Kill socialists, United States Republican politician says


This 4 February 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

A Republican lawmaker in Montana claims the Constitution calls for socialists to be shot and jailed

A Montana state legislator is facing backlash after claiming that the Constitution calls for socialists to be shot and jailed. State Rep. Rodney Garcia, who represents the Billings area, asked an unprompted question after a speech by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at a state Republican Party gathering Saturday, according to the Billings Gazette. Advertisement: In his question, Garcia raised his concerns about socialists “entering our government” and claimed that they were “everywhere” in Billings. According to the lawmaker, the Constitution says socialists should be either shot or jailed. (It does not).

By Bryan Dyne in the USA:

Montana state representative calls for socialists to be shot

6 February 2020

Montana State Representative Rodney Garcia has called for socialists to be shot. His statement was made in Helena January 31 during the kickoff meeting for the state Republican election campaigns.

When asked Saturday by a reporter from the Billings Gazette to clarify his remarks, Garcia doubled down, claiming, “So actually in the Constitution of the United States (if) they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot.” He continued “They’re enemies of the free state. What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, (Afghanistan), all those. What did we do?”

While Garcia did not name anyone in particular, his diatribe was no doubt in part directed against Amelia Marquez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and his opponent in the 2018 state election in District 52, in the city of Billings. Marquez has made no mention of Garcia’s comments on her official candidate Facebook page, and neither she, the DSA nor the Montana Democratic Party responded when contacted by the WSWS about whether or not they feared violence incited by Garcia against their former candidate.

Garcia’s threats of violence come in the context of mounting attacks on socialists by Republican politicians. New York Representative Elise Stefanik recently attacked her state’s Democrats as “far-left” for their “horrible and dangerous agenda.” Iowa Senator Joni Ernst trumpeted during her first reelection campaign meeting that America is “under attack” by the “radical left” spreading “socialism … from coast to coast.” For their part, the Montana Republicans warn on their website of a “take-over” by liberals that will “turn America into a socialist nation.”

These sentiments have been most loudly espoused by President Donald Trump, who regularly denounces socialism in his campaign rallies, and included such a diatribe in his State of the Union address last year and again on Tuesday night. Trump appeared at a Republican campaign rally in Billings in September 2018, where he made his usual appeals to the ultra-right over immigration, gun rights and abortion, among other issues, while supporting both state-wide candidates like Matt Rosendale, who was defeated by incumbent Democratic Senator Jon Tester, and local candidates like Garcia.

Trump has also tweeted support for numerous right-wing gatherings, including the gun-rights rally held in Richmond, Virginia in January and the fascistic march in Charlottesville in 2017. After anti-fascist counter-demonstrator Heather Heyer was murdered by a neo-Nazi at the Charlottesville event, Trump declared that the far-right marchers were “very fine people.”

The leadership of the Montana Republican Party responded to Garcia’s remarks by calling for his resignation. In a letter signed by Speaker of the House Greg Hertz, Speaker Pro Tempore E. Wylie Galt and House Majority Leader Brad Tschida, the state party leadership wrote, “Your actions have irreparably undermined the body in which you serve and irrevocably broken the trust of those you were elected to represent.”

That is to say that they are not concerned as much with what was said, but how it will be perceived by working-class voters in the coming elections. Their indifference is underscored by the fact that there will be no formal action against Garcia for inciting violence against political opponents. Hertz claimed that it would cost $50,000 to call a special session of the Montana legislature in order to sanction the fascistic representative. Nor did the Montana Republicans respond to a question from the WSWS as to why they condemned Garcia’s remarks and not similar calls for violence made by Trump.

Garcia, 64, was previously a state representative in 1985-87 before going on to work in Montana’s oil fields. Garcia has cited the reduction of jobs in the Bakken Formation as one of the main reasons tax revenue has decreased in the state. He ran in 2014 and 2016 for state senator in different Billings seats and is again currently running for state senator, using his election campaign to legitimize his threats of violence. Garcia stated to the Associated Press, “I’m going to run for the Senate and I’m going to win. People are going to have to eat their words.”

In previous election cycles, he was forced to return a $3,000 illegal campaign contribution and was widely criticized for accusing the state’s Child Protective Services of kidnapping children. He also attempted to have the state of Montana raise $500 million to buy the aging four-unit coal-burning Colstrip power plant. It was likely that it would then be sold to NorthWestern Energy, which wanted the cost of the plant reduced by $300 million. He has also been arrested and convicted for a domestic dispute involving his ex-wife.

