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Brownshirts on Parade

(Picture Caption: The Founder of Protest Warriors) Recently, a small media stir was created by a tiny, right-wing fringe group known as the Protest Warriors. Started in February 2003 by Kfir Alfia and Alan Lipton, the Protest Warriors claim that their mission is to disrupt anti-war and other left-wing rallies by infiltrating the protests and unveiling counter-protest signs and slogans. "They [the left] know they can't compete in the marketplace of ideas," the Protest Warrior website states, "so instead they like to work in secret. The mainstream media does a great job of covering for them." The Protest Warriors combine the type of "gureilla theater" long practiced by left-wing groups with a highly centralized and crypto-fascist organizational structure. Certainly, the Billionaires For Bush are much funnier (and better dressed) than these folks.

The Protest Warriors have launched so-called "missions" with militaristic, slightly fascist sounding names like "Operation Eagle Strike" and "Operation Wolverine." The latest Operation is "code-named" Operation Liberty Rising, which will apparently begin on August 29 in New York City. Despite the fact that the Protest Warrior organizers estimate there will be barely 200 "counter-demonstrators" in NYC during the Republican Convention, the plan has garnered gushing coverage from Fox News and other media outlets.

Although the Protest Warriors usually make a big deal about how they have been the victims of leftist "violence," several of their recent bulletin board posts advocate carrying concealed weapons to demonstrations at the RNC. "I would bring pepper spray," writes one. "I will be utilizing my concealed weapons permit," writes another. "We should be prepared for violence," writes a third. These posts are similar to the infamous CraigsList NYC posting of more than a year ago in which a New Yoker wrote that "We need good old fashioned Conservatives, the kind that believe in God, Country, and Family (the Mom and Dad kind), the kind that played football, baseball, and basketball, to help with security [at the RNC]. This is totally separate from the organized Convention. We will meet the groups determined to disrupt the open discussion of ideas (the Convention) with a group of our own and battle them in the streets of New York." (the post was quckly removed by the founder of CraigsList). So far, the Daily News has not seen it fit to write any "exclusives" about these postings (despite the fact that we actually found this url rather quickly.) You can also see picture of the founders of Protest Warriors lovingly cradling high-powered fire-arms on the PW website. "ProtestWarrior HQ is now heavily armed," the site operators write.

At this point it is impossible to list the organizations from which the Protest Warriors obtain their funding, although both founders now list running the group as their full time job. Protest Warriors have also recieved glowing coverage from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

The hundreds of thousands of anti-RNC protesters who will converging on New York seem highly unconcerned about the presence of a few hundred Protest Warriors in their midst. "Just ignore them," seems to be the operating thought. Many of the PW "chapters" seem to have zero members. Others argue that the Warriors might be vulnerable to a type of counter-satire satire.

July 21, 2004 | Permalink


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Want to be scared about the freaks on the far right? Then go here and see what some real whackos... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 21, 2004 1:48:37 PM

» Protest Warriors from You Big Mouth, You!
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Tracked on Jul 22, 2004 3:01:46 PM


Good stuff -- I hadn't heard about these freaks from the Protest Warriors before. Scary.

Posted by: Scott | Jul 21, 2004 1:48:32 PM


Posted by: MB! | Jul 21, 2004 4:36:20 PM

That's really a way to provoke violence, bringing weapons to a peaceful demostration.

Posted by: Todd Johnson | Jul 21, 2004 11:49:35 PM

Anyone committing a crime by carrying an illegal weapon, or creating violence should be promptly arrested.

Anyone exercising their Constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of assembly and the right to bear arms should receive the identical treatment to that given those protesting the RNC. Link

Posted by: Chuck Simmins | Jul 22, 2004 11:36:14 AM

From RNCWatch:

Dear Chuck,

A few things in your comment are flat-out wrong.

First, the comment that the original Brownshirts were Nazi's, and therefore "socialists," shows an ignorance of political history that is truly appaling. The fact that the National Socialist party had the word "socialist" in its name means nothing. Every historian, regardless of their political background, knows that the Nazi party came to power on a platform largely predicated on opposition to socialism and communism. Regardless of whether you think the communits and fascists are good, bad, or indiferrent does not change the fact that they have been ideologically opposed groups for most of the 20th and 21st century.

Secondly, if you truly think that "anyone committing a crime by carrying an illegal weapon, or creating violence should be promptly arrested," you might want to have a chat with the founders of Protest Warriors to ask them if they are aware of the large number of posts on their forums that implictly or explcitly advocate violence.

