Far-right media are after us. Here’s what we think of them.
The inevitable has happened: Adbusters has been caught up in the far-right’s hysterical, post-truth fantasia. To understand how the rabid right turns fact into fraud, abandoning even the pretense of truthfulness, read on. You are about to witness an example of how information is forced through the ideological meatgrinder, emerging out the other side as inflammatory delusion.
Readers will be familiar with our calls for Americans to gather peacefully for fifty days, starting September 17th — the ninth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street — in Washington, D.C. Our purpose was, and still is, to “rekindle the true essence of democracy” and “electrify the election season” by assembling outside the White House. We have detailed our strategy in a series of Tactical Briefings, which emphasize the non-violent nature of the demonstration. We called it, figuratively, the White House Siege.
Yes, the name “has an ominous ring to it,” we wrote in Tactical Briefing #3. “But it could turn out to be the most beautiful, festive, and effective uprising that America has seen since the Revolution.” Rather than storm the president’s official residence, the intention is to show up and “start playing totally non-violent improvisational jazz . . . much like we did in Zuccotti Park nine years ago.”
None of this appears to have registered with the right-wing’s online propaganda machine — at least, not in good faith. Last month, the far-right blog The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the WHS under the headline “Democrat Supported Marxist Group Plans Siege on White House,” etc. Titular “pundit” Jim Hoft failed to note that we are not in affiliated with, or supported by, any political group whatsoever. Neither are we a “Marxist group.” Without getting past the headline, Hoft has already lied to you twice.
Fringe outfit Big League Politics also published a WHS-themed article, in which author Shane Trejo alleged that “Facebook is allowing an ANTIFA-style group to organize a potentially violent ‘White House siege’ next month on their platform.” As a not-for-profit foundation and magazine publisher, we bear no resemblance, nor any connection, to Antifa. And Trejo’s intimation of violence, at least on our part, is a fabrication. If any violence does take place, it is only likely to be waged by the zealous thugs who read his thought-polluting drivel.
Trejo also wailed that “[g]roups like Adbusters need to be targeted under federal RICO laws or under the federal War on Terror.” (No law known as “the federal War on Terror” exists.) “These domestic enemies are far more dangerous to the U.S. Republic than ISIS could ever hope to be.” Leave aside the fatuous comparison with ISIS, which would be laughable if it weren’t so repulsively trivializing. Unlike one of his peers, Trejo neglected to disclose that we are Canadian (knowledge that can be gleaned from a quick Google search) and therefore not “domestic” in the sense which he intended. Nor does it bear mentioning that the First Amendment protects the freedom of assembly. Nothing about the WHS is remotely illegal. And yet one wonders whether Trejo’s bloodthirsty fearmongering and patent dishonesty are not the greater dangers to the Republic, founded as it was on “these truths.”
Which brings us to the main course. Last weekend, the staunchly Trump-aligned cable channel One America News Network twice aired a one-hour “investigation” hosted by anchor-provocateur Jack Posobiec — known for little besides having peddled the “Pizzagate” hoax. “Throughout summer of 2020, violent riots and anarchism have spread across America’s cities,” Posobiec drones in a trailer for the special, which is titled “September Siege – ANTIFA’s Plan to Occupy the White House.” (Yet more tiresome Antifa-baiting.) “But there is a deeper plan at play here: a plan to lay siege to the White House, starting this September.”
Prosobiec, who has based the entirety of his regrettable livelihood on deceit, did inadvertently get one thing halfway right. A wave of violence has indeed recently spread across the United States. According to the FBI’s director, Chris Wray, the agency has “elevated to the top-level priority racially motivated violent extremism” — “deadly attacks targeting Latinos, Jews and other minority groups” — “so it’s on the same footing in terms of our national threat banding as ISIS.” (Eat your words, Trejo.) In May, ABC News found “54 cases invoking ‘Trump’ in connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults.” We challenge anyone to find evidence of similar cases involving names such as Biden.
We, on the other hand, are calling for the peaceable gathering of “thousands … to remind this authoritarian regime” of the American people’s “significance,” “will,” and “power.” In our eyes, the “survival of the American experiment — the American spirit — requires nothing less” than a mass display of resistance to the debasement of its founding principles. “We the People,” the Constitution’s framers wrote, seek to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,” to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.” We stand for justice, tranquility, general welfare, liberty — and truth. By spewing outright falsehoods, celebrating ignorance, and encouraging the violent suppression of avowedly non-violent protests, the feral fanatics of the American far-right have shown that they stand for exactly the opposite. They, not we, are the true enemies of the United States.
Postscript, 14 September 2020. With no official explanation, but doubtless due to the above and other malign distortions, the hashtag #WhiteHouseSiege has been censored on Facebook and is not likely to survive for long on other social-media platforms. So, from now on, we will tag our WHS-related posts with the hashtag #ReOccupy.