Trumpster Brown Shirts Stirring: “You’ve been warned”

By calebfox
The Daily Kos (4/14/17)

So late this afternoon the phone rang at my office — the Hamilton County Democratic Party in Cincinnati OH.   The caller asks for me by name.  I’m the Executive Director so usually its me answering the phone.

He quickly rattles his name off and says he represents the Citizens for Trump Foundation.  He tells me “we have been monitoring your social media accounts and you have been posting many things critical of Donald Trump.”     I say yea.  Do you have any idea who you just called?

What I took from that call yesterday is that Trump supporters are feeling threatened, they can see he’s in trouble and may go down.  If or when that happens things may get ugly.

He say’s “don’t you want to make America Great Again”?  I ask again and ask him who he is.

He says “you need to cut it out or we’ll have to do something.”  I ask again who he is and his response is “you have been warned” and he hangs up.

This was different

Now in 10 years I’ve taken a lot of crank calls, people who disagree.  This was different.  Polished, professional, I was just someone on the list.  This was no crank call.

Yes I do post lot of stuff critical of Trump on Facebook and occasionally here (under different user name).   But never in 10 years on this job have I been personally threatened.  I was stunned, I don’t have caller ID, never needed it and before I could do *64 another call came in, an elderly woman wanting an absentee ballot.

Strange times we are in.

The phone calls that come to that office are often an interesting gauge of the tenor of the political times.  During the Obama years you could always tell when he had done something particularly effective because the volume of crank calls would increase.  There was one guy who persistently left voice mails that escalated to calling for Obama to be lynched.  He wound getting a visit from the Secret Service and I never heard from him again.  The night the Affordable Care passed someone tried to put a rock through the large front window.  It’s a double pane window and they only got through the first pane.  That incident wound up on the local news, even made the NY Times, Washington Post and Rachel Maddow.  I’m doing now what I did then, made sure the story got out.

What I took from that call yesterday is that Trump supporters are feeling threatened, they can see he’s in trouble and may go down.  If or when that happens things may get ugly.

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(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to )


Trump Supporters Escalate Threats Of Violence Against Progressives

By Rick Perlstein
Washington Spectator (4/15/17)

A friend writes, “For basically the past six months or so I’ve been trying to tell my lefty friends in so many words, ‘Hey, there are a bunch of people on the Internet who are waiting for someone to tell them it’s okay to start shooting at you.’” He became concerned when a thread at the non-political firearms-enthusiasts website he regularly follows became filled with comments in all caps referring to liberals as enemies who must be shot. Developments both online and off following Donald Trump’s election have caused me to share his concern.

Students of fascism will recognize the fantastical confusion of tropes: the enemy as a terrifying horde, raising the stakes ruthlessly beyond all civil bounds; but also the enemy as pitiful (“glass jawed”) weaklings—sometimes both within the same utterance. Such language is how students of fascism know that they are in its presence.

In December, an author at the biggest and most explicitly non-political gun site, the Firearms Blog (its tagline is “Firearms, not politics”), recounted his experience with an outfit that offers tactical training based on the methods of the Israel Defense Forces. The moderator soon had to begin deleting comments. One that remains protested, “as if through the millennia, hundreds of nations, principalities and city-states reached the same conclusions,” and urged the curious to check out where one can watch the film Jewish Ritual Murder Revisited: The Hidden Cult.

Four days after Donald Trump’s inauguration, a community member on a moderate firearms law site, PAGunBlog, a civil redoubt welcoming “active participation by both firearms enthusiasts and people who hate them,” described his shock from that morning’s web-surf when “a long-time commenter who I recognized as right-leaning but mostly moderate commented that ‘The Jews own and control everything in America…’ Not many months ago no one except a flaming neo-Nazi would have dreamed of expressing such an opinion, but today it seems to have become an acceptable element of our discourse. I noticed that no one replied to or castigated the comment.”…

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Saturday: Pro- & Anti-Trump Protesters Clash In Berkeley

CBS (4/15/17)

As demonstrators took to the streets demanding President Trump’s tax returns on Saturday, marchers in Berkeley, California, got into a series of scuffles. Police arrested at least four protesters.

