The Breakfast Club (buffet-style)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club!

AP’s Today in History for June 7th

James Byrd, Jr. dragged to death in Texas; Communists complete takeover of Czechoslovakia; Israel destroys an Iraqi nuclear power plant; ‘Grease’ opens on Broadway; Singer-songwriter Prince born.

Breakfast Tune Rhiannon Giddens: “At the Purchaser’s Option” | Come Hear North Carolina In The Water Concert

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below


How to Be an Antifascist From Your Couch
Talia Lavin, The Nation

This week I started joining right-wing militias again. It’s easy to find a variety of far-right “patriot” groups on Facebook, and most don’t screen their membership. I joined as many pages as I could, and monitored them for one thing: Was anyone planning to show up armed to Black Lives Matter protests? I also tracked several chats on Discord, a chatting app with text and audio capabilities, focused around “Boogaloo” ideology—the loose, mostly white supremacist movement whose most ardent desire is to spark a race war. (“Boogaloo” is derived from the 1984 breakdance movie sequel Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, and the movement is similarly focused around a sequel—a second civil war.) My goal there was the same: find out about specific plans and record the gear people said they had. One Discord group, for example, featured users boasting about their ARs, gunsights, SIG Sauers, and Glocks. And if any useful information cropped up, I could get in touch with people who would pass it on to activists on the ground.

I use a fake Facebook account, which I’ve used dozens of times for this and similar purposes. The name is false, and the profile is built out with an array of far-right groups, “patriotic” interests, and dog-whistle posts designed to maintain plausibility. I’ve made so many accounts on so many apps over the past few years that I have to take care not to lose track of my pseudonyms. Although it kicked into high gear during research for my book on the online far right, infiltrating hate groups isn’t just a strange hobby or a journalistic endeavor; it’s antifascism.

While the image that comes to mind when most people think about “antifa” is a legion of black-clad militants ready to throw punches, this kind of research is antifascist work too. In fact, monitoring is integral to antifascist operations. Antifa is a series of organizing tactics and an ethos, not any specific organization; while any decentralized group encompasses a variety of ideas, antifa consists of opposing fascist groups by any means available, including, if necessary, violence. For many antifascists, however, infiltration, monitoring, and research are their primary or sole ways of engaging in antifascism. Fighting militant fascist groups is a large and complicated endeavor, and while aiming a fist at a Nazi’s face can be part of that opposition, it is only one way. Just as other forms of social activism require a diversity of tactics—the protester who marches, the planner who puts together a city budget to defund police forces, the person who attends city council meetings—so too does antifascism. The research is unglamorous, exhausting, and involves psychologically torturous degrees of deception. You have to expose yourself to a disgusting mass of racist bile, which takes a grinding toll on the spirit. It also must be done carefully: Members of far-right groups can and do target activists and their families with death threats, harassment, and even violence.



Something to think about over coffee prozac

Online database has 426 videos of police attacking George Floyd protestors
New Civil Rights Movement- Commentary

The nationwide protests against police violence have created numerous instances of police violence. As hundreds of thousands have non-violently protested without incident, they’re capturing police attacks against demonstrators on camera, and now there’s a database where you can watch them all.

Lawyer T. Greg Doucette and mathematician Jason Miller have placed these clips into a public Google Sheet entitled “GeorgeFloyd Protest – police brutality videos on Twitter.” It contains links to at least 426 videos of police violence committed in cities across the United States.

“[The videos] come in from a variety of spots, but the vast majority are sent via DM. I’ve got nearly 1,000 unopened DMs at this point plus ppl I’ve already talked with sending me more,” Doucette told Vice News. Doucette makes sure to verify the time and place of each video so he doesn’t re-circulate old footage from years ago.

The importance of cataloging such videos is that they counter police narratives about police being provoked into violence or lies about protestors being injured after “tripping” or “resisting arrest.” After all, if it weren’t for the now-viral video of George Floyd having his neck kneeled on by police, the national public might not be rallying in such large numbers in the first place.

“I’m a political “anti-state” conservative, and police brutality angers me on a visceral level,” Doucette said. “People need to understand that what they’re seeing now is *normal.* It happens several times a week, every week, every year, for years now. It’s not a one-off; it’s cultural rot and flagrant lawlessness.”

Police attacks against journalists have also been increasing since …