Antifa and their allies have been trying to label the Cascade Legion for a while. They go after anyone who opposes them, as "fascists," "neo-fascists," "racists," "Nazis," "white supremacists," or any other defamatory label they can find in their political thesaurus.
One piece from yesterday had the following to say about us:
"Members of the UW College Republicans were seen documenting the event and socializing with members of Cascade Legion, a local neo-fascist group that provided security for last summer’s deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where white men with tiki torches chanted “the Jews will not replace us,” and a far-right attendee drove his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters, killing Heather Heyer."
For those of us familiar with this propaganda, it is easy to dismiss out of hand. It is so ridiculous it almost defies comprehension. But the history of mass-communication shows that a lie repeated often enough becomes accepted as truth, especially by those on the outside. To prevent this, we wish to state the truth for the record.
To begin with, the facts are wrong. The Cascade Legion was not present at Unite the Right. Not only were we not providing security for an event on the opposite side of the continent from the Cascades, it appears no one was providing security at all, including the police.
The meaning of fascism has not changed since Orwell wrote his essay about the term in 1944:
"It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else."
Antifa calls the government, police, the law, the church, the family, and order, structure, and hierarchy of all kinds "fascist" as it suits them. The prefix 'neo-' adds nothing. It only serves to reinforce the meaninglessness of the accusation.
It is tempting for outside observers to accept the premise asserted by the left. It is tempting to think that we on the right are equivalent to the Italian fascists or to the German National Socialists. Even if Antifa is wrong, we are just as wrong. Maybe even worse.
It is tempting because the lie is repeated, sometimes by people high within our own government.
Nevertheless, the premise is false. The temptation will be rejected now, or it will be rejected later. The Social Justice Warriors do not spare their own side, and their armed wing--Antifa--won't either. You can say all the right things today, and they will still destroy you tomorrow. In their eyes, conversing with the other side at all ("other side" as defined by them), is supporting them. If you have ever put aside differences to work towards a common goal, attempted to persuade someone who you didn't agree with, or just tried to understand someone as a human being, then the circumstances of that association is irrelevant. You once associated with WrongThinkers, and that makes you a stepping stool for people who want to raise their status as Warriors for Social Justice. The more "fascists" they bring down, the greater they become. And with enough time, they can make you out to be a fascist.
Last year we told KUOW that if people were to come and espouse disagreeable views, then people opposed to those views have a duty to listen to those arguments and debate them. This is the proper way of handling disagreements in a civil society. But Antifa is against speech, and are predictably pro-violence. Even their dress is designed as a social camouflage so that they can more easily commit crimes, like throwing bricks or hitting people with bike locks.
Whatever spin the media puts on the upcoming event, after it happens, remember that the UW College Republicans are trying to facilitate the kind of conversation that helps political disputes get resolved without violence, even in the face of administrative pressure. Antifa, on the other hand, has a different purpose:
"We believe that fighting fascism requires not just ideological opposition, but giving no platform at all for them to organize, network, or recruit [...]
It’s time to get creative. Figure out a plan with your crew ahead of time if you don’t want to just spend the day in a shouting match with far-right trolls. What are other ways to frustrate their efforts to recruit, network, travel, and work? How might you and your friends pick different terrain on which to engage, rather than just at the time and place of Patriot Prayer’s choosing? When the far-right does choose the terrain like this, how might we use the situation to our advantage rather than devolving into a face-to-face shouting match with the cops on their side?
Come with your friends, come prepared, but come concealed. Mask your identity, but don’t wear all black. It is likely that Patriot Prayer etc won’t want to start a physical confrontation, and the police will be on their side. We can mingle within the larger crowds with our crews, not standing out like a sore thumb for the socialists or police to pick us out as “agitators.” If we can’t physically keep these fascists from rallying, we must not let them go unopposed. It’s time to get creative."
They always lie, they always double down, and they always project. Their stated concerns about right-wing violence are cover for their own desire to use violence to stop dialogue. The Cascade Legion is composed of a politically diverse membership, but we are united in our desire to protect order, the rule of law, and the freedom to speak, a right that is inseparable from the freedom to listen.
Fascism may be poorly-defined, but we all know the aspects within totalitarian fascism that are evil. They have to do with the imposition of will through violence, with repression, and with control not only over action, but over thought, over information, and over speech.
Judge for yourself which of the two sides more completely embodies everything that we all dislike about "fascism."