Click here for a PDF of Vol 2 #2 Feb-Mar. 1989
EXCERPTS FROM “TURNING THE TIDE: LA Anti-Racism Newsletter”
Volume 2, Number 2, February-March 1989
Edited by Michael Novick
published by People Against Racist Terror (PART)
All rights reserved, but may be used or reproduced by movement groups with a credit line including PART’s name and address, and ordering information on “Turning the Tide:” available for $15 a year (four quarterly issues) from Anti-Racist Action-LA/PART – Write and pay to Anti-Racist Action, PO Box 1055, Culver City CA 90232.
DEMONSTRATE AGAINST NAZI SKINHEAD MUSIC FESTIVAL MARCH 4 (1989)
A state-wide demonstration has been called to protest a nazi skinhead rock concert sponsored by Tom Metzger’s WAR organization on March 4 in northern California. The event, which Metzger is calling an “Aryan Woodstock,” was postponed once after opposition forced the requirement of paying a bond to use a public hall near Sacramento. It has been rescheduled for private land midway between San Francisco and Sacramento. The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee chapter in the S.F. Bay Area has called for a demonstration outside the grounds of this “white power” concert.
PART endorses the call to oppose this neo-nazi mobilization. If you are interested in car-pooling up north, please call PART at [number no longer valid].
MASS MURDERER PATRICK PURDY LINKED TO RACIST MOVEMENT
Patrick Purdy, who killed 5 Indochinese refugee children last month and wounded 30 others when he shot up their school yard in Stockton with AK-47 fire, was linked to neo-nazi racist groups, but it has been hushed up by police and the media. Purdy was arrested in Lake Tahoe in 1987 on weapons charges, and was found at that time to have been in possession of Aryan Nations lit.
On the stock and clip of his assault rifle, he had carved the circled cross logo of WAR Youth groups, particularly the Pit Bull Boys, nazi skins who advertise in the WAR Youth paper, and the initials “S.S.A.”, possibly a reference to the SS Action Group, another neo-nazi youth formation in Michigan. The FBI removed the clip with these nazi regalia before showing it to the press, but they are clearly visible in photos of the rifle where Purdy placed it on the ground at the scene of the killings.
This illustrates again the connection between racist mobilizations and propaganda and their inevitable outcome — racist terror and murder. When “Guns and Roses” displays nazi regalia in a video on MTV, as Metzger boasts, or “Geraldo” gives a forum to WAR, or nazi-skin bands put racist diatribes to music, they are links in a chain that lead to cross-burning, murder, and eventually genocide.
“WAR” CALLS FOR NEO-NAZI TAKEOVER OF THE ENTIRE U.S.
Tom Metzger, leader of the so-called “Third Position” racist group WAR, has officially abandoned the notion of seeking a so-called Aryan homeland in 5 states in the north-west, which many of the racist groups have called for over the last few years. Instead, he proclaims that the nazis should “take back” the whole country as “white man’s land”.
Metzger’s new formula for race war and extermination came on his “Aryan Update” hate line, a telephone message service he runs out of his Fallbrook headquarters. Declaring that white racists gave Blacks and Mexicans 5 years to come to an agreement with them about carving up the U.S. and got no response, WAR urges its supporters to “go for it all.”
“HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE:”
PART continues to get news from sources in and near the nazi/klan movement. If you have information to share about racist activity, give us a call. [Current number: 310-288-5003]
“Grapevine” will be a regular feature of “Turning the Tide,” sharing what we learn.
REICH SKINS REGROUPING
Word on the street for the past few months has been that Pete McGurk and Mike Martin, two nazi skins both on probation for previous acts of racist terror, have joined forces and are reorganizing the Reich Skins. The cops, the Anti-Defamation League and the schools have all been proclaiming that they “put a stop” to the Reich skins and have refused to admit that the problem continues. Now, a new wave of nazi vandalism has hit the west San Fernando Valley.
On Feb. 23 , in the third such attack recently, swastikas and the slogan “(Nazi) skins are back” were spray painted on a synagog in Encino.
NATIONAL SOCIALIST SKINS THRASHED BY CANADIAN NAZI SKINS
The NS Skins in Las Vegas recently played host to a group of nazi skinheads from Canada, supposedly brought down through Metzger’s contacts to “toughen up” the Vegas skins. The Canadians were supposed to give lessons to their American cousins in how to be more “militant”. Frustrated that the NS Skins were not sufficiently enthusiastic about engaging in racist violence, the Canadians ended up beating up their hosts and leaving town.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NAZI-SKINS SET UP SHOP IN VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
Ken and Tom, a couple of nazi boneheads from southern CA, have moved up to Vancouver, WA and are trying to recruit up there. Several incidents of harassment have been reported in their wake. This follows a typical pattern. WARskins from CA went up to Portland to mobilize nazi skins there, leading to the killing of an African refugee, and southern CA skins in trouble with the law have also gone off to the NS Skins in NV.