Posted by: RNCWatch | Jul 22, 2004 1:05:17 PM

Here is the platform of the Nazi Party, as written by Hitler, et al.:


I quote several planks:

7. We demand that the State shall above all undertake to ensure that every citizen shall have the possibility of living decently and earning a livelihood.

11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.

14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.

15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.

25. In order to carry out this program we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the State, the unconditional authority by the political central parliament of the whole State and all its organizations.

If this is not socialism, then what is? It's hardly capitalism in any form.

I could find posts on forums at the Democratic Underground, the Howard Dean campaign blog, and a host of other leftist web sites advocating violence of one sort or another. I won't debate which came first, the chicken or the egg, but I would suggest that if the left policed itself moreI responsibly, the right would as well. And, as I stated, everyone should be free to exercise their rights, which includes the right to carry a gun if legally permitted to do so. Since there are only about 3,000 permits in NYC, it is unlikely that this particular poster will, in fact, bring his pistol into the City.

There have been 45 murders in the Borough of Manhatten in 2004 [Link] which I would suggest puts your prostestors in as much or more danger from the local criminals than they are from a tiny, right-wing fringe group.

Posted by: Chuck Simmins | Jul 22, 2004 2:47:17 PM

Hey RNC Watch, I got your back on this one.

Communism or Socialism is the submersion of businesses into the State Government, something that was practiced by Stalin and his communist cronies. Fascism is the submersion of the State Government into big business. The fact that the Nazis were the National Socialist party, has about as much relevance to reality as the fact that East Germany used to be called the Deutsche Democratic Republic or DDR. Does that make them a democracy? Or a republic? The USSR was the United Soviet Socialist Republic, does that make them Republicans?

You seem to want to throw around the socialist moniker without any historical context. The reason Adolf Hitler rose to prominence on the platform you describe is because after WWI the economic restrictions imposed upon the Kaiser and the German government by the Treaty of Versailles, the German mark was mostly worthless. As a result many people found their pensions worthless, and people starved, or barely scraped by, while businesses who had made large profits from the prior war weren't taxed on those windfalls.

Hitler and Mussolini had essentially identical governments, and Mussolini invented the term fascist, it was even incorporated into the name of his government. So your claim that Hitler and the Nazis were socialists is laughable at best, and a typical example of poor logic at worst. It's your willingness to twist history to suit your logic that is truly appalling.

Posted by: Stentor | Jul 22, 2004 3:24:23 PM

Show me where in the Nazi Party Platform it talks about the submersion of the State Government into big business? The platform talks about how business should serve the people and the state, an entirely socialist principle.

The USSR was organized as a union of socialist republics, hence the name. The political party controlling the USSR was the Communist. You're conflating a description of a type of government with the name of a party, apples and oranges.

The historical context of the creation of the Nazi party is interesting, but you seem to have read a different history. Socialism and communism were dueling for Germany in the late 1920's and early 30's. While the "right" could muster some support, mostly financial, and some bully boys for the political infighting, the left was clarly winning and the only decision to be made was a variety of socialism (which was not new to Germany) or communism. Hitler's final backing by the "right" was their way of avoiding the communists. They had no other option at that time.

Even Weimar was socialist, as governments went at the time. Individual German states varied but the central government was not a free enterprise / capitalist government. One final sign of the socialist bent of Nazism is the way that the individual states of the German federal republic lost their powers during the Nazi reign. Centralized government, a socialist principle.

And, until Hitler invaded Russia, they were on very good terms, with the Germans training the Soviet Red Army for example. Indeed, Stalin had few friends other than Hitler in the 1930's.

Posted by: Chuck Simmins | Jul 22, 2004 4:37:06 PM

By definition, corporate rule of government is the key characteristic of fascism. Mussolini himself, one of the first fascist dictators, revealed this when he said, "Fascism should rightly be called corporatism as it is
a merger of state and corporate power."

Posted by: Chucky-watcher | Jul 23, 2004 11:08:12 AM

In Italy, employers were organized into syndicates known as "corporations" according to their industries, and these groups were given representation in a legislative body known as the Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni.

According to various theorists corporatism was an attempt to create a "modern" version of feudalism by merging the "corporate" interests with those of the state.

Posted by: anti-you | Jul 23, 2004 11:12:45 AM

In Italy, the Fascists established a corporatist economic system, in which the government, business, and labor unions collectively formulated national economic policies. The system was intended to harmonize the interests of workers, managers, and the state. In practice, however, Fascist corporatism retarded technological progress and destroyed workers' rights.

