'If you can't be anti-war without ... literal Nazis and transphobes, then that's not the anti-war movement I want'
Part II of my Q&A with Molly Conger
This is part two of my interview with Charlottesville-based researcher and Nazi hunter Molly Conger (@socialistdogmom on Twitter). You can read and listen to the first part here.
Yesterday, Molly and I dug into the death of Teddy Von Nukem, five years after he marched in Charlottesville with the neo-Nazi “Traditionalist Workers’ Party.” Over the weekend, some of Nukem’s former comrades, including TWP founder Matthew Heimbach, attended a purportedly antiwar rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Conger was also there — to keep an eye on the white nationalists.
Dubbed “Rage Against the War Machine” by its organizers, the rally was aimed at ending U.S. participation in the Russo-Ukranian War. Speakers included Ron Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, “MAGA Communist” Jackson Hinkle, “comedian” Jimmy Dore, cult leader Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Jill Stein, and Chris Hedges. Tucker Carlson promoted the rally on his show. A Daily Beast reporter noted the unmistakably pro-Putin sentiment, punctuated by “half-dozen Russian flags … plus a couple of red Soviet flags” in the crowd. Two of those flags were carried by Heimbach and his reformulated Nazi group.
Conger and I talked about the TWP’s confusing rebrand, why it’s a bad idea to let white nationalists into your antiwar movement, and how much she would have rather been at an Insane Clown Posse show instead. Subscribers can listen to the recording by clicking the play button above and/or read the annotated transcript below, which has been edited for clarity.
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So I want to ask — you were just at this rally. Speaking of the artist formally known as the Traditionalist Workers’ Party, you ran into, what are they calling themselves? Matthew Heimbach is now the Patriot Socialist —
The Patriotic Socialist Front.
So it's sort of a socialism that's nationalistic, right?
Sort of a National Socialist movement.
I looked at their website and I saw that they're calling themselves National Syndicalists. I don't know if they've... Well, you can tell me actually. Are these guys who've read Georges Sorel and they're actually going back into the history of fascism and proto fascism and looking back to the roots? I mean, I'm assuming they didn't get that phrase from nowhere, but are they just sort of—
Heimbach is one of the guys that I would say is well-read on the history of his own movement. A lot of these guys, they like the look of a symbol or they read something on Stormfront that they grabbed hold of. Heimbach is well-read. He's not a dumb guy. Sleeping with his mother-in-law, not a smart move, but generally speaking, not a dumb guy, and I would say is a true believer, and that is rarer than you would think. He truly believes because there's no way he would be humiliating himself like this in public if this were not for a sincerely held belief.
So first of all, tell me how did you come to the Rage Against the War Machine Rally? What did you expect to find when you got there, and what did you find when you got there?
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