Pepe’s French Adventure

12 02 17

Below is an archived edition of Ctrl Alt Right Delete, a weekly email newsletter. This edition was published on 02/12/2017. Members of Factual Democracy Project have access to past editions. Subscribe to Ctrl Alt Right Delete

Pepe Le Pen

Pepe Le PenOne of the biggest differences I see between the American so-called alt-right and the American left is that the former sees their movement as global and the latter–for the most part–does not. It’s always struck me as interesting that for all the frog squad’s griping and fear-mongering about globalism (which they believe will consolidate power more centrally and take away individual freedom) they’re heavily invested in far right candidates of other countries.

During the election Trump’s campaign signaled that he understood how the so-called alt-right views the world, when he had Nigel Farage, British Nationalist and chief proponent of Brexit, join him on the campaign trail. Farage, speaking at a Trump rally in Jackson, Mississippi, didn’t endorse Trump outright but made his opinion of Hillary Clinton clear:  “I will say this: If I was an American citizen, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me.” Farage later tried to distance himself from Trump, but by then, the damage had already been done.

Alt Right global anti-globalism

Post-election, the frog squad has turned their attention to France, where the leader of the far right National Front Party, Marine Le Pen, has officially announced her candidacy for president. Stories and discussions about her candidacy can be found wherever they congregate online. The frog squad are fierce advocates for her candidacy, and some are taking the rather extraordinary step of using the same tactics that helped boost Trump online to amplify her candidacy in Europe as well.

Buzzfeed uncovered an extraordinary organizing campaign where the so-called alt-right was creating fake Twitter and Facebook accounts, a library of materials for creating pro-Le Pen memes, and even guidelines for creating memes that are culturally appropriate for France. The frog squad’s nationalist views clearly don’t prohibit them from interfering in the elections of other countries.

Le Pen Meme Collage

Le Pen evidently welcomes the association. On November 9, she tweeted congratulations to Trump and the “free people of America.” Her party’s vice president, Florian Philippot, went even further, ominously tweeting, “Their world is collapsing. Ours is being built.” And Le Pen’s father, the founder of the National Front Party she now leads, tweeted “Today the United States, tomorrow France.”

In January, during a trip to New York, Le Pen apparently did not meet with Trump but did make sure she was photographed in Trump Tower. She’s made no attempt to distance herself or the National Front Party from the so-called alt-right’s social media assistance. One of her senior advisers recently said that if Le Pen wins, she’ll copy Trump’s Muslim ban.

Marine Le Pen has embraced all things Pepe, and I can’t say I blame her. Trump rode a wave of shit posting and dank memes all the way to the presidency. Now his trolls are bringing their A-game to Europe. As appalled as I am by their views, I can’t help but marvel at their strategy. They’re banking on memes as a universal language. They can count on propaganda and fake news support from the Kremlin. And their own version of the frog squad, the fachosphère, is happy to coordinate.




MailbagI received this email from self-described “Supporter of punching Nazis, media consultant to workers and their democratic unions.”  Eliza Bates. Eliza took me to task, fairly, for not including labor’s role in my #DeleteUber write up in last week’s newsletter, specifically the work stoppage led by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. Her point is well taken so I’ve included her email with permission. In addition to Eliza’s email, I’d also suggest reading Sarah Jaffe’s #DeleteUber commentary in the Washington Post.

What made #DeleteUber so powerful is that it rose up as a solidarity response to a work stoppage by immigrant and Muslim workers in the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. It’s important not to erase the role that direct action played in all of this. And especially the role that organized workers can play in withholding their labor as a form of protest.The media may try to erase that so we have to fight extra hard not to – the NYT article linked to focused on the Uber-funded company union as the voice of the workers and referred to the actual union whose strike led to #DeleteUber as a “business rival” of Uber’s.

We can’t let this be about the good white folks using the right hashtags. This has to be about solidarity and online actions to support those on the front lines whose livelihood, safety and security are most impacted by these policies. That also means not giving Uber a pass for dropping off the council when their entire business model is predicated on upending labor protections and violating minimum wage laws.

Follow @NYTWA for more.

I’m Keeping an Eye On

A Day without a womanOrganizers of the Women’s March have teased their next move, a general strike billed as a day without a woman. There have been other calls for a general strike but if anyone has the organizing power, momentum, and relationships to make it happen this would be the right group of people to make it happen.

I have to give them props for making the announcement but not tying it to a specific date. They’ve set a public intention but gave themselves the ability to organize potential partners behind the scenes. Consider my interest piqued!

That’s all for this week.Thanks to the wonderful Nicole Belle who copy edits Ctrl Alt Right Delete every week.


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