Posted by: wake up, chuck!! | Jul 23, 2004 11:16:54 AM

Fascism developed in opposition to socialism and communism although many early Fascists were themselves former Marxists. Thus, in 1923 Mussolini declared, in Doctrine of Fascism?:

...Fascism [is] the complete opposite of ... Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production....

Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect. And if the economic conception of history be denied, according to which theory men are no more than puppets, carried to and fro by the waves of chance, while the real directing forces are quite out of their control, it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied - the natural progeny of the economic conception of history. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society....

..."The maxim that society exists only for the well-being and freedom of the individuals composing it does not seem to be in conformity with nature's plans." "If classical liberalism spells individualism," Mussolini continued, "Fascism spells government."

:--Benito Mussolini, public domain, from The Internet Modern History Sourcebook

While certain types of socialism may superficially appear to be similar to fascism, it should be noted that the two ideologies clash violently on many issues. The role of the state, for example: Socialism considers the state to be merely a "tool of the people", sometimes calling it a "necessary evil", which exists to serve the interests of the people and to protect the common good (in addition, certain forms of libertarian socialism reject the state altogether). Meanwhile, fascism holds the state to be an end in of itself, which the people should obey and serve (rather than the other way around).

Fascism rejects the central tenets of Marxism which are class struggle and the need to replace capitalism with a society run by the working class in which the workers own the means of production.

Mussolini wrote in his 1932 treatise, The Doctrine of Fascism: "Outside the State there can be neither individuals nor groups (political parties, associations, syndicates, classes). Therefore Fascism is opposed to Socialism, which confines the movement of history within the class struggle and ignores the unity of classes established in one economic and moral reality in the State." http://www.constitution.org/tyr/mussolini.htm

Posted by: yo chuck, educate yourself... | Jul 23, 2004 11:27:33 AM

Thanks for all the information on Italy, folks. Except, I was and have always been talking about Nazi Germany. You guys can't seem to address that.

Read the Nazi platform. it meets your definition of Socialism. For example:

20. In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people

Posted by: Chuck Simmins | Jul 23, 2004 4:27:39 PM

I'm sorry but your story is slightly out of context. Is nice that you have the ability to twist words, so how about me helping you get untwisted.

You are wrong about the weapons. There are new people that have joined PW and they are young. They are inexperienced with what the left has to offer at these protests. We have been assualted numerous times at peace rallies. We've recorded every bit of it and you can find nothing to dispute. They should have known not to say those things in an open forum because they likes of you would not be able to keep form misunderstanding it and completely twisting it to the point where you seem like Micheal Moore.

We are not what you seem to think. We are a private organization funded by only those who take part in it. We have families just like you. We have fulltime jobs and care about our country. You entire story was based off of ONE thread in an OPEN forum. The forum you pulled your information from is not the organization. Its a open internet forum where any type of opinion can show up. No where in any post does it say "Protest Warrior approves of this message". You are twisting, twisting, and just outright lieing.

We are doing nothing more than counter-protesting a side we don't agree with, but in true leftist fashion you don't want to be counter-protested. You don't believe in our right to disagree with your madness. In our opinion, you are the insane bunch. You can't stop us from protesting your naive ideas. We are not showing up at your protests to hurt you. Yet, we are the ones who are hurt when we show up. Grow up and stop searching for right-wing conspiracies that just are not there.

Last thing, you also picked ONE other thread out of the thousands in which you eluded to the fact that you don't know how PW is supported. There was a person asking questions phrased just as you wrote in your article in that thread. We already told you how we are funded and yet you still write some fabricated diatribe on outing Protest Warrior. I'm sorry you think we are a insignificant group. We have 6500 members in less than 5 months.

Don't look know, but your ideas are under fire lefties.

Posted by: Protest Warriors | Jul 23, 2004 5:03:10 PM

Ah, more lefties calling people who disagree with them "nazis."
What, does being anti-socialist make you "fascist" by default now?

Posted by: AZ | Jul 23, 2004 5:08:00 PM

Listen you can't understand the German varient without understanding the ideological underpinnings forged in Italy. That's what is meant by the term "context." Anyway, take a read of this. It should clear things up for you...

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002.


