On August 12, Charlottesville fascist Jason Kessler attempted to hold the sequel to last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Washington, DC. It did not go well for him. In the end, 2000 police struggled to protect two dozen fascists from thousands of anti-fascists and other foes of tyranny. To get some perspective on these events, we spoke with David Thurston—arts director for No Justice No Pride, a member of the steering committee of the DMV’s Movement for Black Lives, and a core organizer with Resist This—and also with an anonymous anarchist involved in organizing the anti-fascist bloc, among other aspects of the mobilization.
The US government spent $2.6 million to force the fascist rally upon the people of Washington, DC. Let’s do the math: that’s over $100,000 per fascist for a rally that lasted an hour at most. Would the US spend anything like that to protect a rally organized by any other sector of the population? On the contrary, when anarchists and other advocates of liberation organize public events, the government usually spends millions of dollars to repress us, often breaking its own laws in order to do so. This shows what a farce the “free speech” defense of fascist recruiting drives is—this is not an abstract question of rights, but a concrete matter of the US government asymmetrically investing resources in promoting the spread of fascism.
To put a number on it, then, the kind of “free speech” that enabled Kessler and his like to recruit someone to murder Heather Heyer is worth $100,000 per hour per fascist to the US government. Those are your tax dollars at work.