Monday, June 01, 2009

Fascist Homegrown Terrorism


The very last day of May 2009 brought about the last day of life for Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. After two decades of being subjected to violence, prosecutions, protests, vandalism, bombings, the fascist terrorists from America's hinterland succeeded in killing one of the last doctors to provide safe and affordable abortions for women in Kansas.
Dr. Tiller was killed Sunday May 29th by an anti-abortion terrorist during a church service. The textbook sexual negating fascists, as accurately described by the great Wilhelm Reich achieved their wretched objective. The murder of Dr. Tiller is, in my opinion, the worst act of political terrorism to occur within the US in decades.



The personal impact of this act of terror for me is greater than when I saw the Twin Towers tumble down 8 years ago. I will not delve into polemics about the differences between the atrocities in New York from what occurred in Wichita. Nonetheless, this murder of Dr. Tiller is of greater consequence for American politics than the destruction of the symbols of capitalism and imperialism.
I owe a great deal to my awakening and entering radical activist politics directly to Dr. Tiller. In 1991, when I was a second year student at Boston University, I saw on the chalkboard an announcement for an emergency meeting regarding abortion rights for that evening. I have always believed in the woman's right to have an abortion. I resented anti-abortionists, in particular the Catholic Church, interfering in the private affairs not only of women but everyone. At the packed meeting of over 500 students, faculty and staff, we were informed that Randall Terry's Operation Rescue was planning to storm Boston and shut down clinics which provided reproductive and healthcare for women. A lecture, accompanied by a slide show, reported on the massive anti-abortion carnival held in Wichita the previous summer. Dr. Tiller's clinic was destroyed and occupied. The entire town of Wichita was transformed into the space for a mass fascist rally. The worst thing was how the police stood by as the fascist hordes destroyed Dr. Tiller's clinic. The mayor of Wichita was photographed smiling amidst the hordes. The Wichita Chamber of Commerce also sponsored the event. The tens of thousands of fascists who descended on the city came from neighboring states and as far away as Montana. The town square, parks, streets were overrun with banners, flags and pictures of fetuses.
I sat in the darkened auditorium restraining my rage. My blood pressure rose rapidly. I was seething with bitterness. The organizers got wind that Operation Rescue was planning the same event in Boston two weeks later. "No Wichita in Boston!" became the rallying cry. I left the auditorium in a murderous mood. What were those hicks thinking? Wichita is a backwards provincial reactionary city. Did they really expect that they could pull the same thing in Boston? Not as long as I was in the city! I was ready and looking for a fight. The next days I couldn't think about anything else but the nightmare pictures that I saw from Wichita.
The following Saturday, I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and raced one mile from Kenmore Square along Beacon Street to Brookline where Planned Parenthood and other providers of women's healthcare were located. My plan was not only to protect the clinics but also to inflict as much physical pain as possible against the fascists. Moreover, I was going to personally bounce them physically not only out of Boston, not only out of Massachusetts, not only out of New England but out of the Northeast. When I arrived at Planned Parenthood, I was surprised that there were no other defenders. Then I realized that I had been one week too early. That was the extent of my preparation to fight.
The city governments of Boston and Brookline were also prepared. Abortion was legal and the two cities were going to enforce the law. Anyone who tried to blockade the clinics would be subject to arrest. Any women harassed entering or leaving would be protected by the police. Thankfully, Boston and Brookline were and remain two of the most progressive cities in the US.
The day of the attempted shutdown, there was a massive show of force from those of us who defended women's right to choose. There were over one thousand of us plus hundreds of police officers. We spotted a few fascists lurking about. They are easy to spot. Right wing American fascists tend to have hollow and vacant eyes. Since most of them belong to various Christian fundamentalist cults, most of them are brainwashed and it shows in their facial countenance. (Please watch the film "Jesus Camp" to see what I mean.)
Faced with a hostile and militant opposition, a massive police presence to protect the clinics and being officially unwelcome by the cities' and state's political establishment, Operation Rescue decided to abort their campaign in Boston. We received intelligence that at the last minute Operation Rescue went to Providence, Rhode Island to attempt an alternate terrorism operation. About 200 of us raced to Providence in hot pursuit. Faced with certain defeat in Providence, Operation Rescue aborted the entire enterprise. We had won. Not only did our massive presence deter them but we kicked them out of two states within a single day. It was my first act of political activism. It was all the more fortunate that my first experience of political activity resulted not only with a concrete victory but more importantly; I helped to deal a devastating and humiliating blow against the reactionary right.
I joined the BU abortion and reproductive rights coalition. Buoyed by our victory we then attempted to challenge Boston University's own sexual negating politics which among other things included:
1) The only secular institute of higher learning in New England without an anti-discrimination clause concerning sexual orientation.
2) The prohibition of condoms being sold or distributed by any organization affiliated with the university.
3) The overnight curfew in the dorms which prohibited residents from having overnight guests of the opposite sex.
There were Marxists who were part of the coalition and I eventually became a revolutionary Marxist. This was all due to the heroism of Dr. Tiller.
The Terrorist Nature of American Fascism
Let me make this clear in unequivocal terms: Operation Rescue, Terry Randall, his followers and the murderer of Dr. Tiller are Terrorists! There are no ifs, ands or butts about this. Moreover, all of them are fascists. They are not simple conservatives or even vapid reactionaries. These people pose a clear and present danger to American and as I will point out to global society. There is nothing wrong with having personal reservations or moral questions about abortion. Nor is there anything inherently wrong in expressing the opinion that one does not believe in abortion. However, there is something fundamentally wrong with restricting others from doing what you believe is personally wrong. There is something downright tyrannical when force of violence is used. There is nothing short of pure venality when someone tries to control, particularly a complete stranger, the decisions that they make over their own bodies and the choices they make regarding their sexuality. When women and staff are spit upon, assaulted and battered coming in and out of reproductive health clinics, this is terrorism. When bombs are planted and detonated at clinics and the homes of doctors, this is terrorism. When doctors are subject to prosecution and police harassment, this is State terrorism. When doctors and their families are subject to death threats and harassing phone calls, this is terrorism. When doctors and women are murdered with pre-mediation, this is called terrorism. Anti-abortionists are fascists because like in Nazi Germany, the body belongs to the State or as is often the case in the US, the body belongs to God. Personal and individual liberty is not only stripped but one is turned into the possession of society. The right to choose when, where and with whom to have or not have sex is no longer belongs to the individual. The right to contraception is nullified by the ideology that sex is only for the purpose of procreation. The right not to keep the baby is not left up to the woman but instead left up to the community, state or church. These are all characteristics of Fascism as spelt clearly by Wilhelm Reich in his seminal "The Mass Psychology of Fascism."
More about the terrorist nature of anti-abortionists. Ever since the landmark Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, any law to ban abortion is deemed illegal and unconstitutional. Despite the efforts of reactionary politicians to restrict abortions through various means such as parental consent and notification laws for minors and the on again and off again "Gag rules" which prohibit family planning clinics to even mention abortion if they receive Federal government funds, abortion remains available. Ten years ago, only 19% of all counties in the United States had clinics where abortion services were provided. Though the US Supreme Court has repeatedly chipped away Roe v. Wade, the Justices remain wary of overturning their own precedent. Still this is not enough for the anti-abortion fascists. Unable to legally overturn the legal right to abortion, they resort to terrorism. The FBI defines terrorism as:
The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
Does this not apply to Operation Rescue and Randall Terry? The keywords to note: "in furtherance of political or social objectives." Is this not what the anti-abortion fascists have done to Dr. Tiller and thousands of women across the country? The political objective is to outlaw abortion. The social objective is to control the bodies, sexuality and reproductive choices of women by imposing a so-called morality on society.
Double Standards and Hypocrisy

