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Statement from Anarkismo on the AK Press accusations against Michael Schmidt

category international | anarchist movement | feature author Wednesday September 30, 2015 04:09author by Anarkismo Network Report this post to the editors

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The Anarkismo Network

The international Anarkismo Network, which brings together class struggle anarchist organisations from more than a dozen countries in both the global South and North, and has relations with far more from across the globe, has noted with great surprise and concern the recent accusations by AK Press that Michael Schmidt is a fascist working undercover to infiltrate the anarchist movement.

Before we can make any pronouncements on the matter, however, we need to carefully examine both the AK Press evidence, the article by Alexander Reid Ross, as well as Michael Schmidt’s response to the evidence and article. As a network Anarkismo has not taken sides, and will not accuse the accuser or the accused before there is more information and all the evidence has been presented.

[Italiano]


Statement from Anarkismo on the AK Press accusations against Michael Schmidt


The international Anarkismo Network, which brings together class struggle anarchist organisations from more than a dozen countries in both the global South and North, and has relations with far more from across the globe, has noted with great surprise and concern the recent accusations by AK Press that Michael Schmidt is a fascist working undercover to infiltrate the anarchist movement [1].

Michael Schmidt has been a regular and long-standing contributor to Anarkismo.net and, in the past, has sat on its editorial and delegates groups. If these accusations are proven to be true Anarkismo will take immediate and appropriate action to ban him from posting on the website, as well as to guard against any possible future infiltration.

Before we can make any pronouncements on the matter, however, we need to carefully examine both the AK Press evidence, the article by Alexander Reid Ross, as well as Michael Schmidt’s response to the evidence and article. As a network Anarkismo has not taken sides, and will not accuse the accuser or the accused before there is more information and all the evidence has been presented. Both sides will have to explain themselves thoroughly first and be available for answering any serious questions about the information.

However, we must be clear that we feel the way in which AK Press has dealt with the matter is irresponsible and prejudicial, judging and condemning Michael Schmidt without presenting any evidence, and without allowing him the right to defend himself, or to respond to the article before making the public announcement of 25 September 2015.

Both sides must be given a fair chance to have their say.

The Anarkismo Network therefore demands that the alleged “incontrovertible evidence” be released by AK Press with immediate effect, and not to refer us to the journalist: since AK Press itself has endorsed the position, it must take responsibility for the proof.

We furthermore demand that AK Press unconditionally and explicitly state, also with immediate effect, that its allegations refer to Michael Schmidt alone, and not to any publishers, co-authors, editors, left organisations or currents with which Michael Schmidt may have been associated.

We urge AK Press to publish Michael Schmidt’s official responses on its newswires and sites, as we believe that he has the right to defend himself [2].

The Anarkismo Network


1. http://www.anarchistnews.org/content/michael-schmidt-author-black-flame-white-nationalist-trying-infiltrate-anarchist-movement-ak

2. https://www.facebook.com/AKPress/posts/10156169461510249

author by Mikey Dredd - West Yorkshire Anarchists (FB page admin)publication date Wed Sep 30, 2015 18:29author email mikeydredd at blueyonder dot co dot ukauthor address 1 Wellstone Riseauthor phone 01132191950Report this post to the editors

I totally agree with the anarkismo statement and would call on AK Press to now publish / provide the evidence. Michael Scmidt has also responded so the onus is now on his accusers to prove their case or withdraw the accusation asap. The quicker the better, this is extremely damaging to both the movement and Michael himself.
In solidarity
MD

Related Link: https://www.facebook.com/West-Yorkshire-Anarchists-7645...line/
author by Syndicalist - Personal capacity onlypublication date Thu Oct 01, 2015 07:47Report this post to the editors

Although I may not share in the politics or traditions of the Anarkismo network, I'd like to reiterate my viewpoint here. Whatever the ultimate outcome might be, as an anarchist, my own allegiance is to openness, fairness, libertarian integrity and principle.

In this spirit, I agree with this portion of your statement:

Before we can make any pronouncements on the matter, however, we need to carefully examine both the AK Press evidence, the article by Alexander Reid Ross, as well as Michael Schmidt’s response to the evidence and article. As a network Anarkismo has not taken sides, and will not accuse the accuser or the accused before there is more information and all the evidence has been presented. Both sides will have to explain themselves thoroughly first and be available for answering any serious questions about the information


author by Apublication date Sat Oct 17, 2015 22:36Report this post to the editors

Read the full Schmidt story with all details here:

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/

author by Anarkismo supporterpublication date Sun Oct 18, 2015 09:18Report this post to the editors

I see from link above 3 of 4 statements by the authors who make the claims is now online. But also, let us wait and see what Michael Schmidt does say in response. Then comrades can make an informed view. For now we only have ONE side. But that does not settle the issue.

author by Again with the delayspublication date Tue Oct 20, 2015 20:41Report this post to the editors

So, this saga keeps dragging out. Nothing since Friday night, although the others came out every 2 days...

author by Platformismopublication date Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:40Report this post to the editors

So Schmidt was able to post white supremacist leaning articles here on anarkismo:

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-3-7d288d84b170#.fumxic11a

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author by Syndicalist (per cap only)publication date Thu Nov 05, 2015 01:02Report this post to the editors

I gather the authors of the critical report of MS is now complete. I am wondering if and when replies by ZACF, Anarkismo and MS might appear?

author by Readerpublication date Fri Nov 06, 2015 20:34Report this post to the editors

The statement says "Before we can make any pronouncements on the matter, however, we need to carefully examine both the AK Press evidence, the article by Alexander Reid Ross, as well as Michael Schmidt’s response to the evidence and article"

Schmidt has not yet responded but has indicated he is working on a response. It would be quite unreasonable of organisations to put forward positions after only hearing one side of the story. There has been more than enough of that already.

author by Syndicalist (per cap only)publication date Sat Nov 07, 2015 05:24Report this post to the editors

Yes, just saw this morning that MS said he would issue a reply. Fair enough. I think there are many of us who want everything on the table so we can come to a determination of our own. And so we can all move on from this unsightly situation.

author by Kieran - Anarchist Affinitypublication date Mon Nov 09, 2015 14:42author email kieran at anarchistaffinity dot orgReport this post to the editors

The following motion was adopted at Anarchist Affinity’s general meeting of 31 October 2015:

As a group we’ve read the recent series of articles by Alexander Ross and Joshua Stephens with substantial shock and concern.

