First of all, thank you very much for the overwhelming support that we got on our piece about the ANTIFA and BLM attack against Marduk. We’re really humbled by the very kind words, and for the very thoughtful comments that most of you left. I sincerely hope that you’ll stick around for more.
As some of you probably know by now, the concert in Oakland, California, and which I mentioned was already being targeted by ANTIFA groups, was cancelled at the request of the local police. Based on the same arguments that we debunked in our last article, the local ANTIFA groups were threatening to protest the show in a way that the local police felt could represent a risk to the local community.
In regards to the cancellation, the Oakland Metro Operahouse, the venue where the concert was going to be held, published the following in their now-defunct Facebook page:
Without actually examining the evidence of these threats, and determining exactly how serious they were, it is difficult to know whether the police acted correctly or if they acted over-zealously at the behest of the ANTIFA provocateurs. Of course, if there are credible threats of violence, it is understandable to cancel an event in order to prevent unnecessary loss of life. Sadly, most of the people involved in this cancellation have remained tight-lipped as to what exactly happened, and thus give plenty of room for speculation. We tried repeatedly to get in touch with the Oakland Police Department and the Oakland Metro Operahouse, but obtained no response whatsoever to our enquiries. What’s more, in the case of the venue, they have scrubbed-off all references to the concert from their site, without even leaving a note for unsuspecting attendants that the show was cancelled.
We did get in touch with Numbskull Productions who, through their owner, Eddy Burgos, explained that the only pressures they received were “some disparaging e-mails on social media.” In regards to the accusations against Marduk, they did add the following:
“Our show operation is primarily made up of Jewish, LGBQ , women and people of color. We have been working with Marduk and their camp for years. Based on our relationship we can attest that they most certainly do not subscribe to any Nazi ideology. “
The real question now is whether the police will investigate the people responsible for these threats. After all, if they thought that they were so serious that their protests could represent a threat to public safety, then this criminal behavior has to be tackled, and the parties responsible must be brought to justice.
Even if we accept that there were indeed serious safety reasons to cancel the event, this cancellation is still extremely worrying. It shows that there are people out there who have given themselves the power to violently control other people’s speech, and who have been empowered by the lackluster response that they have received for their crimes. After all, we cannot forget that this event is not happening in a vacuum, as it merely continues a trend of ANTIFA groups using violence in order to silence their opponents.
As the Oakland Police conceded in an email they sent to the venue and the producers (as confirmed to us by Numbskull Productions), their fears come as a result of what happened at the University of California-Berkeley, where ANTIFA groups rioted to oppose a talk by Milo Yiannopoulos. Regardless of what you may think of Yiannopoulos, his opinions, or his rhetoric, the fact remains that him and his supporters were the victims of a coward and illegitimate attack by a group of violent thugs.
Even if you disagree with Yiannopoulos, as I do in regards to many of his views and comments, you have to just marvel at the irony of ANTIFAs violently attacking a flamboyant homosexual of Jewish descent, calling him a Nazi, while shooting fireworks at the building where he is scheduled to give a talk, hurting his supporters, destroying the surrounding area, and chanting, for some reason, “this is what community looks like”.
I sure as hell hope I’m never part of that type community.
Some images have started circulating about some of the people involved in the attacks against Yiannopoulos and Marduk, gloating about what they managed to do thanks to issuing what at this point really amount to terroristic threats: Threatening their opponents with violence unless they all shut up.
Coming full circle, we can see that some of the people involved in the boycott of Disma at the California Deathfest, seem to have taken part in this illegitimate and idiotic attack against Marduk.
It’s amazing to see how the self-appointed guardians of decency, quickly become violent inquisitors. Sadly, the irony is lost on them.
Now for the crazy stuff…
Of all the reactions that we got about our our takedown of the Marduk situation, the most incredible dealt with someone accusing of being some sort of racist puppet-masters, potentially controlling hordes of people in the United States.
A reader sent us a link to a now-hidden post published in the official Facebook Page of the book “What Are You Doing Here? Black Women in Heavy Metal,” where its author, Laina Dawes, throws a number of crazy accusations against us. Chief among them, that we fabricated the link between BLM Austin and the Marduk boycott as a way to create controversy and profit from the increased views on our site.
Although we’re used to crazy accusations when we write about topics that collide with politics, this is the first time we are accused of fabricating a story. We have to take it seriously, since the only asset that you have in journalism is your honesty. Just like we would never betray a source (as our work on the Blastfest boycott clearly showed), we are not in the business of making up stories or inflammatory headlines just to generate pageviews. It’s not only that it would be pointless, since we have opted not to carry ads on our site, but also that it goes against our most basic journalistic standards.
The fact is that BLM-Austin did actively participate in the boycott against Marduk, as they themselves created the Facebook event for this, and spread the lies about the band. In fact, the only reason why they ended up deleting the event was because we started asking them some questions about it. It is irrelevant whether they were the first to spread those lies, or whether they simply copied and pasted what someone else told them. The fact remains that they did spread that information, even publishing the contact details for all the people and companies involved.
Laina even suggests that we were harassing BLM-Austin by even asking them questions, or by closing our messages, after being ignored for hours, with the the comment “why do you ignore me? don’t I matter?”. It’s not exactly high brow comedy, but it’s hardly a sign of harassment. We tried to contact Laina direcly about these accusations, but she deleted our comments on her page, and then blocked us when we contacted her directly, suggesting our questions were also harassment.
The reason why this issue is significant is because it shows, once again, why narrative is so important for some of these protesters or those who want to defend them. They are willing to just turn their backs on the facts, as long as they are able to stick to their guns and appear “consistent.”
The rest of the accusations thrown at us suggested that our article was racially-motivated, and that we were just some shady Europeans trying to “instigate a racialized confrontation” in Texas. Besides the insane idea that we would have any sort of pull to organize literally anyone to do anything, it is worrying to see that she defaults to an accusation of “racism.” Criticizing a move by the Austin chapter of Black Lives Matter is not a racially-motivated decision; it’s simply a response to a bad move on their part.
It is truly sickening to see that even though everything we wrote was fact-based, and without knowing anything about the racial or cultural makeup of our staff, someone honestly feels entitled to call us “racist instigators,” simply because we criticized her movement of choice.
Facts do not have a conservative bias, a liberal bias, or a racial bias. Deal with it.
Update: A reader, a member of a major European metal band, informed us that he received a message saying that as “a public figure” he should not share posts from our website. He didn’t care.
I guess we’re doing something right!
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