(NAHT-seez, NAT-seez) A German political party of the twentieth century, led by Adolf Hitler. The Nazis controlled Germany from the early 1930s until the end of World War II. The party’s full name in English is National Socialist German Workers’ party; Nazi is short for its German name. Despite the word socialist in its name, it was a fascist party, requiring from its members supreme devotion to the German government—the Third Reich (see fascism and socialism). The Nazis rose to power by promising the people that Germany, which had been humiliated after World War I, would become powerful again. 1
The Nazis opposed communism and free intellectual inquiry.

Posted by: yo' chuckie... | Jul 23, 2004 5:47:15 PM

Capitalists and conservatives in Germany feared that a takeover by the Communists was inevitable and did not trust the democratic parties of the Weimar Republic to be able to resist a communist revolution. Increasing numbers of capitalists began looking to the nationalist movements as a bulwark against Bolshevism. After Mussolini's fascists took power in Italy in 1922, fascism presented itself as a realistic option for opposing "Communism", particularly given Mussolini's success in crushing the Communist and anarchist movements which had destabilised Italy with a wave of strikes and factory occupations after the First World War. Fascist parties formed in numerous European countries.

Many historians such as Ian Kershaw and Joachim Fest argue that Hitler and the Nazis were one of numerous nationalist and increasingly fascistic groups that existed in Germany and contended for leadership of the anti-Communist movement and, eventually, of the German state. Further, they assert that fascism and its German variant National Socialism became the successful challengers to Communism because they were able to both appeal to the establishment as a bulwark against Bolshevism and appeal to the working class base, particularly the growing underclass of unemployed and unemployable and growingly impoverished middle class elements who were becoming declassed (the lumpenproletariat). The Nazi's use of socialist rhetoric appealed to disaffection with capitalism while presenting a political and economic model that divested "socialism" of any elements which were dangerous to capitalism, such as the concept of class struggle or worker control of the means of production.

Various right-wing politicians and political parties in Europe welcomed the rise of fascism and the Nazis out of an intense aversion towards Communism. According to them, Hitler was the savior of Western civilization and of capitalism against Bolshevism. Among these supporters in the 1920s and early 1930s was the Conservative Party in Britain. During the later 1930s and 1940s, the Nazis were supported by the Falange movement in Spain, and by political and military figures who would form the government of Vichy France. A Legion of French Volunteers against Bolshevism (LVF) was formed.

The British Conservative party and the right-wing parties in France appeased the Nazi regime in the mid- and late-1930s, even though they had begun to criticise its totalitarianism. Some contemporary commentators suggested that these parties did in fact still support the Nazis.

Posted by: chuck, dig this.... | Jul 23, 2004 5:52:45 PM

In a economic sense, Nazism and Fascism are related. Nazism may be considered a subset of Fascism, with all Nazis being Fascists, but not all Fascists being Nazis. Nazism shares many economic features with Fascism, featuring complete government control of finance and investment (allocation of credit), industry, and agriculture. Yet in both of these systems, corporate power and market based systems for providing price information still existed. Quoting Benito Mussolini: "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power."

Rather than the state requiring goods from industrial enterprises and allocating raw materials required for their production (as in socialist / communist systems), the state paid for these goods. This allows price to play an essential role in providing information as to relative scarcity of materials, or the capital requirements in technology or labor (including education, as in skilled labor) inputs to produce a manufactured good. Additionally, the unionist (strictly speaking, syndicalist) veneer placed on corporate labor relations was another major point of agreement. Both the German and Italian fascist political parties began as unionist labor movements, and grew into totalitarian dictatorships. This idea was maintained throughout their time in power, with state control used as a means to eliminate the assumed conflict between management labor relations.

Posted by: for chucky... | Jul 23, 2004 5:54:30 PM

Nazism and communism were dissimilar ideologies, of different historical and philosophic lineages, and exhibiting distinct political profiles and contrasting international conduct.

Posted by: chuck's a schmuck | Jul 23, 2004 5:58:44 PM

The Nazis initially were often called fascists, and they looked favorably on Mussolini's Italy. Hitler's hope to seize power in Berlin by launching a putsch in Munich and marching on Berlin in 1923 was inspired by Mussolini's successful march on Rome in October 1922. Italian fascism inspired a host of movements all over Europe (even in France, Belgium, and Britain). The aftermath of World War I saw a broad range of fascist or quasi-fascist organizations arise, which makes the line between radical and authoritarian nationalists on the one side and fascists proper on the other side difficult to draw.

All of these movements shared some characteristics that were also typical of National Socialism: they espoused a radical nationalism, militaristic hierarchies, violence, the cult of a charismatic leader, contempt for individual liberties and civil rights, an anti-democratic and ___anti-socialist___ orientation, and a refusal to socialize industries.

