Political Post: Roter Frontkämpferbund
The two branches of the corporate party that hold office here in the States are champions of the status quo. Why? Because the status quo keeps them in power, best serves their paymasters, and keeps us living paycheck to paycheck, laboring for a pittance under the looming fear of getting sick and going broke. The two branches of the corporate party are masters at constructing an alternate and mythic American history that services their status quo where the angels of the free market watch over reasonably-minded men practicing “pragmatic” solutions and the kind of “civilized politics” that keeps all change and progress moving slowly and incrementally, inch by inch, onward.
This fiction allows them to ignore how change really occurs; the mechanisms of progress; undercut anything actually radical and prevent it from ever happening again by co-opting and commodifying it into something generic, saleable, lacking of legitimate change or rebellion; and paint everything else as illegitimate, thuggish, and appealing to only the fringe.
So, again, despite, what you’ve been told and what they want you to believe (especially neo-liberals), and despite however you may personally feel about it, answering the call of fascists with your fists to protect your people and your community is nothing new.
The Red Front Fighters League (Roter Frontkämpferbund) began as a worker’s defense league in Germany. The Red Front Fighters League not only protected striking workers from bosses, the police, and hired thugs, but they also acted as security at marches and rallies, and worked to keep people from being unfairly evicted from their homes. They maintained special organizations for youth and for women (Clara Zetkin who oversaw the organization for women would go on serve as a representative for the German Communist Party in the Reichstag) and also maintained a special fund to provide support for members who were arrested.
The Red Front regularly engaged in street clashes with the Nazi brown shirts. When it came to fascists, the Red Front policy was you commit violence against a single member, then our entire local organization will respond in kind.
In 1929 during the May Day protests in Berlin, the police shot and killed over 30 protesters to kick off a wave of violence. Afterward, the Red Front Fighters League were formally banned and all their assets seized by the government.
When Hitler and the Nazi’s took power, former members of the Red Front were some of the first to be rounded up. Their ex-leader Ernst Thälmann, a man who also ran for president against both Von Hindenburg and Hitler, was arrested by the Gestapo for trying to organize a massive general strike to stymie Hitler’s power. He was held in solitary confinement for 11 years before being shot in the head and cremated. Many Red Front members who escaped arrest went on to fight the fascists in Spain, where they organized themselves into brigades named after Thälmann. But you know, blah blah blah both sides, blah blah alt-left...