Far Right Vigilantes Attack Land Defenders and Organized Workers

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2008 ... February 26, 2020

Far Right Vigilantes Attack Land Defenders and Organized Workers:
"Rule of Law" and Class Violence

Jeff Shantz

Fascism is bare knuckle capitalism. A key element of fascist mobilizations is a fighting street force. Vigilantes ready and willing to attacked organized members of the working class, exploited, and oppressed. With fascism on the rise across many of the so-called Western liberal democracies, including Canada, we can see horrible manifestations of far Right vigilantism. And we can see how it is legitimated by mainstream conservatives, including elected members of governments. The street fighting groups are key parts of fascists terror to break resistance of the exploited and oppressed. And they operate with the approval of the formal parliamentary party wings.

In the Canadian context we can see troubling manifestations of this far Right vigilantism moving specifically and openly to break the crucial struggles of the current moment -- the Wet’suwet’en land defense, and solidarity actions, asserting Wet’suwet’en sovereignty against an invasion by RCMP in the service of the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the Unifor pickets of... the Coop Refinery in Regina by locked out workers and supporters. These mobilizations now face a dual threat of formal state repression and criminalization by police (as politicians increasingly use terms like "illegal" to describe them) and informal vigilante violence, specifically by far Right and neofascist elements.

According to Barbara Perry, Criminology professor and hate crime researcher at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, there are, at minimum, 130 active far Right extremist groups operating across Canada. Perry reports that this represents a 30 per cent increase from 2015. It becomes even more crucial for broader solidarity efforts to coalesce to defend these struggles against state and extra-state violence.

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