A heated clash in the US this week lost some steam as both sides became ‘confused’ over a circular argument. The situation came about as Nazis took to the street to protest over their right to be ‘dicks’, with anti-fascists protesting their protest.
Many feared that the confrontation between the two sides was ‘sure to become violent.’ A police officer who witnessed the event said that ‘The anti-fascist really don’t like Nazis and are very angry. And the Nazis don’t like anyone, and are generally angry all the time. So we thought there was sure to be violence.’
However, as the two sides started chanting at each other over free speech, things broke down. Jack Hanson, an onlooker at the scene, shared his observations with RP.
‘Well, the Nazis like to hide behind freedom of speech to defend their views, so they started to chant about that. They were shouting something about tolerance of their views. Then the anti-fascists started chanting about no tolerance for intolerance.’
‘This led the Nazis to shout back tolerance for no tolerance for intolerance. To which the other side started shouting intolerance for tolerance is no tolerance for intolerance. But as it went on the people on both sides started to lose their point.’
Anti-fascist spokesperson from the march, Nina Hopper, explained what happened. ‘The problem was that it is quite right that there shouldn’t be tolerance for intolerance. However, we were unprepared to have this debate via march chants. And we just didn’t have any witty enough placards with puns to get that particular point across.’
Nazi spokesperson, Adolf Goldsmith, had another point of view. ‘They are the intolerant ones. If they are tolerant, they should tolerate our intolerance. But they don’t, they are intolerant of tolerating the intolerant. Just like the Jews.’
The debate over whether free speech should be unlimited and include the views of Nazis has divided America. But outspoken social and political commentator Noam Chomsky has been trying to put the matter into perspective at a live talk he gave this Tuesday.
‘The idea that free speech is completely unlimited is absurd,’ he told the crowd at the lecture. (You can hear the other sentence from the two hour talk here.)
The debate is ongoing. But fears are mounting that next week’s scheduled Nazi march looks like it will go ahead, with both an anti-fascist group and another group calling themselves MAM expected to attend.
Leader of MAM has stated that ‘March Against Marches is here to protest both the Nazi protest and those that are protesting their protest. We are against protests, and believe in protesting against protests, and will protest any protest, including the protests of protests.’