SECURITY BREACH IN MUSIC UNION?
The sister of a leader of the anti-nazi International Music Workers Union in Orange County has joined the WARskins. She had been leaking information about union business to the nazis, it now appears. That’s the wrong way for information to flow. We need to gather intelligence about the nazis so we can put a stop to their racist crimes.
NAZI GRAFFITI IN THE SCHOOLS
According to information received by PART, racist and nazi-skin graffiti and leaflets have appeared recently in schools in Lakewood, Long Beach and Tustin and in the public library in Burbank. If you know of similar incidents, please call PART. Most school administrators usually try to hush these crimes up rather than dealing openly with the problem.
ANTI-RACIST SKINS IN MID-WEST, EAST COAST SET UP “SYNDICATE”
A highly successful gathering of anti-racist skinheads took place recently in Minneapolis, organized by the Baldies, a local “traditional” skin grouping that has pretty much driven nazi skins out of town there. The meeting, which included skins from Illinois, Michigan, NY and elsewhere, established an anti-racist skin network called the Syndicate. Participants in the conference and other supporters also held a march and rally and painted out racist graffiti.
“FORMER” KLANSMAN WINS ELECTION
The mainstream media have given a lot of belated coverage to the election victory of David Duke, racist leader, to the Louisiana House of Representatives. But mostly it has amounted to a chance for Duke to further his campaign to make racism “respectable” and to pose as a champion of the “little guy” against the establishment. Duke may have left the klan, but he’s still a racist.
Duke boasted on NBC and CNN of his operations inside Laos during the Vietnam war, but the media have never followed up on an investigation of his ties to the CIA. Duke and Bill Wilkerson, another Klan leader of the 70’s, both came out of a similar counter intelligence milieu (Bill was in Naval Intelligence) with a similar strategy: replace the hoods and bed-sheets with three piece suits for public consumption.
Duke has pursued that strategy in and “out” of the KKK. His organization, the National Association for the Advancement of White People, openly proclaims the “superiority” of whites over Africans and issues anti-Jewish, anti-Mexican and anti-Asian diatribes while calling for solidarity with white South Africans. If it ain’t the Klan, it’s the next worse thing. Duke’s campaign manager when he ran for President as a “Populist” was a “former” nazi.
The one true thing Duke has said has been to compare himself to Bush, who had nazis on his presidential campaign staff, and to former Senate Majority Leader Byrd, who was in the Klan when he was younger. The KKK and institutionalized racism go hand in hand in the government, the police and elsewhere. The Republican Party set itself up for Duke’s victory by establishing itself as the party of open white resistance to civil rights in the south. Not all racists have shaven heads or wear white hoods. Some of the most dangerous ones wear blue uniforms, black robes or business suits.
WHERE WE STAND
People have been asking PART to make clear what it stands for, apart from being against racist violence. While we do not have a hard and fast ideology, and aren’t affiliated with any party or other political group, here’s an outline of some of the principles we think should guide anti-racist activity.
White people need to oppose racism inside our communities.
The U.S. is one of the most race conscious countries in the world. “Race” is a category with no scientific basis, since Africans, Asians, Europeans, and indigenous peoples have always mixed together genetically in the course of human history. But racism is a hard reality, and what it means is not only prejudice or hatred toward another “racial” groups, but the use of power and privileges to enforce that hatred and maintain “superiority”.
As such, in America, racism is particularly white people’s problem. During the civil rights era, concerned white people were eventually told to stop trying to be missionaries to oppressed groups, and start cleaning up our act with our own people. As a whole new generation of hard-core racists is growing up, this imperative is more true today than ever.
Oppressed people have the right to self-determination.
The solution to the problems of poverty, racism and exploitation in this country is for the people who are exploited to have power over their own communities, their land and labor. This is a kind of de-centralization, democracy in action. The problem of gangs, for example, can be seen as a result of powerlessness, of the racism of society directed into self-hatred. Black gangs generally attack Black people. In other words, they are not an example of “Black racism” against whites, but an example of the way the Black community has been forced to internalize white racism.
The difference between “Black Power” and “White Power” is that Black people are calling for power over themselves, for the first time in this country, while “white power” is a demand to maintain the power of the white society over other people it has always dominated and exploited. Racism won’t end until the results of slavery, genocide and stolen land are over-turned.
All forms of racism and domination must be opposed and ended
There are links among racist right and neo-nazi forces in various social spheres, such as the anti-busing, anti- abortion, and anti-immigration movements. Anti-racists must unite with other progressive forces in the U.S. and around the world. To win the battle, we need to change the world, not just knock heads with a few bald or hooded racists.
Apartheid, colonialism, zionism, sexism are part of a system that breeds racism. We need to fight for women’s rights, to oppose U.S. military intervention in other countries, to support independence for Palestine, Puerto Rico, Namibia and other nations who are still colonized. We must oppose the hatred of gay men and lesbians that has motivated so much violence by nazi skins recently, and allowed Reagan to sit idle while AIDS claimed thousands of lives. We need to defend undocumented workers and language minority groups.
