Friday, August 18, 2017


     Don the Con is planning to hold a campaign-style rally at the Phoenix Convention Center next Tuesday.  The Mayor’s asking him to cancel, but Trump is so far unwilling to comply. So, will his racist-right supporters also make an appearance, banners unfurled? And how large will the anti-Trump demonstrations be? The stakes are high on all sides, the potential for violence extreme.

     Hitler’s Brownshirts, formally called Sturmabteilung (Storm Detachment), originally functioned to protect him at rallies and intimidate opponents in the years prior to his political success. He made no public appearances without them. Although he had its leaders murdered (the Night of the Long Knives) after he got control of the German military, the Brownshirts were essential in the early days, fighting off anti-Hitler demonstrators, intimidating opponents, engaging in massive street fights with the usual collection of Communists, socialists and anarchists. At its height, just after Hitler came to power, Sturmabteilung claimed to have 3,000,000 men under arms, more than 30 times the size of the German Army.

      I believe the racist-right organizations who carried those torches in Charlottesville are waiting for Trump to call. I believe they’re convinced that he’s certain, at some point, to order them into action. The Southern Policy Law Center keeps directories listing America’s hate groups. One such directory, of groups who fought in Charlottesville, contains photos of 18 flags, representing 18 organizations. Each of these hate groups believes in a violent revolution to come, a race war they’ve already armed themselves to fight. The photos of armed participants from the racist-right at Charlottesville are chilling, men in full military regalia carrying assault rifles with extra magazines in pouches attached to their bullet-resistant vests. Virginia’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, later claimed that the State Police were outgunned and intimidated by dozens of armed men. Leaving aside the pathetic element to that claim, what’s clear is that our open carry laws have created tensions that cannot be defused until after the first trigger is pulled.

      Modern assault rifles are generally fitted with 50-round magazines. They can be fired as fast as you can pull the trigger.


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