Michael Schmidt is an author we have read, hosted in public events, and published in our magazine. The documents and information published by Ross and Stephens demonstrate that Schmidt has argued for and advanced deeply racist and white supremacist politics since at least 2006.

The explanations offered by Schmidt have been seriously unconvincing. The argument advanced by Schmidt that his racism on Stormfront and elsewhere was part of an undercover investigation (undertaken for eight years without result) stretches credulity. Even were this explanation accepted, the internal correspondence by Schmidt, that Ross and Stephens have published, demonstrates deeply unacceptable racism.

Whilst there have been reasonable objections to the manner in which the Schmidt material was announced and published; these are significantly less important than dealing with the problem that a prominent anarchist author, someone many in our tradition (including Anarchist Affinity) have drawn on, has concealed deeply racist views and practice for a number of years.

As a group, Anarchist Affinity has decided to cut ties with Michael Schmidt, and to remove works by Schmidt from our website.


I look forward to reading any statement that Lucien Van der Walt or the comrades of the ZACF might put out.

Related Link: http://www.anarchistaffinity.org/2015/11/motion-regardi...midt/
author by hmpublication date Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:07Report this post to the editors

OK, it's November 15, and there's still nothing here at all from Anarkismo, even though all the evidence has been out for a while. Surely you can find it within yourselves to take a stand about this?

author by Readerpublication date Mon Nov 16, 2015 03:36Report this post to the editors

I suspect they are waiting for Schmidt's reply which seems reasonable. All the evidence in a court case would be prosecution and defence, not just prosecution. How long did it take from the AK accusation being published until the last of those dramatic essays? A minimum waiting time would be the same I suppose? And then time to hear from ZACF and other 'witnesses'.

The mess is down to the very poor way AK and the writers of the essays handled this. If done properly none of this would have been public until all the evidence was available. The accusation first, evidence later approach was bound to lead to a drawn out process.

author by hmpublication date Mon Nov 16, 2015 06:51Report this post to the editors

Dear Reader, your second paragraph doesn't follow from your first.

Also, the mess is the consequence of Schmidt's behavior, not anything that AK Press or the authors of the exposé are responsible for. The format of the text they wrote is more self-important than necessary, but we should not be complaining about that--we should be critical of the fact that no one else spoke up about this issue before they did, out of all the people who could have said something. If there is any possible defense of Schmidt's behavior, it is certainly not silence, which is what the people around him opted for across the course of several years.

I agree with the Anarchist Affinity statement, and I will be surprised if Schmidt's next statement, or anything we hear from Anarkismo after their long silence, can be anything but more damning of them both.

Anarchism is critical to the survival of humanity at this historical juncture, and deserves better exponents than we are seeing here.

author by Interlocutorpublication date Sat Nov 28, 2015 02:55Report this post to the editors

Michael Schmidt's refutation: http://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.co.za/

author by Syndicalist - Personal capacitypublication date Thu Dec 03, 2015 08:13Report this post to the editors

Now that MS has issued his reply, can we anticipate hearing from LvdW, as well as the ZACF?

author by waitingpublication date Sun Dec 27, 2015 17:31Report this post to the editors

OK, so still nothing from Anarkismo? Schmidt's autobiography came out, and then his critics published a refutation of that, so... Are you really taking no position on this whatsoever?

author by catstevenpublication date Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:48Report this post to the editors

Micheal Schmidt is an apologist for RKAS.
Micheal Schmidtcries out against blacks rising up against white farmers and supports a “proper Boerestaat" ie a state that caters to white folks in South Africa and while doing so has written articles that paint racist radical pro-apartheid groups in a positive light while only shit talking the moderate ones.
He also hasn't given any good explanation of his covert Nazi-friendly persona.

author by Johnny - anarkismo editorial collectivepublication date Tue Jan 05, 2016 08:43Report this post to the editors

I speak here as individual, this is not a collective statement. I will not comment on the thread...
I would only make this remark. Anarkismo is a network of 20 organisations. among these 20 organisations, only 7 are english-speaking orgs. All material published in accusation or defense of schmidt has been in english, and that's a lot of text. you understand now the problem we actually face if we want, and we will, to maintain the democratic framework we have inside the network.
that's all
greetings
johnny

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The Anarkismo network has already published a statement that it would wait until all parts of the accusations by Reid Ross and Stephens were published, as well as the answers of M. Schmidt, before making any judgements on the case. Now that this has been forthcoming, as well as two more responses by Reid Ross, we are issuing a second statement to make public our intentions regarding the present situation.

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The Anarkismo network has already published a statement that it would wait until all parts of the accusations by Reid Ross and Stephens were published, as well as the answers of M. Schmidt, before making any judgements on the case. Now that this has been forthcoming, as well as two more responses by Reid Ross, we are issuing a second statement to make public our intentions regarding the present situation.

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