Anti-abortionists will state endlessly how they are on a moral campaign to save lives and give platitudes about the so-called "sanctity of life." This begs the question. Whose lives? While these fascists picket and call Dr. Tiller "murderer", they themselves not only condone but encourage murder and violence against women and their doctors. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Practically each and every anti-abortionist calls themselves "pro-life" yet all of them believe in capital punishment. Every single reactionary politician in the United States claims to be both "pro-life" and pro-capital punishment at the same time. The logical fallacy is too obvious and needs no further elaboration. Of course, the epitome of the political manifestation of the Fascists was none other than George W. Bush. This international terrorist and war criminal is the living embodiment of the "values"(sic) of the anti-abortion movement. As Governor of Texas, Bush executed no less than 300 people. Indeed, since his governorship, Texas executes people with assembly line precision. Thanks to Bush, the US executes more people legally per capita than the regimes of China and Iran. Moreover, it is now known that Bush knew of and personally authorized torture of individuals and signed orders to carry out assassinations all over the world. Try as Obama might, the public record is already out. The patterns with Bush are the exact mirror reflection of the anti-abortion fascists.
It doesn't need any mentioning that Bush and other fascist reactionary fascist politicians support the rights of the unborn but once these unborn are born, show absolutely no regard for their lives. All of them from the 1990s to today have cut all social welfare benefits. Bill Clinton, along with the fascist Republicans terminated Aid to Families With Dependent Children. The few states which had subsidized child daycare have cut funding to them. School breakfast and lunch programs have been reduced or eliminated all together. The US has the highest child mortality rate of any advanced nations. More children live in abject poverty in the US than any other advanced country. Recent statistics show that up to 19% of children under 16 are homeless. When asked why the state cannot provide more aid to children, the politicians will say that there isn't any money and even more hypocritical that it's up to the parents individual responsibility to provide for their children.
Hold on just a minute! If parents have an individual responsibility to take care of their own children, then should they not also have an individual responsibility not to have a child if they cannot afford to take care of it in the first place or for any other personal reason? This is where they get caught in a lie and the faulty structure of their logic comes tumbling down.
There are only two legs that the anti-abortionist fascists stand on:
1) Abortion is murder.
2) Abortion is immoral.
I have pointed out how all anti-abortion fascists encourage murder both against doctors and women but also in the judicial system. I have pointed out to the immorality of Bush's war crimes, his record as the world's number one executioner and the immoral economic and physical state that too many children in the US endure. By their own actions, these fascists undermine not only their creditability but also expose themselves as frauds and nothing less than ideological and deadly enemies of democracy, human rights and liberty.

