RAW FANZINE: Interview with the “Bärenjude”

1) Tell those who may not know what Antifa is all about? and what are you trying to accomplish?

Antifa is a conglomeration of left wing autonomous, self-styled anti-fascist militant groups. The defining characteristic of Antifa is our use of direct action. We are left wing in nature, anarchist by default, and militant.

The term “Antifa” originates with the German: “Antifaschistische Aktion.” This was an umbrella organization for militant anti-fascists in Germany, formed in 1932, in the year Hitler was appointed to power, without winning the popular vote, much as Trump was in 2016.

We were called “Antifa” even back then. While organization crumbled during the Third Reich, surviving members formed anti-fascist committees across Germany, as the Reich crumbled in 1944 and continued to use this name for all anti-fascist action in general.

The well-known Antifa logo with the two flags, is from the Antifaschistische Aktion organization. The other popular Antifa symbol is of the Iron Front, and is also known as the Antifascist Circle. The Three Arrows symbol emerged in Weimar Germany in the midst of the political crisis that preceded the Nazis takeover in 1933. From 1931-33 the Iron Front was out literally fighting Nazis in the street, before Hitler’s rise to power and in the first years of him being appointed. No Holds Barred primary logo is a variation of the Iron Front logo.

Today, Antifa continues to be utilized as a general name for such anti-fascist activities. The Anti-Fascist Army, however, is a more specific sphere of Antifa activity. Like Antifa in general, it is decentralized, autonomous and self-initiated from cell to cell. But it’s actions go far beyond fighting Nazis in the street – usually being comprised of those who have “graduated” from these tactics, from anti-racist Skinhead circles, to anarchists and Black Bloc – to include and focus on targeted sabotage and assassinations. It’s origins are not generally publicly discussed but the name has been used by cells dating back decades.

Unlike general Antifa actions, many AFA actions go unclaimed. Perhaps a popular frontman of a fascist organization winds up dead from cut brake lines or a gas leak or explosion in their home. The AFA has traditionally not publicly claimed responsibility for these actions, much in the same way intelligence agencies for governments – whether CIA, KGB or Mossad, or any others – have carried out similar actions without the need for claiming responsibility.

The goal, whether for the bad guys in the alphabet soup agencies or for the freedom fighter, is to neutralize the threat, not necessarily to sway public opinion, or intimidate a wide group of people. Those who are being intimidated are a small percentage of offenders and whether the AFA claims responsibility or not, those types of targets always understand why those like them who are targeted conveniently seem to die under mysterious circumstances.

2) Do you go to Rallies? I’ve recently seen a couple where violence broke out. Why do you feel people get so uptight when the words Antifa are spoken?

Yes. Over time I have receded into the shadows more than I have in the past. This was largely due to massive government backlash towards myself and my family, as well as targeting by Nazis. This is part of the reason why giving voice to the AFA message was so important to me, as the AFA promotes the sort of “in-the-shadows” work that Nazis and government agencies force Anti-fascists to engage in, by creating problems for those of us who become prominent faces of the resistance, and conditioning us to work within the shadows for the sake of self preservation and the preservation of our loved ones.

But yes, though as the front man for No Holds Barred, I go by the pseudonym “der Bärenjude” or “the Bear Jew”, if I were to mention notable protests that I was a key figure in, or organized, I would be instantly recognizable from the virality of hundreds of media reports on my actions. As well, there are multiple major anti-fascist organizations that have a large number of global chapters that I have founded over the years, which are still very much active. Most of the members of these are unaware that I am the frontman for No Holds Barred, though it is an open secret amongst some who have a bit of seniority, as it were.

We are not making music for No Holds Barred to gain popularity for ourselves. Were we to mention the identity of “The Chief” – who does percussion and guitar for the group, then we could no doubt gain much quicker notoriety, based on other projects he is and has been involved with. But that is not what this is about. We aren’t marketing. We are creating art, and as such we are creating revolutionary art, as life itself is art for the revolutionary.

3) Is violence necessary when change is trying to happen?

