Small potatoes fry crispy

Drama! Drama and Nazis! Oh lord, this is a familiar story, but I will tell it again, with new characters.

Those of us who worked behind the scenes at Worldcon 75 will have run across Kyuu Eturatti, a cosplay enthusiast who did some of work for W75 as part of the tech team.

Yesterday the 26th, Kyuu led a an anti-immigrant rally of neo-Nazis and other shoe scrapings, and took part in harassing passers-by and anti-fascist activists who looked too immigrant or too otherwise different for the rally's tastes, following some of us around with cameras

Savor that bitter, fatty irony. Roll the meat from it over your tongue until the tender flesh melts away, then crack the bones and suck the marrow. It's not like Kyuu's going to taste any. One active fan who witnessed the fiasco alongside me said to me upon recognizing Eturatti at the podium, "there is not enough facepalm in the world."

The rally itself was nothing remarkable: a couple of mediocre people hide behind a couple of rings of police and talk to each other about how wonderful being mediocre is and how everyone should be force to be medioce, then they go home and get back to living off other people's work. I've seen it around the world, always the same, people all tucked away in their comfort zones seeking identity in conformity, like Rocky Horror with worse music and no Tim Curry.

I suppose, with groups like the Soldiers of Odin and other wannabe paramilitaries, there is a certain element of cosplay and LARP about the whole thing (Kyuu's net contribution to the post-W75 discourse has been to complain about how unfair it was the Home for the Old LARP was shut down and how everyone else did so much less work than he did).

Nonetheless, matters have reached a head. You cannot, one week, play an organizing role in a festival of common humanity that celebrates internationalism and togetherness; and a few weeks later play an active & public role cheerleading xenophobia, racism and violence against people who are different. I am, of course, an immigrant, and a person of Jewish ancestry, and a longtime left-wing activist and trade union organizer to boot, so the role Kyuu has chosen to play presents a threat to my person and my life should what he advocates come to pass. Kyuu's chums would throw me in a concentration camp without a second thought--although of course Kyuu himself would be thrown in there with me during round two or three of the cleansing.

Thus, local SF societies across Finland are considering whether to separate themselves from Kyuu; I understand Jyväskylä has already decided to associate with him no more. This goes beyond what I demanded--I simply said he needs to apologize to me for harassing me and for speaking at the event--but I will not weep. Indeed, I am heartened by the messages of support from leading Finnish and international fans I have received over the past thirty-six hours.

The man is thirty-eight years old. At some point he needs to learn to get over his sense of entitlement. If you're going to cosplay the Führer in public, rally humanity's leftovers into action, cheerlead murderers into further murder, people will want you to not be around them--they will recognize you as toxic and selfish, and they'll hear your pleas of "but muh freeze peach" for the pathetic whining it is.

So Kyuu is going and good riddance, but let's not overblow the meaning of this outcome. If and when fandom shows him the door, as well it should, he will stay around the only people who will talk to him, that is, assorted racist boneheads, up to the point where he is no longer useful to them. Those boneheads are, alas, in vogue, facing little to no opposition from the established order of things around the world.

Last week in Boston twenty "alt-right" pack-rats attempting a demonstration on Boston Common ran away when a counter-demonstration drew forty thousand against racism, sexism & hate. (Eighty years ago it was brown the best they can manage is brown underpants!) While Finland has seen rallies of comparable magnitude, there is as yet no coherent, Finland-wide network nor a habit of mass mobilization to defend local communities against terrorist groups like Suomi Ensin or the Soldiers of Odin or the Nordic Resistance Movement. This has been a missing piece for a long time; fascists have been allowed to march into a near-vacuum.

The trade union movement in Finland needs to play the role that British trade unionists play against the National Front or the EDL, or that the best unions are quickly learning to play against the Klan or the National Socialist Movement in the US. Finnish unions have the numbers: confront the neo-fascists and the xenophobes with actual working people acting in solidarity, and the jack-booted hate-hobbyists will scatter like so many roaches under a light.

And we in fandom should commit to carry out to completion the tasks we now take up. If we really believe "fandom is family," then we know sometimes something a family has to do, with sadness but firmness, is exclude the violent, predatory cousins for the sake of making family gatherings liveable (and there is no group on Earth [trigger warnings, abuse & rape, for all the following links] more consistently packed with abusers and rapists than the far right; most of the time their cries of "free speech" and "civil liberties" come from a desire to go on attacking innocent people without consequence).

One does not have to invoke Karl Popper to know people who try to game social rules for their own personal advantage, people who view life as a competition to win by taking and taking from those who have little, contribute nothing: racist hate mongers are parasites and no more.  If we are serious about maintaining safe, welcoming environments for as many people as possible who think a little differently, see a little further, poke a little harder into what makes society tick, then we absolutely must exclude people who dedicate themselves to organized activities of harassment and violence against the marginalized in society. We should organize together, democratically, collectively and internationally, in the best traditions of fandom, to do it.

Edmund Schluessel

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