In a move that may redefine the term “strange bedfellows,” the American Nazi Party issued an official endorsement of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement on Sunday afternoon. The announcement put the organization, a self-described “National Socialist” political party, in company with the Socialist Party USA, which explained its own support for the left-wing protesters in a nationwide conference call last Tuesday night, crediting organized labor with the protests’ strength and sophistication to date.
The American Nazi Party is the most politically sophisticated U.S. remnant — but by no means the only one — of white supremacist Adolph Hitler’s murderous 20th century movement, which sought to establish socialism for Aryans, and to subjugate non-Aryans. The party calls Hitler’s Mein Kampf “an ideological blueprint for healthy Aryan survival.”
In its statement on Sunday, the Westland, Mich.-based Nazi party wrote that the Occupy Wall Street protests are “TAYLOR [sic] MADE for National Socialists, as well as WN [White Nationalists] who are serious about DOING SOMETHING.”
“I urgently URGE all of you,” the statement’s unnamed author added, “to TAKE PART and JOIN IN when these protests hit your neck of the woods. Produce some flyers EXPLAINING the ‘JEW BANKER’ influence — DON’T wear anything marking you as an ‘evil racist’ — and GET OUT THERE and SPREAD the WORD!”
While Nazis seem unenthusiastic about visibly linking their flagship organization to the vocal protests that have popped up in dozens of U.S. cities, the same can’t be said of the Communist Party USA.
John Bachtell, an Illinois-based community organizer and Communist Party USA board member, addressed the “Occupy Chicago” protest on Saturday.
“I bring greetings and solidarity from the Communist Party,” Bachtell said to hoots and applause. “We are here, marching side-by-side. We’ll sleep here. We’ll be with this movement ’til the very – ’til we make all the changes that we know we have to make.”
Bachtell also organized the Tuesday evening conference call, with an online call to action that framed the Communist Party’s involvement as one part of a larger movement uniting the “Occupy” protesters with a “Week of Action for Jobs” organized by the AFL-CIO, and with congressional Democrats’ push to pass President Obama’s American Jobs Act.
“While there is a wide range of political and ideological trends,” he wrote, “there is a consensus against corporate greed, getting money out of politics, taxing the rich and putting people before profits.
“A big challenge for the CPUSA and left, progressive movements is to link these demonstrations with the labor led all-people’s coalition and help deepen understanding that the path to progress must be through electoral and political action including defeating Republican Tea Party reaction in 2012.”
Communist Party USA Secretary/Treasurer Roberta Wood moderated the conference call, which she announced halfway through had attracted 88 callers.
“’We are [the] 99 percent.’ What a beautiful idea. It re-draws the fault lines of society,” said Wood, a former executive board member of United Steel Workers Local 65 who has also been labor editor of the People’s Weekly World.
“We as communists are also part of that 99 percent. Our deep involvement in our communities and workplaces and unions and neighborhood organizations [will] strengthen a new national conversation that will no doubt impact the future of our country.”
Southern California Communist Party leader Arturo Cambron also addressed the call, praising “the growing of the occupying community.”
“We’ve been getting a lot of support from an unusual amount of very, very broad forces,” Cambron added. “The movement has gone [on] to get the endorsement of a lot of trade unions, including the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, which is I think one of the most powerful, most progressive labor organizations in the country.”
John Wojcik, labor editor for the People’s World, told the conference call that after a recent Occupy Chicago march, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka “was speaking to law students at the Chicago-Kent Law School just a few blocks away. And they heard him urge support for Occupy Wall Street, and offered them use of union halls [and] other resources. And he was using their language. He said we have an economy, a political process, that isn’t serving ‘the 99 percent.’”
Communist Party USA leader Jim Lane, calling in from Dallas, added that “the Texas AFL-CIO published contact information, urged participation everywhere, and sent their whole staff to the Austin action.”