That all depends on what change is trying to happen. If we are trying to change things on a small scale, in local town elections, or the like, then no. Violence in such cases is vastly inappropriate and immoral. But when the change we are trying to create is literally an end to aggression and violence from fascists whose only objective is to strip minorities of their rights to life and freedom? Then violence is not only necessary, it is a moral imperative.

4) Why do the Antifa members mainly wear ski mask? Did you hear about a law that is trying to get passed that by wearing such a mask could land you in jail?

The purpose of covering one’s face at a counter protest is simply to protect our identities – largely from Neo-Nazis who would seek to publish our identities and encourage violent action against us when we might least expect it. The mask is for our protection, since law enforcement has proven they will not take the threat of fascist domestic terrorism seriously (in large part because fascist movements in the United States are often intertwined with law enforcement agencies).

As for the law you mentioned? Yes, we’ve heard of that law. If such a law were to pass it would do nothing but raise the stakes for us and let more anti-fascists know what time it is. Those who have up until now been content to punch Nazis and clash at protests, would begin to understand that protecting anonymity when doing so is no longer an option. What option does that then leave the average Anti-fascist? The sort of options espoused by the AFA. So if they wish to pass such legislation, that is fine, it will only galvanize us and further radicalize those fresher faces who have not yet learned what so many of us have over the years…. That this is not going to come to an end just by fist fights and counter protests – though those things are important – it is also going to take extreme acts of sabotage and vandalism as well as targeted assassinations of appropriate corporate, ideological and political figures.

5) What are your thoughts on Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is a fascist. He is not the utter moron that he pretends to be. He is much more intelligent than he seems to many of us, though his down fall is his own Narcissistic Personality Disorder which causes him to over-estimate his intelligence. That hubris is what many of us detect and what causes us to assume there is no method to his madness. The reality is that he is calculating much of what he is doing and has been for a very long time.

But because he is so narcissistic, he assumes he is smarter than he is and thus does less work preparing for every contingency. That is why he literally has called for the arrest of individuals who “doxxed” him, just to show that he would demand police state action against them for what was actually simply information found on a Russian discussion forum, with five minutes of Googling.

Some of you may remember this incident in 2016. After he called for arrests, the group who put out the doxxing video released a follow up message that revealed where they actually obtained the information from – far from “hacking” his cell phone, as he claimed to CNN – and explained that they had actually conducted an exercise to show just how fascistic Trump was, and how quickly the Secret Service, FBI and local law enforcement would fall in line with his demands, based on nothing but his own paranoia that he had been “hacked.”

Trump, according to the mother of his own children, used to study from Hitler’s own speeches every single night. He has openly normalized and promoted sexual assault. Two women have accused him of raping them as 12 and 13 year olds. These are just some of the things we know about him. He is not a good person. He is not even just a power-hungry or greedy person. He is literally playing a game of chess, while liberals are playing checkers. Trump’s end game is much more nefarious than most realize right now. We have been saying this since 2016, and few saw it before it was too late. We’re saying it again now, and perhaps this time saying it set to the tune of music will make folks pay more attention.

Trump must be stopped. What did brother Malcolm say? By any…. See, we don’t even have to complete it for you. You can hear his words echo in your mind. That is the power of revolution. That is the power of martyrdom. Do not think of those who die in the Struggle as dead, because in reality they have gained immortality to their words, deeds and mission through the very act of being struck down.

There is a lesson in that for the Trump administration…. I am ready to die for the Struggle, and more importantly, I am ready to kill. I will die defending my right to express discontent with the way things are, in artistic form. Should our right to musically express ourselves cause us to be the target for coercive force by law enforcement, that would result in the sort of self-defense scenario that would in turn cause the media to seek out this music, report on it and then if even a tiny fraction of one percentage of listeners who heard of the music from news reports on government repression of our speech, and our militant response of self-defense to such repression…. Let’s just say that Trump isn’t the only one playing a game of chess. Right now, we’re saying “Checkmate.”

6) What is your song Decapitate the Black Snake about?

This song is about the illegal Dakota Access Pipeline, which cuts through miles of sacred and stolen land – land that was supposed to have been protected by multiple treaties with this immoral regime.