We can’t depend on the cops or the government to fight racism.
“Blue by day, white by night” is a slogan that expresses a real connection between the police and organized racism. Locally, there have been exposures of consolidated racist groups in the Glendale P.D., the San Bernardino “Aryan Officers Association”, and possible KKK members in the L.A. Sheriffs and PD.
Nationally, there have been klansmen exposed in the cops, prison guards and the military in dozens of cities. The anti-immigrant hysteria and the English-Only movement are examples of a campaign in which proto-fascists have achieved respectability and widespread support with government backing. The current wave of nazi-klan violence was unleashed when federal agents allowed the racists to kill 5 anti-klan organizers in North Carolina in 1979, and then the courts let them get away with murder.
In L.A., the cops and prosecutors similarly let Metzger, Aryan Nations head Richard Butler, and a half a dozen other racists get away with burning three crosses here in 1983. Participants went on to form the racist underground Order, robbing banks and killing a Jewish talk show host. We must educate and mobilize inside our communities, because the cops and klan work hand in hand.
Racist propaganda and mobilizing are not free speech issues.
The KKK/nazis have no right to carry out organizing campaigns without opposition, to spout their vile racism on TV or cable unchallenged, or to burn crosses. Cross-burnings are not speech, but racist terror. These actions are simply the above-ground activity of factions that have always been committed to secretive violence and terror and para-military operations. Groups like the ACLU that go to court to win parade permits for the Klan when communities try to stop their marches are misguided. Their racism is not a matter of “expression”; it’s part of a strategy to legitimize and intensify racist terror.
RECENT ACTIVITIES OF PART
PART has been involved in a number of anti-racist activities and mobilizations recently. PART marched in the L.A. Student Coalition demonstration against apartheid on Martin Luther King’s birthday. This coalition of L.A. high school students conducted a highly successful sit-in at the South African consulate in Beverly Hills. A representative of PART was recently interviewed on the KPFK-FM Morning Magazine show along with members of SHARP.
PART and SHARP are also participating in a forum on racism at UC Riverside. Someone from PART spoke to a class at the Art Institute in Laguna Beach. PART also went to a demo outside the Costa Mesa Holiday Inn against the Institute for Historical Review, a neo-nazi oriented group which claims the Hitler genocide never happened. PART is also involved in “TEACH”, a Long Beach coalition against hate crimes.
DEVELOPING ANTI-RACIST WORK
We get a lot of letters from individuals out there concerned about racist terror and organizing in their area and wondering what to do. We encourage everyone to start where they’re at to develop anti-racist work and organizing. Even one person can establish an anti-racist focus and attract others with the same feelings and concerns.
Talk to your friends, classmates, teachers or people you work with. Maybe even people in your family, or neighbors, will share your ideas. You can start to put out a ‘zine without much effort. There’s lots of material you can use in newsletters, other ‘zines, national anti-klan resources like those listed in this issue. You can get stickers and flyers from these groups that you post, or reprint with a local address, preferably a p.o. box.
If you’ve got a few bucks to spare, many cities now have “voice bulletin boards” where you can get an answering service that allows you to record your own (anti-racist) message and then record incoming calls, so you don’t have to give out your home phone number.
Find out if there’s an established civil rights group in your area. Also, there are peace movement and religious groups around the country who are concerned about racism. The YWCA has a commitment against racism. Some of these groups are not always receptive to young people or new ideas, but they’re a place to start.
Once you begin to publicize your concern, especially if you’re making people aware of racist activity in your area, you’ll probably quickly come into contact with at least a few other people who will want to work with you. With some support, you can begin to do things like leaflet music shows and other more public activity which will spread the word even further.
HOW YOU CAN DO YOUR PART
PART needs all the help and support it can get to keep putting out this newsletter and carry out other anti-racist work.
We’re asking our readers to help us out in a few ways
1] Keep writing your letters in to us, and call. Your moral support and encouragement is really important. Excuse us if we don’t always write back personally or at length.
2] Send us news clippings and your own reports about racist and anti-racist developments in your area. Even here in southern California, there’s a lot going on that never makes the papers or the tube, outside of many one locality newspaper. This is an important way to build an anti-racist network.
3] List us in your ‘zines and organizational newsletters. That’s the main way word of Turning the Tide gets around.
4] Send us some cash. Lots of folks still get the newsletter free or maybe sent in a couple of stamps a couple of issues ago. We increased both the size and the press run of TTT substantially with this issue. If it’s helpful to you, please send a few bucks our way.
5] Get your library to order TTT (and other anti-racist publications). Institutional subscriptions are going to be $25 (1995) a year and will include copies of all leaflets and other material put out by PART. For example, we have flyers out about Racist Terror and Homophobia, Operation Rescue and the Racist Right, and the Neo-Nazi assault on the schools.