On Sunday, July 19, approximately 50 anti-fascists and anti-racists made their way to the Embassy Suites – Airport hotel in Portland, to oppose the Holocaust-denier and neo-fascist David Irving, and the sympathizers who had paid $24-$30 each to hear him talk.
Conveniently located at the entrance to the Portland International Airport, the Embassy Suites Hotel Portland Airport is your gateway to all the area has to offer. From the hotel, the MAX light rail system provides easy access to downtown Portland and local attractions like the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Zoo, Portland Art Museum, and the Rose Garden, home to the Portland Trailblazers. Alternatively, why not make your stay at Embassy Suites Hotel Portland Airport an educational one, and listen to one of our very special guests explain to you why the Holocaust is a magnificent work of Jewish fiction? Granted, our owner, John Q. Hammons, may have served in the Merchant Marines, but that’s Ancient History, right?
Although Irving’s event was not shut down, we consider our intervention to have been successful in sending a clear message that fascist organizing is not welcome in our community, and that Irving will be met with resistance. This was not only an achievement for Rose City Antifa members, who were a minority within the opposition to the event, it was also an important result for the broader anti-racist community, which mobilized effectively and at short notice. We believe that events such as that on Sunday set the stage for more substantial victories in the future.
David Irving is a British writer of histories who has been involved with the fascist political scene since the 1960s. Always known for the pro-Hitler bias of his books, approximately two decades ago Irving made the transition to being a fully-fledged Holocaust-denier. In addition to spreading blatant historical lies, Irving has publicly stated that “The Jews are the architects of their own misfortune”. Although Irving has been banned from several countries and even imprisoned for his Holocaust-denial propagandizing and pro-Nazi agitation, he has been touring the United States since the beginning of July.
Irving’s Portland stop was booked at the Embassy Suites hotel by the airport, under the name of “Parforce”. (The Seattle stop the previous day was booked as “Focal Point Publications,” Irving’s publishing company.) Rose City Antifa released information about the venue as soon as it was discovered and confirmed. A flood of calls to the venue began immediately afterwards. Management at the Embassy Suites – Airport hotel refused to shut down the event despite being educated that a notorious Holocaust-denier and cohort of neo-Nazis was using their space. Rose City Antifa condemns the cowardly management of this establishment, who enabled the anti-Semitic event to go on despite calm and well-reasoned argument from community members (plus shouting and confrontation later).
We encourage any individuals or groups who may consider giving their business to Embassy Suites hotels, not to do so. Feel free to call the Portland Airport location and tell them why you are withholding your support: 503 460 3000.
Irving had slightly over two dozen attendees for his talk–half the number of his anti-fascist opponents. One of the largest blocs of attendees on Irving’s side came from the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance, who were rallied together for the event by Alliance organizer Tim Titrud. One of the individuals who may have been invited to see Irving by Titrud is Rod(erick) McLaughlin AKA “Jay Knott”. McLaughlin is a Portland-based participant in Eugene, Oregon’s Pacifica Forum, a group which specializes in hosting anti-Semitic speakers (such as David Irving himself last year). McLaughlin writes the Pacifica Forum’s blog on their website. He was also the person who initially suggested that Titrud, Tim Calvert and the rest of the 9/11 Truth Alliance host the Holocaust-denier Valdas Anelauskas in Portland during June of this year, in the wake of 9/11 Truth Alliance members attending a Pacifica Forum gathering in Eugene. After McLaughlin attended a presentation by Irving at the Pacifica Forum last year, he summed up his feelings in an article: “To hell with the feelings of minorities. Anti-semitism, if it exists at all, should not be seen as a problem.”
The security at the Irving event was tighter than during previous tours, with information about the event location only meant to be disclosed a half-hour before it was scheduled to commence, although Antifa managed to find the venue somewhat earlier. Irving’s personal assistant, Jaenelle Antas, was observed in several different outfits during the course of the event, and some of Irving’s crowd attempted to glean information about their opponents.
The police presence was large, and they came prepared with vans to haul off anti-racists. The police were called by the hotel management to protect their fascist customers. Thankfully, no one was arrested or otherwise harmed by police during the event. We came away with a significant amount of information about Irving’s attendees.
Rose City Antifa calls for all anti-racists to do the necessary research and confront the rest of Irving’s speaking dates:
July 29 Wednesday: Denver
July 30 Thursday: Omaha
July 31 Friday: Chicago
August 1 Saturday: Indianapolis
In the meantime, feel free to give David Irving a call on his cellphone and let the fascist scumbag know how you feel: 305 923 6779. Remember to hide caller ID (*67) before dialing.
No platform for fascists, no compromise!
– Rose City Antifa / Portland ARA
fight_them_back [at] riseup [dot] net
Note that on July 10, Irving was the guest of Jerry’s Restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. Previous dates include:
- July 3 Friday: Kansas City [Also @ an Embassy Suites Kansas City International Airport hotel]
July 6 Monday: Oklahoma City
July 8 Wednesday: Albuquerque
July 10 Friday: Phoenix
July 12 Sunday: Las Vegas
July 13 Monday: Salt Lake City
July 15 Wednesday: Boise
July 16 Thursday: Spokane
July 18 Saturday: Seattle
July 19 Sunday: Portland
July 22 Wednesday: Sacramento
July 23 Thursday: San Francisco
July 25 Saturday: Costa Mesa
July 26 Sunday: Sherman Oaks
Soundtrack by Street Sweeper Social Club (=Tom Morello + Boots Riley).
Slack Feathered Bastard (Stephen Lemon, Phoenix New Times, July 13, 2009) writes: “You know your career as a historian has hit a new low when you’re hawking books out the back of a Phoenix diner better known for its hash browns than its literary events…”
To the best of my knowledge, David Irving has never toured Australia, although in 2003, self-described ‘transcendental fascist’, crap filmmaker and terminal boor Richard Wolstencroft did attempt to screen The Search For Truth In History, a 1993 videotaped lecture by Irving, as part of the 2003 MUFF festival. (Wolstencroft’s film Pearls Before Swine (1999) — reputedly one of Australia’s worst — also featured the enormous talents of US neo-fascist Boyd Rice.) The fascist’s film festival (MUFFF) is this year being sponsored by Dutch beer company Grolsch (owned by SABMiller, “one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products and other soft drinks”), the apolitical hipsters of gasinc (“Australia’s most innovative studio network”), screenhub and the empty bubble headed consumers @ encore. More yuppie scum than you can shake a stick at…