The Fatal Flaw of Being "Pro-Choice"
When I was involved the Abortion and Reproductive Rights Coalition at Boston University, I along with one other comrade got into heated debates against the more liberal members of the coalition. The defenders of reproductive health always wanted to state that they were not "pro-abortion" but rather "pro-choice." I, along with the comrade take a heated debate against that line of reasoning.

I was militantly pro-abortion and had successfully argued that we should state we are pro-abortion. By declining to say we were pro-abortion, we were somehow legitimizing that there was something wrong with abortion in and of itself. To say that we were pro-Choice but not pro-Abortion conceded too much to the right wing. The only argument the right wing had against abortion was that it was immoral. By refusing to defend abortion unequivocally, we were setting ourselves up in a trap when we needed to defend abortion in debates. The issue is about sexual and reproductive right. Anti-abortionists considered women that didn’t have children a threat to the preservation of class society. Women have two central roles in class society. The first is to reproduce in order to pass on the wealth of a ruling class to offspring to maintain the hegemony of the ruling class from generation to generation. Also for women to continue to reproduce the working class in order to have a cheap and exploited human pool of labor for the ruling class to manipulate. Women who have abortions chose not to reproduce. They must be compelled to reproduce and hence why the capitalist ruling class is against abortion. It is also a direct means of controlling women physically. It was one of the primary tools of women’s oppression.
The leading members of the Democrat Party in the US have over the decade moved into the Anti-abortion side while somehow maintaining they are still pro-choice. This logic is impossible. On the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, then New York Senator Hillary Clinton stated that pro-life people had moral justifications against abortion and how pro-choice people must seek common ground with their foes! Last year during the Primary election campaign Obama stated that the decision for a woman to have an abortion or not was not exclusively the prerogative of the woman but also her family and community. The Democrats slipped an anti-abortion plank into their platform during the National Convention.
Here is the fatal flaw that I warned of back in 1992. Stating that one is pro-choice while repudiating that one is pro-abortion has come back to haunt us. It is no accident that Dr. Tiller was killed now. With Obama having ceded too much to the reactionary right, including his recent address at Notre Dame (where he simultaneously supported gay rights and homophobia at the same time as well as pro-choice and anti-abortion among other atrocious and treacherous statements he made), after nearly a decade of a lull in fascist terrorism, it has struck in the most deadly way. The equivocations of activists being pro-choice and anti-abortion have provided Democrat politicians such as Clinton and Obama a way to express and implement reactionary politics and policies.
Conclusion
Dr. George Tiller was a selfless and tireless humanitarian. He treated and counseled thousands of women; many of them desperate, afraid and ashamed who had not been able to tell family or close friends about their predicament. Many women had to travel hundreds of miles from within Kansas and from neighboring states just to be able to exercise their right to end an unwanted pregnancy. Despite the riots, the vandalism, the death threats, previous attempts on his life; Dr. Tiller never wavered and never backed down. How sad and ironic that Dr. Tiller was shot dead in his own church by someone claiming to be a "good Christian soldier". Dr. Tiller was also killed because though he was a Protestant Christian, he was neither a fundamentalist nor a brainwashed psycho like the fascist who killed him. Dr. Tiller demonstrated and lived out his Christian values of compassion and justice. For this, he was murdered by the hypocritical fascists who have not only debased the religion but have killed one of their fellow believers.
I will not forget you Dr. Tiller. Nor will the hundreds of women whose lives you have saved. Millions of women in North America will not forget your deeds either. You were a warrior defender of woman's lives. You paid for it with your own life. May you rest in peace.
-Belgrade, Serbia

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