Posted by: joe blow | Jul 23, 2004 6:05:34 PM

Reasons Nazism is not considered socialist

Throughout its rise to power and rule, the Nazis were strongly opposed by left-wing and socialist parties, and Nazi rhetoric was virulently anti-Marxist, attacking both communists and social democrats.

Nazis proposed that only people who were considered "racially pure" or Aryan would benefit from their policies. This is contrary to the socialist notion of a society for the benefit of all.

In his rise to power, Hitler reassured German industrialists that he would respect private property and fight labor unions.

Hitler received strong support from the conservatives for the "Enabling Act." This legislation was opposed by left wing social democrats.

After coming to power, Hitler sent thousand of communists, social democrats and unionists to concentration camps and killed the communist leaders in Germany. He outlawed labor unions and guaranteed corporate profits for Krupp & Co.

The profits of large corporations soared under the Nazis.

Ultimately, Hitler was interested in absolute power and is thus correctly classified a fascist.

Posted by: Reasons Nazism is not considered socialist | Jul 23, 2004 6:11:54 PM

Reasons Nazism is not considered socialist

Throughout its rise to power and rule, the Nazis were strongly opposed by left-wing and socialist parties, and Nazi rhetoric was virulently anti-Marxist, attacking both communists and social democrats.

Nazis proposed that only people who were considered "racially pure" or Aryan would benefit from their policies. This is contrary to the socialist notion of a society for the benefit of all.

In his rise to power, Hitler reassured German industrialists that he would respect private property and fight labor unions.

Hitler received strong support from the conservatives for the "Enabling Act." This legislation was opposed by left wing social democrats.

After coming to power, Hitler sent thousand of communists, social democrats and unionists to concentration camps and killed the communist leaders in Germany. He outlawed labor unions and guaranteed corporate profits for Krupp & Co.

The profits of large corporations soared under the Nazis.

Ultimately, Hitler was interested in absolute power and is thus correctly classified a fascist.

Posted by: Reasons Nazism is not considered socialist | Jul 23, 2004 6:12:15 PM

In his book "The Anatomy of Fascism", Robert Paxton notes that when a political group loses power and feels humiliated or victimized, they can begin to lose faith in the democratic process. They become more willing to abandon democratic ideals in favor of a so-called ‘benevolent dictator.’

That’s what happened in Germany during the thirties. So, which group in America is feeling a sense of powerlessness lately – the left or the right?

Nazisim was responsible for the deaths of approximately 20 million innocent people. Communism was responsible for the deaths of approx. 100 million people. Democracies don’t tend to slaughter millions just for the hell of it, but dictatorships do.

Dictatorships and the genocide they inspire are responsible for most of the killing fields of the 20th century.

As an up and coming form of oppressive dictatorship, Islamists in the Sudan are have slaughtered millions in the name of their cause. These totalitarian wannabes are hoping to set up their own 21st century killing fields. That seems to be the most important issue to focus on today.

Posted by: mary | Jul 24, 2004 9:39:38 PM

It is interesting to note that when someone makes and intelligent rebuttal to your argument, everyone clams up. People all of a sudden change the topics to Nazism vs. Fascism vs. Socailism. Whoever wrote that intelligent comment defending PW, I salute you. It was well done and apparently ended the hateful remarks about censoring the rights of others with differing opinions.

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 25, 2004 4:25:33 PM

Have you even read the forums, or are you interested in inciting more fear and hatred in your leftist counterparts? Take a look at the videos, and you'll see who the violent ones are (I'll give you a hint, they are the ones wearing the masks, screaming in support of the "Intifada", and slapping cameras around). Given the well documented efforts of certain left of center groups to disrupt the RNC, and the now documented inevitability of left-leaning protestors inability to live up to their peaceful ideas, some of our members are employing humor to show how distressing the hypocrisy is. One thing you fail to mention is how few people posting there actually participate in the actions. Furthermore, any one can post there. As a matter of fact, if I were so inclined, I could go post a bunch of hateful and alarming items on Democratic Underground, or moveon.org, etc and then link them to show how violent these groups are.

The real work for Protest Warrior goes on behind the scenes. We are normal people, who believe in the preservation of all that is good in this merit based soceity of ours. And we are extremely tired of the left thinking they have the monopoly on voicing their opinions. In the marketplace of ideas, the left is intellectually bankrupt. Consider this a hostile takeover.

Posted by: Tradition | Jul 25, 2004 6:27:09 PM