United States Republican in far-right terrorism scandal


This 20 December 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

A report commissioned by the Washington state legislature found that Rep. Matt Shea is a threat due to his past participation in domestic terrorism.

By Kayla Costa in the USA:

Washington state legislator investigated for ties with violent far-right groups

30 December 2019

Republican Representative Matthew Shea of the Washington state legislature is now the subject of an investigation due to public allegations of past involvement in far-right political violence. Shea is just one of many state and federal personnel whose ties to fascistic and racist groups have been exposed, though he is the first sitting legislator to face investigation for far-right violent activities.

The Washington State House of Representatives commissioned a full report by the private investigation firm Rampart Group to discover whether Shea “engaged in, planned, or promoted political violence.”

Matt Shea has served in the lower house of the state legislature since 2009, representing Washington’s 4th legislative district, that encompasses a large part of the central rural region. While the investigation takes place, the House Republican leadership suspended Shea from his committee positions in the House, including the Environment and Energy Committee, though his expulsion as a representative cannot take place until the legislature is in session.

The Rampart report notes: “Investigators have obtained evidence that Representative Shea, as a leader of the Patriot Movement, planned, engaged in, and promoted a total of three armed conflicts of political violence against the United States Government in three states outside the State of Washington over a three-year period to include 2014, 2015, and 2016.”

The Patriot Movement includes a collection of ultra-right militia groups, which generally advocate extreme anti-government views, fantasize conspiracies of “globalists” to take away the rights of small property owners, open the United States to invasion by non-white immigrants, and replace the American Constitution with Muslim Sharia Law. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified 623 active patriot groups in 2016, 165 of which were armed militia groups.

In 2014, Shea mobilized Patriot Movement members to take part in an armed occupation of a federal government facility in Bunkerville, Nevada that lasted 41 days. The standoff between federal and militia troops centered on the longstanding attempts of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy to utilize land owned by the federal government. Shea’s calls for support on the Liberty For All III% (3 Percenters) website reportedly helped to generate a turnout of 1,500 armed militia members from different groups within the Patriot Movement, such as the Oath Keepers.

The report of investigation also indicates that in 2015, Matt Shea again called upon Patriot Movement followers to join him in an armed conflict with the Veteran’s Administration in Priest River, Idaho, to defend a veteran’s right to own firearms after he was determined unfit to purchase them by medical professionals. Shea allegedly participated in the armed conflict.

In 2016, Shea had participated in an “act of domestic terrorism” during the infamous armed standoff of federal troops against the Bundy clan and militia group supporters, after the latter occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Representative Shea also admitted to writing a Christian neo-fascist document that was publicly released in 2018, titled “Biblical Basis for War”, which is referenced in the investigation report. The document lists 14 categories with bullet points that outline religious justifications and rules for militia-based war. According to Shea, war can be carried out to end tyranny, abortions, same-sex marriage, occultism and communism. The methods of assassination, armed resistance, and guerrilla war are justified so long as they serve the interests of God and the end of government tyranny.

In response to the investigation, Shea wrote on his Facebook page, “Like we are seeing with our President this is a sham investigation meant to silence those of us who stand up against attempts to disarm and destroy our great country. I will not back down, I will not give in, I will not resign. Stand strong fellow Patriots.”

He ended his appeal to patriot group supporters by saying, “I will continue to defend the constitution against tyranny and fight to protect our God-given unalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the ability to defend the same.”

The revelations about Shea’s actions come after numerous police officers and military personnel have been similarly exposed in the past year, indicating the growth of fascist elements within the state.

Two men, Dalton Woodward and Trent East, who actively served in the Army National Guard, were recently kicked out after an Army investigation confirmed their membership in a neo-pagan fascistic hate group called Asatru Folk Assembly.

Less than two weeks ago, the US Army’s XVIII Airborne Corp posted a sympathetic tribute on Facebook to a Nazi war criminal named Joachim Peiper, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

In October, US Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully possessing firearms after an investigation into his stockpiling of 15 weapons and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition for use in planned acts of terrorism against Democratic Party politicians, journalists, and other “cultural Marxists”. Hasson was an active “white nationalist” who frequently browsed far-right websites on his computer at work.

In May, the World Socialist Web Site publicized a report by Unicorn Riot and Huffington Post that exposed members of the US military involved with the neo-Nazi group Identity Evropa, providing insight into how these far-right elements are recruited and cultivated within the armed forces. This report was quickly followed by another which identified hundreds of police officers who were engaged with fascistic and racist groups on social media.

