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Glenn Beck's '9-12' logo based on communist and socialist designs

September 13, 2009 | 10:30 am

Taxpayer March Ever since Glenn Beck took to the Fox television airwaves recently to offer a bizarre reading of the art commissioned 70 years ago for New York's Rockefeller Center, I've been puzzled by the graphic design element of his 9-12 Project. The logo (pictured) for his affiliated groups' rally in Washington, D.C., this weekend derives from century-old communist, socialist and other left-wing designs.

Those were the motifs he railed against in his Rockefeller rant.

For the logo, three raised and clenched red fists are superimposed over the U.S. Capitol. Obviously the bloody fist represents the tea-baggers' themes of unity and resistance.

But do Beck; the corporate-sponsored astro-turf group, FreedomWorks, headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas); the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights; the private-property group, the National Assn. of Rural Landowners; and the rest of the march sponsors know the symbol's origins?

Unity and resistance are what the fist represented in 1917, when it was first employed by the Industrial Workers of the World, a union organization founded by socialists. And in the 1940s, when it stood  for various nations' communist party organizations.

Fist Progressive Labor Party That's also what it meant when it was revived in the 1960s, appearing as a symbol for the SDS, as well as anti-war and feminist movements. It was the basis for the black-power salute given by John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. And today, it's the symbol for the Progressive Labor Party (pictured), a political outfit whose website says it "fights to smash capitalism."

Turnout for the 9-12 Project's Saturday march on Washington was a bust; 30,000 protesters signed up in advance (MSNBC reporter David Shuster tweeted that D.C. park police called that figure "generous"). But even if three times that many actually showed up, the number would fall far short of the hundreds of thousands (and even millions) claimed to be planning to attend. Even in that reduced crowd, however, surely someone recognized how odd the right-wing gathering's left-wing logo was.

Maybe Beck will explain. Sort of.

-- Christopher Knight

Credits: 912dc.org; Progressive Labor Party

Comments () | Archives (339)

Christopher, do some research and see where else that kind of artwork was found - before communists used it...or "borrowed" it.

I don't know if this is a new low for the LAT, but it's certainly a contender.


Count me as one of those believing Glenn Beck's "lies." I notice that not one comment here actually pointed out a lie.

I'm finding this article very strange since I watch Glenn Beck every single day and have never seen this logo. The logo Glenn uses for the 9-12 project is his version of the Unite, or Die snake that is divided into several pieces that was created in the mid-1700's. I also watched three hours of C-SPAN coverage of the rally and didn't see this sign anywhere. I just checked Glenn's site and the 9-12 project site and still didn't see this logo.

Your 30,000 figure for the 9-12 DC rally is also interesting. Any idiot looking at pictures from the event can tell it's a hell of a lot higher than that. But, no matter. You libs can pretend that we're a small minority but you do so at your own peril. Can't wait until November 2010!

So who cares already? We are all so correct and worry about origins and secret meanings and blah blah blah...do you get the message of the 9/12 protest or are you just too thick? You will go to any and I mean any length to protect your messiah...pathetic really.

Nice Try! You just don't get it do you? We do not want socialized medicine and I believe many who were fooled into voting for this idiot have now come to realize why those of us who opposed him did not believe a word he said! We knew this was his M.O. This guys wants to change the country but live the lux life for himself and his family. We work hard and yes we should pay taxes but not more than what is fair! God only asks for 10% of our income...the government doesn't deserve any more!

What a brilliant analysis!! (eyes rolling)

Thousands march on DC to protest Fraud, Waste, and Abuse of our tax-dollars ... and you want to focus on flier artwork?

Typical liberal: Attack the messenger and avoid the message.

But hey - I'm sure you'll get kudos from numbnut huffpo bloggers!

No political faction has a copyright on the image of a clinched fist. It is a universal symbol of the power of an enraged populous.

This article reeks of leftist desperation--as well it should. Glenn Beck has your number, Øbama sycophant media. You can't dispute his facts or positions, so you lower yourself to attacking the minutia. Don't go changin'!

So, I guess you libs don't get irony?

It may be appropriate to borrow a little Bolshevik symbolism; think of how many czars need to be overthrown in this administration. I trust the overthrow will be very peaceful, but very complete.

In fact, peaceful but complete change of the executive and legislative branch needs to take place over the next few years. How about letting the libertarian and conservative budget-balancers have a chance to govern a while?

I was there and the crowd was massive. The left is desparate and wants to spread the " Failed" protest story but anyone is free to browse the numerous photos online including aerial shots and see for yourself. But beware. Do not visit left wing propaganda sites like Media Matters because they are posting a photo after the event ended,

Just goes to show that the Socialists will go to any length to smear, ridicule and discredit patriotic Americans who seek only to protect our lawful Constitution. The ONE MILLION PLUS 9/12 marchers represent ALL of America, and the core American values that MATTER! They are peaceful, concerned, informed and willing to participate in the American political process constructively. The opposition only wants to bleed the producers of rightful earnings. Stealing from them in the form of outrageous taxation and entitlement programs.
Punish Corrupt Officials NOW!
Cut ALL taxes by half NOW!
Begin restoring the nations' industry NOW!
Vote all Socialist Looters (regardless of party) OUT NOW!
Any other course will be a disaster.
Any other path is un-American.
All concerned citizens must get in the faces of the criminal statists and never let up. March on. Use your consumer dollars as a tool! Call out the Gov't controlled media and DEMAND they report the TRUTH!

So Obama's "Hope" poster had now hint of socialism art in it? Isn't it Obama's admin that tried to get artist to promote his agenda through art? Hmm... interesting that This rag can find a connection between 9-12 and communism but can't when it comes to their favorite "liberal" protest groups.

Liberalim is the movement of the Kanye Wests of the world - racists

Your coments are so out of line with what this is all about. I bet you guys spent hours foraging thru the internet for these laughable smears on Glenn Beck. If you were realy a newspaper I would be amazed but we all know your paper is just another rag for left wing propaganda.
Glenn never said how many people were expected, and the estament was 60,000 - 70,000 people not 30,000.

This reminds me of the time when I was in High School and a guy from the John Birch society came in to explain to us that Cesar Chavez was a fascist / communist bent on world dominion because the United Farmworkers 'eagle' symbol may as well be a swastika. At least if you picture it in a white circle in a field of red. You're trying too hard. And, Did it occur to you that Beck's symbol might be intended to be, er, ironic?

Your use of the term "tea-baggers" shows your sophomoric and highly unprofessional writing style (I use the term style loosely). I guess the L.A. Times has a such a shortage of writers that they are now accepting grade school student submissions. (no disrespect to grade school students)

First, if you actually knew what you were talking about, you would know that the logo you are referring to is NOT Glenn Beck's logo. Second, if you actually did some research you would also know that Glenn Beck's 9/12 logo is based on Benjamin Franklin's Join or Die snake cartoon he published in 1754, but I noticed you didn't bother to touch on any factual information, except for the information that supports your initial inaccurate assertion.

Christopher, the only people who believe your pablum are the ones who actually first said it all.

FYI, a clenched fist is also used as a symbol in many martial arts schools, so I guess based on your "logic" that probably means the protesters want to use tae kwon do to achieve their goals?

I am under the impression that all labor unions in the USA use the raised closed fist at the close of every non public meeting.

"Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" (Don't tell 'em - we're also getting Tina Fey to run in "Palin drag" in 2012 - that'll fool 'em)

National Parks Service estimated between 250k-500k at least.

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