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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)

Chris - So you're suggesting that the organizers are so clueless and ignorant that they wouldn't know a collectivist symbol if it smashed them in their pasty white faces.

Or maybe the right wing nuts understand perfectly that the tired old Marxist imagery needs to be turned on its head to breathe some new life into it.

Personally, I think it's an amusing illustration of the way taxpayers have finally announced that they're not going to be quietly obedient any more. They're telling Washington, "After years of listening to your demands on us, here's a little fist thumping of our own for you to think about."


"Tea-baggers". "Astro-turf".

We get it. You're not a reporter, you're just another partisan hack. Because of that, you need to support your assertions if you want to be taken seriously. Otherwise, go back to ACORN... I understand Baltimore has a couple of openings.

This is not a surprise considering these self absorbed groups have no imagination, no knowledge of history and no conception of the real world around them.

Not the protesters claims about the numbers has been used but a more accurate quote of the park police. Keep your head in the sand and deny the strength of the movement as long as you will, but keep the Kool Aid handy, you will need it in 2010 when the ballot box will not lie (someone is lying about the numbers now). Since you stoop to such low levels to denigrate your fellow Americans calling them tea baggers (a practice more common on the left than the right), I would suspect you also to be less than truthful. Keep your rose colored glasses and enjoy the Kool Aid!
Could be that the left feels the clenched fist is their property. Truthfully the clenched fist implies determined resolve as well as a wave of victory. See you in fall 2010!

You are obviously delusional!!! Try listening to CNN who said themselves 1.1 million!

I think what you are trying to do is DISCREDIT GLENN BECK for exposing your messiah Obama and the Democrat COMMIES for what they are. You are the communist who want to FORCE HC BILL that is nothing more than a TROJAN HORSE to eliminate the US CONSTITUTION, BILL OF RIGHTS and EXISTING laws VOID in one full swoop!!!

So the protested sign up in advance - OBAMA AND DEMS put PAY their protesters who do not even believe in their cause!!!

Stop with the trying to discredit so you can push this unAMERICAN, UnCONSTITUITONAL bill through to make American and another 3rd WORLD country!!!!

Maybe someday Chris will start thinking about (and even writing about) important "stuff". Fer instance ... ACORN, ObamaCare. Oh Sorry, not on your agenda.

For james: YEP. They are dangerous if your'e a pinko marxist trying to destroy the United States Of America, its ideals and traditions. You need to do a search on Adolf Hitler to find out who is REALLY dangerous in America today. Open your eyes and here's your sign: YOUR ID is TEN T.

Christopher Knight's writings and viewpoints are a joke. The LA Times holds him out as an "art critic." Rather, he is a critic of liberty and espouses views of the Left couched in some so-called expert analysis of Art. Mr. Knight--Lenin called. There's an art critic position open at Pravda.

I just noticed that I have fist too!!!! I must be a commiesocialcrazyist!!! Oh no!!!
Once again the LA Times produces a great FAIL. As a twenty-something I sure am glad that junk newspapers are going down. A few more years....

Barack Obama is not BLACK, he is biracial.

Will you Libs pull your heads out of the sand? I listen to Beck almost every evening. He rails against everyone in Washington. Not just Democrats. I no longer call myself a Republican, I’m a Conservative American. I want to see all of the bums kicked out of Washington. The place stinks with corruption. If you watched his show, you would see that he usually demonstrates his points by showing video or audio of the person who is saying the crazy stuff. For example, are you really going to continue to back someone like Chuck Rangel, even though he has huge problems with paying his taxes and hiding his income? We are all getting the short end of the stick from these guys. And if you think that the media is looking out for you, you need to wake up.

How about talking about the communistS in the White House who can actually effect our lives instead of a talking head on a television show? Has this country lost its' collective mind? Who the heck cares what a talk show host has to say, let's look at what he is actually saying and exposing. Why won't the media even talk about the millions of people who attended D.C. on 9-12 to show their collective backlash against a communist take over of our great nation.

The media has been acting as some sort of wing for the government lately, and that is NOT what your jobs are. Your jobs are to act as the public's watch dogs and actually report the news about the government, not continually omitting relevant information about the communists in the White House.

Just look at Van Jones, we didn't hear a damned PEEP from the so-called media until AFTER he resigned. Oh yah, Jone is in fact an admitted communist.

Not surprising that you are censoring all incoming comments. Socialists and Communists have no right to ownership of the fist. It is conservatives who are angry at this point in time thus the fist is symbolic of the fight. You, Mr. Knight are sadly pathetic in your efforts to trivialize and minimize this movement. I think you are soon to be shocked at its impact.

You are unbelievable. Turnout was a bust? Less than 100,000? Maybe I should be nice here, because apparently I am speaking about a blind person, and I don't want to disparage the disabled. Anyone who had eyes can clearly see from the pictures that this was so far from a "bust" that saying that it was completely destroys any shred of credibility you might have had. Therefore, I won't even begin to remark on the rest of your idiotic story, somehow trying to link Beck to creating the logo for an event that he had absolutely no hand in even planning. A high school journalist would be more credible than you. Pathetic.

Power to the People???? Anyone who supports this rally is a duped sheep where the plutocracy has convinced them that the fight from the right and center is good for the people when it is just good for the united corporations of america. Beck who derided the healthcare system as being terrible when he had his surgery is now saying we have the best healthcare in the world. You can't cure stupid.

The line "Obviously the bloody fist represents the tea-baggers' " lost all credibility this crappy article may have had. These are Americans who can think for themselves and don't need a politician to organize there Astro-turf movements. This is real grass roots, read em and weep!

Now that is FUNNY!!

And OBAMAS DOPE/Hope poster was not Commie like??? Ummmm how stupid are you??

By the way, between Commie and Black power symbolism, I am sure it was done to make fun of the lefties and their little Commie art tripping they always do.

Man, you guys crack me up! Keep telling yourself it is astro turf. Just don't act surprised when it finally wacks you upside your head.
Now you are worried about commie logos and art? still laughing!

Hey, how about more commie NEA Propaganda Art?? Obama should be getting some real soon since his White House "Call for Propaganda" conference call a couple weeks back. Art ALL Paid for by TAXPAYERS!
Can't wait to see what the "artist" come up with for the White House Propaganda campaign for Cap and Trade and Health Care! I'm sure it will be Yummy!

The reason most of the Lib Heads here don't get what it is all about is that the MSM Obama networks they listen to are not reporting the facts. Hell, they would not even cover the DC 2 Million people march ( says The London Press, which I trust way more then Obamas Press) Too bad for you. Willingly remaining ignorant is not a good excuse anymore. Your little media bubble is just setting you up for a real bad fall.
Keep thinking we are all stupid, I dig it when Lib Heads "think" they are soooo smart then are actually Shocked when someone like Van Jones get caught and canned/resigns.
Sad for you, way funny to us.

The SDS used to paint these on buildings when I was in college. Howard Stern uses it, too. Strange bedfellows.


Mr. Knight, it does look very much like a Communist motif. Yet, since your article stands up pretty well with the facts, why lower yourself to the "Tea-baggers" epithet? If any Right-Winger used that term, they'd have "Homophobe" tattooed on their forehead by the liberal press until their reputation was destroyed.

Leave the petty retorts to the GOP, still reeling from that '08 knockout. You're doing fine working with, as a famous TV Angelino once said, "Just the facts", man.

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