Link to 3-Minute Video

  • Rival Protesters Clash Over Trump In Berkeley, California – A melee erupted on Saturday in a Berkeley, California park where supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump were holding competing rallies, resulting in at least 13 arrests as police struggled to keep the two camps separate. As fist fights broke out between the two sides and people threw bottles and cans over a barricade separating them, police resorted to using to an explosive device at one point in a bid to restore order. Several people were observed by a Reuters reporter with bloodied faces and minor injuries, but there was no official word on casualties from authorities. … Link to Story and 1-Minute Video
  • White Supremacist Caught On Video Sucker-Punching Woman Berkeley Protester Faces Calls For Arrest – A notorious white supremacist got caught on camera sucker-punching a woman in the melee that erupted on Saturday in Berkeley, CA between pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators. Nathan Damigo of white nationalist group Identity Europa was identified by multiple witnesses as the man seen in a viral video lunging at an unsuspecting woman with dreadlocks and viciously punching her before she had a chance to react. … Link to Story
  • WATCH: Images and video of Berkeley violence flood Twitter [GRAPHIC] – Demonstrators both for and against President Donald Trump clashed in Berkeley, CA Saturday as protests have turned violent. According to CNN, Berkeley Police issued a statement that said, “A large number of fights have occurred and numerous fireworks have been thrown in the crowds,” Berkeley police said in a statement. “There have also been numerous reports of pepper spray being used in the crowd.” The Berkeley protest began as a so-called “Patriot’s Day” rally of Trump supporters, but counter-demonstrators quickly assembled and tempers began to flare. Warning: GRAPHIC VIOLENCE … Link to Story and Video Clips


‘Based Stickman’ – Right Wing Hero Wields Home Depot Table Top Shield

By Clio Chang
The New Republic (4/31/17)

In a video posted on Facebook on March 27 by Kyle Chapman, the camera pans across what can only be described as a DIY armory: Baseball helmet, ski goggles, shin guards, face mask, wooden shield, flag pole. “The benefit of the baseball helmet is that you have holes where the ears are,” Chapman tells his viewers. “This allows you to hear what’s going on around you.” The helmet is emblazoned with a decal reading molon labe (“come and take them”), the Second Amendment rallying cry borrowed from ancient Sparta. Chapman also recommends going to Home Depot, where one can find a wooden table top for just $25 to fashion into a homemade buckler.

Chapman made the video in response to a barrage of inquiries into his riot gear, which was on full display when he fought anti-fascist protesters (sometimes collectively referred to as Antifa) at the University of California, Berkeley, in early March. Before then, he had been a relative unknown. A 41-year-old commercial diver living in the Bay Area, Chapman told the New Republic that he “doesn’t really care for social media or the internet.” But on March 4, a video of Chapman breaking a wooden sign post over the head of an Antifa activist went viral, quickly launching him to fame as the subject of a new alt-right meme: “Based Stickman.”

“What we’re seeing now is a different contingent of the right-wing that has been legitimated and encouraged by the Trump administration.”

“Based” is slang for not caring what other people think of you. “Stickman” is, well, a man with a stick. While it’s difficult to track down the moniker’s exact origin, it seems to have started, along with other nicknames like the “Alt-Knight,” in the place where many alt-right memes are born: 4chan’s “politically incorrect” board /pol/.

The video was taken at a “March 4 Trump” rally near UC Berkeley. Chapman wore a gas mask, helmet, and shin guards. He carried a shield decorated with an American flag and a “V” in one hand and a long stick in the other. (The spread he showed off this week on Facebook is new—the police confiscated the equipment he wore at the event.) Since then, the video of Chapman has been remixed and set to Imogen Heap and Hulk Hogan’s theme song. Images of Based Stickman have been photoshopped into a number of familiar settings, including the movies Captain America and 300, the new Zelda game, Game of Thrones, and the Civil War (with Based Stickman on the side of Confederate army, of course). “He truly is our hero,” one poster wrote on 4chan. …

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Man Accused Of Assaulting Woman At Campaign Rally Says Trump Inspired Him

By Alan Yuhas
The Guardian (4/15/17)

Lawyers for a man accused of assaulting a woman at a Trump campaign rally last year have said he acted at the urging of the candidate, complicating the president’s argument in court that he stands immune to civil lawsuits.