Citing religious rites and the dark prophecy of a “terrible black snake” that will bring harm to its people, a Sioux Native American Indian tribe returned to court in an eleventh-hour push to keep the Dakota Access pipeline from carrying its first crude oil, but to no avail. Now it is on us to fulfill the visions of the sages and decapitate the Black Snake that is the DAPL and related pipelines.

7) Without the Badge?

Without the Badge is, quite simply, about retaliation against corrupt law enforcement – particularly those members who have taken the lives of innocent people because of paranoia, racism, rage, hatred, and what have you. Whatever their reasons, those members of law enforcement who have merely gotten a slap on the wrist or Paid Administrative Leave, or been investigated by their own departments who “determined no wrong-doing” on their parts…. Those law enforcement officers are being put on notice that the spirit of Christopher Dorner lives on in us, and they will continue to be targeted for killing.

It is furthermore a call to street tribes, which this system, politicians and popular culture and media outlets term “gangs” to make killing these sorts of criminal cops the focus of initiation and vetting of new jacks. As the song says, “it’s time to redirect the violence, turn the guns towards the pigs, and away from your brother.”

8 ) We are informed that there was a shooting by a Nazi at a PA synagogue at services this morning. This is war. Kill Nazis wherever you find them. The time of fist fights is coming to a close. This is war. what do you mean by this statement? I didn’t get a chance yet to read the article, what happened?

People are finally starting to realize what members of the Jewish communities across the United States have been seeing since Trump was appointed president, in spite of losing the popular vote by nearly three million people. Hate crimes have been independently verified as being on the rise since November 2016 and the nature and intensity – as well as frequency – of these attacks has only increased. Cemeteries and schools, synagogues, etc. have been targeted for vandalism and arson. Now we are finding our places of congregation and worship shot up again.

Since the shooting, even very typically liberal synagogues have decided to incorporate not only armed security for our communities, but many are also banding together to get the tactical training and learn weapons craft that should have been basic training for every minority and historically oppressed community in the United States.

Just like the teacher who told us to “ignore the bully and he will go away” we are finding out that this is far from the case. The only way to stop a bully is to teach the bully a lesson. That means not only being prepared to defend yourself and others, but it means that for every innocent member of a historically oppressed community who is killed by a fascist, we should take 10 targeted, guilty fascists out of this world – those who have been pinpointed as participating in violence or promoting and inciting ethnic cleansing and the like.

9) I see that two band members trained with Gracie family, why are you angry with them currently?

The Gracie family has embarrassed itself by failing to denounce Robson Gracie’s open support for Brazil’s fascist president Jair Bolsonaro, and his bizarre granting of a black belt to this demon who has openly threatened genocide against Brazil’s indigenous populations in the Amazon, in spite of the fact that Bolsonaro has never trained a day in his life.

10) I listened to your songs on Bandcamp, are there physical copies of these recordings available?

Yes, we have vinyl available and are in the process of putting our first two releases on CD together as well. Our third album, named for the title track “Proud Boy Beat Down” is due out in 2019, as is the collaborative hip-hop and hardcore/punk fusion project Sleeper Cell, which includes No Holds Barred members.

Anything you would like to say to the world in closing?

Yes. The time for talking is over. The time for peaceful protest ended the second they started rounding up families and putting them in camps – separating children from their parents and forcing toddlers to defend themselves in court with no attorney even. The United States under Trump is no different than Germany in the early years under Hitler. It is no coincidence. Trump studied Hitler. Therefore, do not expect him to make the same mistakes or go at the same pace as the Third Reich. He will push, and back off, push and back off, push then distract us with something extreme sounding, then push some more when we aren’t looking. Step by step he is taking us further into a fascist dictatorship.

Adolf Hitler said himself, as we quote in our Oi Polloi remake “Bash The Fascists”, that the only way to stop the Nazis would have been to smash them in their infancy with the utmost brutality. Today we have that chance still. Things haven’t gone too far. We can still smash these fascists in their infancy with the utmost brutality. We can do it and we must do it.