This article by Sasha from Earth First! is partly a reportback from the confrontation at the recent Death in June show in Portland, Oregon. The full article is a longer analysis of what he calls the “hipster-fascist” trend that’s currently the rage in parts of the neofolk, radical ecological, occult, and related scenes, especially on the West Coast.
“No one surrounds themselves with Runes, totenkopfs and neofolk and REALLY likes the jews. They just pretend they do because they are cowards.”
– James Porrazzo, former leader of the American Front
Some who join me in coming from an ecological background might wonder, why would you protest Death in June, a subcultural neo-folk band that doesn’t really make any ecological claims? Why act against a musical act unless their music sucks? Why not protest somebody more mainstream who is using fascist propaganda, like Nicki Minaj? Then again, why fight people who are literally hipster-fascists, instead of fighting hipsters who are perpetrating gentrification and forwarding state capitalism (which seems, with its prison industry complex, to be almost indistinguishable from fascism).
To be honest, I’ve never listened to Death in June, though I generally dislike what I know about the cultish aspects of neo-folk. It’s not that big of a deal, and I don’t intend to give the band more attention than they’re worth (not a lot). What I’m most worried about, in fact, is the mass politics of the ecology movement becoming fascistic, and DIJ’s politics provide one among many models through which the infiltration of fascist ideas becomes possible. …
I showed up to the concert to see whether I could talk to Death in June’s fans and get a sense of what they believe. We hung out outside with some protestors who had arrived early. We spoke about places we’d lived, and we talked a bit about the band. Some people of color showed up to the protest, some anti-racist skinheads, and the energy level was high in the crisp autumnal evening, with a deep sense of solidarity among our side.
As fans began to line up for the show, I took the handy megaphone that my cohort had borrowed from a friend, and I started to ask questions. To repeat: the reason I came to the event, in fact, was to discuss issue-oriented politics with the fans of Death in June, and to express my concern to them in a respectful manner. I prodded them: “Who knows where Death in June gets their name?”
They responded with zombie-like boredom: “We know.”
“Is it from the Nazis?”
“Yes, it’s from the Night of the Long Knives.” …
All these claims rolled like water off a ducks back off the concert-goers. Representing genocide? Situationism! Giving money to a genocidal military? No answer. The crowd continued to insist, “We’re not Nazis! We don’t like Nazis,” until some real Nazi skinheads started to show up and regulate. Even the fans that seemed less Nazi and more Indy (meaning independent, not Indo-European), wore the symbols that the band uses: the totenkopf (the SS’s skull and bones insignia) over a rainbow-colored background, for example. Indeed, the fact that the lead singer is gay is used by fans of the band to suggest the band is actually anti-Nazi. Then again, the leader of the SA, Ernst Röhm, was gay, and noted for hiring his lovers up the SA’s hierarchy. This, of course, did not stop some of the band’s fans from calling the group of around 50 antifascists who came to protest “homophobes.”
read the rest here: Sasha, “Reportback: Fighting the Trojan Horse of Hipster-Fascism in Portland” / Earth First! Newswire