Redneck Revolt (RR) defines itself as a “community defense formation” that is “anti-racist,” “anti-fascist,” “pro-worker,” “far left,” and “anarchist.” Its earliest roots can be traced back to 2009, but the organization was formally launched in June 2016 by members of similar, already established entities in Kansas and Colorado. As of January 2018, RR consisted of 38 chapters nationwide.
Noting that the term redneck “has taken on a demeaning connotation” in recent decades, RR wishes to return that word “back to its original meaning—someone who works outside so much they have a perpetual sunburn.” “To us,” says RR, “the term redneck … signifies a pride in our class as well as a pride in resistance to bosses, politicians, and all those that protect domination and tyranny.”
Drawing inspiration from the Young Patriots—a coterie of white Appalachian activists who allied themselves with the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s—RR aims to help the “working class” gain “liberation from the oppressive systems which dominate our lives.” The most oppressive system of all, says RR, is free-market capitalism, which has “destroyed much of the natural world,” “committed countless acts of genocide,” “ravaged our communities and natural resources in the name of profit,” and “methodically [kept] the vast majority of people in the world impoverished while they [have labored] to enrich a small minority of people.” “Predatory economic, political, and social systems,” adds RR, have “always” been “upheld” by “wealthy landowners,” “politicians,” “bosses,” and “parasitic rich people” who “would exploit us of our labor” on the premise that they “are entitled to all the wealth that we as workers produce.” By RR’s calculus, “private property rights are not the basis of liberty.” Rather, “our liberty is deeply rooted in the ability to not be coerced into making poverty wages while someone else amasses wealth on our backs and labor.”
Embracing communism’s emphasis on the need for perpetual class warfare, RR affirms that “we will always have more in common with other working people of all races and backgrounds than we could have with any rich person regardless of whether they share our same color of skin.” Consequently, RR “stands with working class people of every country of the world against our common enemy: the rich and powerful, and will not allow arbitrary borders or boundaries to prevent us from unifying with other working class people.”
Asserting that “political ideology is less important to us than our ability to agree on our organizing principles and work together,” RR boasts that its members “come from a variety of ideological backgrounds—libertarians, humanists, anarchists, republicans, communists, and independents.” But in fact, RR has no tolerance whatsoever for conservative viewpoints. Indeed, the organization routinely conflates deeply malevolent hate groups on the one hand, with respectable and thoughtful conservative organizations on the other—so as to convey the impression that conservative values are somehow the inherently repugnant domain of odious “white nationalists” whose viewpoints do not even merit a fair hearing. For example, RR lumps together “the Ku Klux Klan, the Minutemen [a border-security group], the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Council of Conservative Citizens” as entities that have “undermined the struggle for freedom among all people.”
RR portrays America as a nation awash in “white supremacy,” which the organization defines as “a system of violence and power that ensures that political, economic, and social power is withheld from people who aren’t white.” And while “white working class people” have “all benefited to a certain extent from the system of white supremacy that exists within the United States,” adds RR, “they have played the role of foot soldiers for the political and economic elite, participating in genocide and the enslavement of other peoples.”
To address these historical injustices, RR declares that “we have a duty and an obligation as freedom-loving people to stand against the reactionary ideologies of white supremacy and white nationalism that menace communities of color and exert control over working communities.” Such a stand, RR explains, must take the form of a massive “revolution” that results in “a complete restructuring of society.”
By no means does RR rule out the use of violence as a legitimate means of achieving its transformational objectives. Indeed, many RR members carry guns and are prepared to use them in pursuit of their political ends. Candidly acknowledging that “we are not pacifists,” RR “believes in using any and all means at our disposal to gain our freedom and true liberty, provided those methods do not violate our basic humanity or integrity.” In states where it is legal to carry firearms, RR chapters commonly “choose to become John Brown Gun Clubs, training ourselves and our communities in defense and mutual aid.”
RR is closely allied with Antifa, a revolutionary Marxist/anarchist militia movement that seeks to bring down the United States by means of violence and intimidation. RR is also proudly supportive of “groups like Black Lives Matter.”
On August 12, 2017, RR and numerous other leftist entities (including Antifa) gathered to stage a counter-demonstration against a group of white nationalists who were protesting the proposed removal of a Confederate statue from a park in Charlottesville, Virginia. The demonstrators from both sides clashed violently with one another, and one woman was killed in the melee.
Also in August 2017, RR put out a training manual titled Mini-Manual of the Urban Guerrilla, which built upon the 1960s manifesto The Anarchist Cookbook. This RR manual contained sections on such topics as “executions,” “terrorism,” “sabotage,” and “kidnappings.”
Further Reading: RedneckRevolt.org/about; “Redneck Revolt Organizing Principles“; “This Group Wants to Take ‘Redneck’ Back from Fascists and Racist” (RedneckRevolt.org, 12-16-2017); “Meet Redneck Revolt” (Independent, 12-25-2017); “ANTIFA Group ‘Redneck Revolt’ Has Training Manual for Violent Revolution” (CDN.com, 8-1-2017).