In Ireland today we have the spectacle of packs of wild eyed frothing middle aged mostly men screaming “Paedophile!!” at mostly women and mostly young people who want to protest against their bigoted views.
How have we arrived at this situation?
Who are the screamers? Why are they screaming “paedophile” at young people? Who are the young people they are screaming at?
The screamers are a hodgepodge of reactionary groups across Ireland congealing like grease regularly on city streets in larger Irish towns and cities.
The banners they gather under get swapped around according to whatever is trendy, but they tend to be generic “anti corruption” or US far-right conspiratorial Qanon clones. Under these banners gather reliable reactionary pillars like anti-abortion campaigners, alongside the various conspiracists such as anti-vaccine, 5G, fluoride, chemtrails etc.
There are also somewhat confused but well-meaning people opposed to the Irish state who get dragged in to this net, as well as far-right/fascist activists organising within this milieu looking to recruit for Justin Barrett and Jim Dowson/Niall McConnell.
Why are they screaming “paedophile” at young people? Within the Qanon worldview, the world is controlled by a cabal of globalist paedophile satanist billionaires. The most prominent of these is George Soros, who they believe funds and controls every liberal and leftist (they don’t know the difference) group. The agenda which Qanon people believe Soros and the rest of the cabal are following is the old Nazi myth (Adolf Hitler devoted an entire chapter to his 1924 Mein Kampf to it) of “Cultural Marxism”.
This is of course ridiculous, but given that Qanon followers are oblivious to the facts that:
• their grand storyline comes from the child-porn website 4Chan
• is likely an indoctrination operation run by US intelligence, likely with the input of psy-war officers such as accused child-abuser Satanist Michael Aquino
We can’t really expect any critical evaluation or self-awareness from Qanon followers. Indeed since Qanon is very possibly an experiment in mass-scale online cult building, we should probably prepare treatments for ex-Q pillers who make it back to reality.
They do have one singular piece of data to support their worldview: in 2012 an anti-racist/anti-fascist in Ireland was found guilty of possession of child pornography on his computer. This man was expelled from anti-fascist spaces thereafter. Ireland’s most prominent anti-fascist organisation, Anti Fascist Action, has always made clear that sex offenders are neither safe or welcome in the militant anti-fascist community.
So to be clear: the reason why gangs of middle aged men are screaming at young people today is due to the secret actions of one middle aged man who was active in anti-racist campaigns a decade ago. Farcial.
Child abuse and any other form of abuse is of course absolutely disgusting and should be grounds for immediate expulsion from any leftist group at the very least. Leftist groups of all types in many countries have been exposed as harbouring abusers and are trying to deal with that (or not) in various ways. This process needs to be expanded and accelerated by every group in every progressive movement. There can be no place for abusers within our revolutionary movements. Within our organisation, AIA, we have this as a fundamental principle, and we expect the same from other groups we enter into united fronts with.
Aside from the contradiction of allowing counter-revolutionary behaviour within revolutionary organisations, the fact that the far-right have latched on to this case of abusive behaviour to scream at young people entering into to revolutionary activism is reason enough to stamp it out. However the idea that the far-right are sincere in combating abuse and child abuse is laughable. The Irish far-right historically and their partners in Britain, Europe and the US have child abuse and the damaging of weak and vulnerable people built into their ideological DNA.
The allies of Qanon street screamers are the decrepit reactionary religious right. This group enjoys the opportunity to scream at young people again, since their history of industrial scale abuse against Irish children has been exposed with revelation following revelation for decades, leaving them financially as well as morally bankrupt before the Irish people.
The Evangelicals and Opus Dei Catholics bring their own conspiracies to mix with and sell to the Qanons. First is the idea that the massive church child abuse and cover-up scandals were caused by homosexuality rather than paedophilia and a Church corruption. Next they say that teaching about gender and the existence of transgender is a form of child abuse. In this way they transfer the guilt for their own historical child abuse on to the LGBT community, and further state that the LGBT community exists to abuse children.
This homophobic bigotry is disgraceful when it isn’t laughable on its face. Fortunately, several years after the Gay Marriage referendum and accompanying openness to and acceptance of the LGBT community across Irish society have show these bigots up for the hysterical liars they are. We can expect them to copy ‘successful’ campaigns by their Evangelical and Opus Dei Catholic networks in Poland and Brazil: declaration of “LGBT-free zones” and ridiculous fake news about mandatory gender reassignment for children spread by WhatsApp, are typical techniques of theirs. However all their 2015 predictions about a collapse of Irish society were revealed to be false, and Irish society has moved on without them. Bellowing at young people in the street is the last gasp for this fading group of bullies and creeps.
The last group in this mix are fascists. They have had some success in recent years interacting disaffected young Irish people into their orbit. This should not come as a surprise. For many Irish people there is no hope or bright future on the horizon. The offering by fascists of a 2 dimensional cardboard cut-out of a “patriotic” Irish identity is a tempting and easy sell to plug a gap in many young people’s souls. The aggressive, insecure version of Irishness they radiate is identical to their aggressive, insecure version of hetrosexuality. It is unfortunate that these fascists have reached some young people with their fake patriotism first before Irish socialist republicans could. As these young people mature, many will realise the limitations of racist Free State nationalism and drop it for Irish republicanism and socialism which is and always has been the manifestation of progressive Irish nationalism and internationalism which is the the missing piece of their identity they were searching for. Sadly others will remain within the fascist orbit, and their hearts and minds will be filled with poison by them. In any case, the fact that fascists have met with some outreach success in areas where the Socialist Republican movement should be leading must be examined with criticism and self-criticism, and a rectification campaign initiated.
And finally, who are these young people the reactionaries are screaming at?First and foremost, brave people willing to contest bigots and reactionaries in the streets are our hope and promise in the fight for a better world. Secondly they are often disorganised and have a mix of different ideas. The task for revolutionary organisations is to offer these young people leadership and structures for them to develop into warriors for class struggle. They need also to offer a way for these warriors disorganised ideas to be concentrated into a revolutionary line which becomes the mass line of a fighting organisation. With Anti Imperialist Action Ireland we attempt to embody this using the most advanced revolutionary theory and the long legacy of applied practical experience we have inherited in Ireland. The conflict which fascists are currently attempting to provoke is to turn disaffected sections of working class youth against LGBT youth. Socialist Republicans and other revolutionaries can and will organise among both communities into a movement to crush these reactionaries first and then contest with the reactionary Free State which they serve. Clearly we must do so better however. With no time to waste!