AKA “black bloc”

  • zzz

    Does the lawyering department at UCB teach argument by definition? “Moreover, the fights on the streets of
    Berkeley on April 15 showed that we also can’t depend on a small group
    of anti-fascists to rebuff the far right alone.” Common Trump types are fascists? Not a fan of Trump myself, but obvious Warped world view from our author.

    The authors goals is to silence his enemies and call it freedom, I wonder if our author is familiar with Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohen, or Ed Meece and Ronald Reagan, he sure sounds a lot like them. Of course too young and has no real knowledge of American history.

    Alas socialism has killed millions, there are western European Socialists who are OKish, I doubt the author is one of them after reading this. His wanting to deny rights based on his agenda seems more German Democratic Republic or People’s Republic of China.

    • Attila Iskander – A Déplorable

      You forgot to mention Soviet Union, Warsaw pact Communist satraps, North Vietnam, Cambodia under Pol Pot, Castro’s Cuba, to name some others.

      All in all, over 200,000,000 victims of democide at the hands of these socialists of one flavor or another.

      • zzz

        I was going for the argument by definition thing I did in the first paragraph. “German Democratic Republic or People’s Republic of China,” they must be democracies or republics, it’s in the name, I would guess the author of the essay thinks they are since they claim to be.

        • Attila Iskander – A Déplorable

          Well, the Soviet was the Soviet Socialist Republics.
          Hungary was The Hungarian People’s Republic (Magyar Népköztársaság)

          And most of the other Eastern Bloc countries where Republics or Democratic (cough) Republics.

          As to useful idiots like the author.
          They’re gullible enough to believe the second coming of Lenin on Moscow Square, due for January 21, 1924, when he will miraculously reverse his embalming and rise again.

          • zzz

            I wish I could find the quote of Mao’s with I think Edgar Snow, when asked about free speech Mao said he was 100% for free speech, as long as it supported the revolution.

  • Man with Axe

    If I join your movement am I obligated to accept all of your dogmas? The reason I ask is that I spent some time living and working in an actual socialist community, and I appreciate how well it can work. Unfortunately, that community was an Israeli kibbutz. From what I read in your article is seems as if you are not very warm towards Israel. It’s ironic because they might be the only people in world history who have seen socialism succeed.

    • zzz

      There have been Utopian communities that have worked out OK. After a group gets larger than a certain point it no longer works, socialism beyond 30 or 40 people is ridiculous and runs against human nature.

    • Attila Iskander – A Déplorable

      LOL

      Now that is EXACTLY the kind of speech they want to silence.

      BEWARE !!

  • Corpus_Innominata

    Well alright then. If you guys want to get savage then let’s get savage. Nobody has anything left to lose anyway.

  • skeptical1776

    Being a member of the International Socialist Organization exhibits exactly the same moral status as being a member of the Nazi Party.

    All members of these organizations are [pro-]murderers with blood on their hands. Hateful, horrible people who belong in a museum of horrors. Of course [pro-]murderers such as Rathi will happily militate for babies being wrapped in explosive belts and sent to jihad and their early death, like the mainstream “palestinian” culture dictates.

    The ilk of Mukund RAThi (whose very last name is rather predestined, and it speaks volumes about the quality of the family which projected him into the world he’s polluting) is what makes the world a dark place. The Rathis are filled with hatred, deep racism, thirst for violence, and an apocalyptic worldview which leans towards destruction because they have no ability to build anything.

    A disgrace.

    • zzz

      I don’t really have an issue with your first line, “socialism” as in Western European effete socialism has it’s advantages, socialism as done by “it’s never been done right” types is a single party mass murder state.

      The rest directed at the author should have some supporting evidence.

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