Pittsburgh Tax Day Tea Party: Working People and Right-Wing Extremists Rally in the Rain

Although they had been trying to keep their distance in the wake of the police shootings in Pittsburgh, right-wing pundits rallied their misguided, working-class fans with racial and religious fascists in Pittsburgh’s Market Square, as well as the rest of the US, for what was billed by some of its sponsors as a “Tax Day Tea Party”. These events were sponsored by a handful of lobbying and public relations firms and promoted by a very effective right-wing noise machine, with help from the mainstream media, and other private-plane populists, but the liberal bloggers have that covered. Even though the event was held on a work day, attendance could not have been much of problem, since the attendees were largely rallying on behalf of their bosses.

The conservative elites have done an impressive job of speaking to the needs of working people and convincing them to abandon their own interests in favor of Wall Street’s needs. The contradictions are almost too overwhelming to notice. Like Samuel Wurzelbacher’s “Joe the Plumber” character, speaking at anti-union rallies, when the best economic times for the working -class were the days when they were heavily unionized. The business unions and liberal elites have no one to blame but themselves, having long abandoned working people in favor of middle-class academicians and bohemians. The Republicans, especially since the days of their persistently-vegetative icon from Hollywood,  have managed to deliver, at least in small ways, to their base, something the Democrats have refused to do for years.

Anarchists and their rivals in the authoritarian Leftist alphabet soup, especially those concerned with building mass movements, have an even poorer recent track record of relevance to ordinary people. Part of the blame lies with the success of consumer capitalism in recuperating social movements and writing dissent off as nothing more than youthful rebellion. A refusal to acknowledge that global consumer capitalism is not the same as it was in the 19th century or even the 1960s continues to marginalize revolutionary ideology and theory. The centralized, industrial economies that continue to inhabit most of the rhetoric have not existed for quite some time, and critical thinking on this matter is often met with resistance from backwards thinking radicals.

I’ve learned to never put any faith in demonstration head counts, but some of these events appear to be pretty sizable, although my brave anti-fascist source on the ground reported only about 200-300 people in Pittsburgh (local right-wing paper says 1000, the other paper says “several hundred” , local pundits who spoke said thousands on morning show).  Present in this crowd were any number of neo-fascist boneheads. It is difficult to tell for sure, given the popularity of close-cropped hairstyles for men (and big hair for women) during Republican administrations and among those who wish to live vicariously through US military personnel (and their domestic equivalent, the police). Some of them made it easy by wearing  clothing clearly marked with symbols and slogans sold by neo-nazi record labels and clothing companies. Internet chatter and other intelligence suggested that Keystone United, (formerly known as Keystone State Skinheads) would be recruiting at these events. These morons have changed their name (perhaps inspired by the success of local racist vigilante group, Lawrenceville United) and their logo to capitalize on the resurgence of violent nationalist rhetoric in the US that occurs during Democratic administrations. Many leftists and anarchists incorrectly believed that an Obama presidency would be good for progressive movements and working people, but myself and others pointed out the kinds of violent, flagsucking rhetoric that the right-wing engages in when they don’t control the US government.

That’s not to say the Tea Parties were solely the work of white supremacists, (it was lobbyists) but it’s a very short walk from nationalism to fascism. Mainstream pundits on the right  push a diluted, more accessible version of the same message that the Hollywood, dress-up nazis do, the obvious difference being divergent views on the state of Israel.

Here are some pictures of a few of the nazis at the Pittsburgh tea party:


The "master race" eats its enemies

The "master race" eats its enemies

The eugenic "ideal" sloping forehead, thick brow, underbite, and bifocals

The eugenic "ideal" sloping forehead, thick brow, underbite, and bifocals

The shirt reads "Good Night, Red Side" it's some neo-nazi slogan, but like the others, it makes no sense.

The shirt reads "Good Night, Red Side" it's some neo-nazi slogan, but like the others, it makes no sense.

Full view of shirt

Full view of shirt


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