AFP uses tactics and rhetoric borrowed from the activist left and libertarian right as part of their work to build a white nationalist political party. AFP is part of a fascist tradition known as Third Positionism. Third Positionism presents itself as a new, ‘third” alternative to both right and left-wing politics by advancing hard-right ideas through adopting and deploying radical left signifiers in ways that confound mainstream expectations for what the right looks like; an example of this is utilizing environmentalist framing to promote neo-Eugenicist policies. However, rather than being a new dimension of political thought, Third Positionism actually harkens back to the very origins of fascism–in Mussolini’s Italy, populist trappings were paradoxically used to crush the working class.
The American Freedom Party models itself after large, contemporary European fascist parties such as Golden Dawn in an attempt to build similar broad bases of support. Part of that strategy is creating an activist wing called Free America Rally (FAR). FAR and AFP have built momentum locally by doing low risk, short duration forms of activism that they then document. They are efficient propagandists and have created a wealth of online videos and photos to promote their organization from these frequent, short events. Their recent ventures into Portland show that they are emboldened by their successes in the surrounding suburban and rural areas. AFP’s primary target audience is Ron Paul libertarians and racist paleoconservatives. The local branch of American Freedom Party has, however, attempted to make inroads at liberal left events such as at an anti-war rally in Portland. This tactic has precedent–both the anti-globalization and Occupy movements were used as recruiting grounds by the racist right. Racist groups incorporated these movements’ populist messages into their own propaganda, added a hefty dose of anti-semitism, and produced distorted fairy-stories about a dwindling and oppressed white race.
Antifascists must crush AFP now before they are able to grow stronger. There are many ways that AFP can and should be confronted here in Portland. As militant Antifascists, we believe in taking the fight to them, which means not waiting to pounce on them when they have events. While they certainly should be confronted at their events, we believe that this strategy is insufficient for damaging and halting their organizing. Waiting until AFP stages demonstrations affords them control of the timeline and opportunities to prepare for confrontation. We therefore believe that other strategies need to be used in tandem with counter-demonstrations: specifically, that they should be deprived of income and peace of mind at all times until they capitulate.
The groundwork for the American Freedom Party was laid in May of 2009 by a Southern Californian racist street gang called Freedom 14. The number “14” is used widely by white supremacists as it refers to the fourteen words, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children,” a phrase originally coined by the late white supremacist and author, David Lane.