Until recently, ultra-right, white supremacist and neo-fascist groups were kept on the fringes of the Republican Party, for the most part denied direct participation in the affairs of state. Under Trump, they have been promoted and encouraged and, as the case of Representative Shea demonstrates, given direct access to political office.

With his threats of civil war against political opponents and his constant praise of police and military violence, Trump is deliberately whipping up fascistic elements and creating the conditions for their mobilization, both against his political enemies within the ruling elite and, more broadly, against the working class.

GOV. EMPLOYEES FIRED OVER NAZI SALUTE More than 30 cadets and staff members at a corrections academy in West Virginia have been fired after a class photo surfaced on Dec. 5 showing them making a Nazi salute. The cadets made their gesture ― known as the “Hail Hitler” salute ― beneath a sign reading “Hail Byrd.” [HuffPost]

Trump’s Republicans threaten violence against Democrats


This 14 September 2019 video from the USA used to says about itself:

A Texas Republican tweeted a threat towards Beto O’Rourke. Ana Kasparian, Maytha Alhassen, and Ashlee Marie Preston, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“Twitter took down a tweet from a Republican state lawmaker in Texas who wrote that his “AR is ready” for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), the Democratic presidential candidate who at Thursday night’s debate said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15s.”

Twitter told The Hill the tweet from Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain violated its rules against making violent threats and that it had removed the tweet on Friday morning.”

Read more here.

By Matthew Taylor in the USA:

Fascistic elements in Republican Party threaten Democrats O’Rourke and Ocasio-Cortez

14 September 2019

Two developments on Thursday reflect the growth of fascistic elements within the Republican Party, encouraged by President Donald Trump’s racist war on immigrants, his attacks on socialism and his attempts to brand the Democratic Party as “radical socialist”.

During Thursday night’s Democratic Party debate, a commercial sponsored by the political action committee New Faces GOP showed a picture of Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face going up in flames, while the narration linked her to the mass killings carried out by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1970s. The Maoist Khmer Rouge, covertly backed by the US, was a rabidly anti-working-class, nationalist movement.

‘Khmer Rouge’ is a nickname, by Prince Norodom Sihanouk, originally their opponent, later their ally, then opponent again. They denied being communist. They were ‘Maoist’ only in the sense that not only the Reagan administration in the USA and the Thatcher administration in Britain, but also the then Chinese government supported them (not just ‘covertly’, also publicly, eg, in the United Nations).

The ad opens with a picture of Cortez bursting into flames while the narrator declares, “This is the face of socialism and ignorance. Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horrors of socialism?” The photo then burns completely away to reveal piles of human skulls, fleeing refugees and other scenes from the Cambodian killing fields.

The narrator, Elizabeth Heng, is the daughter of Cambodian immigrants and a candidate for a California congressional seat in 2018, a contest she lost by 15 points to her Democratic opponent. She is the executive director of New Faces GOP, which seeks to recruit youth and minorities into the Republican Party.

The commercial aired on multiple ABC TV affiliates, including in Washington DC, New York City and Houston.

The website for New Faces GOP identifies four central issues: the struggle against socialism, which the group pledges to stop “from plaguing America once and for all”; the promotion of “federalism”—coded language for the gutting of social welfare programs and labor protections; immigration, i.e., support for Trump’s mass incarceration and deportation of immigrants; and opposition to the alleged censorship of “conservative” views on the internet.

In July, Trump attacked Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, itself a reformist faction of the Democratic Party, and three other supposedly “progressive” Democratic congresswomen known collectively as the “squad”, telling them to “go back where you came from”. This was in line with his strategy of whipping up far-right and fascistic forces on the basis of extreme nationalism and racism in advance of the 2020 elections and beyond.

Also on Thursday, a Texas Republican state representative, Briscoe Cain, responded to statements made during the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate by former Texas Congressman Beto (Robert Francis) O’Rourke calling for outlawing the possession of military-grade automatic weapons by tweeting, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”

Interviewed later on CNN, Cain essentially defended his tweet and accused O’Rourke of creating a provocation in order to deprive gun owners of their weapons.

In the Democratic debate, none of the candidates identified the fascistic character of Trump’s demagogy, which is directed above all against the working class. Nor did Ocasio-Cortez or O’Rourke warn of the growing threat of far-right political violence.