‘Battle in Seattle’ Brings Left and Right Wing Zealots Together

American Front and the Third Position
That the right and left share certain ideas is not an entirely new phenomenon. Since the 1980s, neo-Nazi Tom Metzger, leader of the California-based White Aryan Resistance, has rejected the left-right dichotomy and concentrated on labor issues he believes will draw in working-class whites. Concerns about ecology and animal rights also have been long shared by progressives and many neofascists.

But in the aftermath of Seattle, it is clear that this left/right convergence on many issues is growing. Today, this phenomenon is most evident in the development of the so-called "Third Position" — neither capitalism nor communism, as its backers say, but a third way.

Already, these ideas have had a real impact on the American racist rock scene. They have influenced many of the U.S. "racialist" elements of neo-pagan religions like Odinism and Asatrú. They are important to many members of the American-based Hammerskin Nation, the largest neo-Nazi Skinhead coalition in the world. But they are most explicit in the Harrison, Ark.-based group American Front (AF).

Started around 1990, the neo-Nazi AF was long based in Portland, Ore., headed by a Skinhead named Bob Heick, and composed mainly of other Skinheads, many of whom had records of violence. But when it was taken over in the last couple of years by its current leader, James Porazzo, the group's mailing address was moved to Arkansas.

At the same time, af began to adopt explicitly Third Position ideas, using as its slogan, "National Freedom, Social Justice, Racial Identity."

What Porazzo says he is working for is "social revolution in a racialist context." "We propose a workable, realistic alternative, and that is Separatism!" he says. "White autonomy, Black autonomy, Brown autonomy and death to the current twisted system. ...

The only other obvious route would be an eventual winner take all race war: I don't think anyone with any sense would want that. ... [L]et me make it clear that American Front would rather fight the REAL ENEMY — the system."

For Porazzo, that system is "the dictatorship of the dollar." Behind this tyranny, behind the capitalist and globalist forces Porazzo sees sweeping the world, lie "the Zionists and the Race that spawned them ... a filthy, evil people the world would be better without." Charging interest, he adds, "is a filthy Jewish practice."

Fighting Globalism with Cmdr. Doolittle
AF is not the only explicitly Third Positionist U.S. organization. The American Coalition of Third Positionists, a group based in Rockville, Md., publishes a newsletter called Neither Left Nor Right. American Skinhead publications like Thule, Fenris Wolf and Hammerskin Press have carried ads in recent months touting Third Position ideology.

And in Canada, affiliates of the Liaison Committee for Revolutionary Nationalism — a Europe-based Third Position coalition that counts the AF as a member — are located in Saskatoon and Hearst, Ontario.

Third Position ideas have also made themselves felt in such places as the American Nationalist Union (ANU), a group that opposes "Third World" immigration and calls for "voluntary racial separation." The January issue of ANU's Nationalist Times attacks other right-wing groups for not recognizing the contribution made by leftists in Seattle and being too focused on race and taxes.

Seattle, it says, was "the first large-scale display of grassroots anti-globalist dissent in America in years."

Feeding into this anti-globalist vision shared by many on the left and right are very real economic dislocations. Martin Lee, author of The Beast Reawakens, a book on the rebirth of European fascism, says such pressures are important: "As economic globalization has accelerated, producing definite losers and winners, so too has the momentum of neofascist and right-wing extremist organizations."

The radical right has added other ideas into the mix. More and more, its ideologues applaud the actions of terrorist groups like the Animal Liberation Front and sometimes violent "deep ecologists" like those in Earth First! and the Earth Liberation Front, which claimed the $12 million arson of a Vail, Colo., ski resort in 1998.

They support the "national liberation" struggles of countries with terrorist histories like Iraq and Libya. They cheer black groups like the Nation of Islam.

This embrace of non-white battles against the "New World Order" is particularly remarkable. Most Third Positionists spring from a neofascist and anti-Semitic background. Yet, calling themselves "national revolutionaries," they say they must support anti-capitalist, anti-communist struggles everywhere.

"Europe is our home," one British Third Positionist group leader wrote recently. "[B]ut ... the struggle is one. So if we end up in the jungles of Paraguay fighting alongside the National Revolutionary Parrots League of Commander Doolittle, it would mean that we would have to say: 'OK, it is a little warmer here.

The people are a little more dusky than back home. But the struggle continues.' Why? Because the New World Order is seeking to establish itself everywhere."