Alvin Bamberger was recorded in a video last March pushing a woman, Kashiya Nwanguma, at a pro-Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky. During the altercation, Trump shouted “get out” and “get ‘em out of here!”

A few weeks later, Nwanguma and two other protesters sued Trump, Bamberger and a third man, the white nationalist Matthew Heimbach. Last month a judge ruled that the protesters have sufficient claims to move forward with their court cases, which claim that they were assaulted at Trump’s incitement.

On Friday, Bamberger’s attorneys denied that he assaulted Nwanguma, saying in a new court filing that he “admits only that he touched a woman”.

But the attorneys also made a claim against the president and his campaign, observing that throughout the 2016 election Trump repeatedly urged supporters to expel protesters, and once hinted he would pay any legal fees of those who did.

“Bamberger had no prior intention to act has he did,” the attorneys wrote. “Bamberger would not have acted as he did without Trump and/or Trump campaign’s specific urging and inspiration.

“To the extent that Bamberger acted, he did so in response to – and inspired by – Trump and/or Trump campaign’s urging to remove the protesters.”

The lawyers add that if Bamberg is found liable, Trump or his campaign should be held equally to blame “because Trump and/or Trump campaign urged and inspired Bamberger to act as he did”. …

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NY Case Against White Racist May Redefine The Face Of Terrorism Prosecution

By Carter Sherman
VICE News (4/7/17)

When James Jackson allegedly stabbed Timothy Caughman to death in Manhattan in March, people across the country denounced the act as a hate crime and Jackson as a white supremacist. But the New York County District Attorney’s Office gave Jackson an additional label — terrorist.

The DA indicted Jackson last week on two state terrorism charges never before used in Manhattan: murder in the first degree (in furtherance of an act of terrorism) and murder in the second degree as a crime of terrorism. States rarely levy these kinds of charges because terrorism is almost exclusively dealt with by the federal government.

Jackson pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

Unlike many so-called “jihadis” in the U.S., far-right domestic extremists don’t tend to associate with international groups, meaning they often escape being labeled “terrorists” even if their crimes otherwise fit the bill.

“It’s really interesting what gets called terrorism and what doesn’t,” said Emily Berman, assistant professor of national security law at the University of Houston Law Center. “Usually, it means that a Muslim did it. Whereas if a white person did it, they’re ‘crazy’ or something along those lines.”

But Jackson is white, and there’s no evidence that he is connected to jihadi groups like al-Qaida or the Islamic State group. If New York State successfully convicts him, the case has the potential to change how America defines and prosecutes terrorism. …

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If You Are Participating In A March Or Protest…

The Commoner Call (4/17/17)

Before heading off to a march or protest make sure you have charged up your cell phone so you can take pictures and videos. If you have a small video camera take that along and make sure you have room on the memory card and the batteries are charged. I noticed in a photo of one pro-Trump character at the riot in Berekely that he had a GoPro sport camera on a chest harness. Might not be a bad thing to do. The presence of cameras – and thus potential evidence  – may serve to dissuade some of these guys.

Note, that in recent Berkeley protest the police pulled back and let the violence play out. We also know from the Occupy Wall Street protests that many of the window-smashing “black-bloc” characters were actually law enforcement sent out to discredit legitimate protest. It’s kind of a street level version of the FBI’s CONTELPRO program targeting civil rights and antiwar protests in the 60’s.

Also know there is a move by Republicans in many states to legalize silencers for both handguns and rifles.

Finally, if you haven’t already, check out The Commoner Call website home page for information from the American Civil Liberties Union about your right to photograph and videotape in public settings. Scroll down the righthand column of the home page. Link to .

Be alert, we are moving briskly down the pathway to fascism. We are the ones who will save us.