Disaster How milkshaking become a form of political protest—and a meme - The Political Protest and Meme, explained

ATaxingWoman

Professional Tax Investigator Princess
kiwifarms.net
Milkshakes, a dairy treat often enjoyed in diners, have morphed into an anti-fascist symbol in recent months. Pouring milkshakes on people—an act known as “milkshaking”—is now a popular protest tactic. The drink became a massive topic of conversation last week, as right-wing figures and law enforcement officials in Portland accused Antifa—a network of leftist groups—of mixing milkshakes with quick-dry cement and battery acid. Suddenly, everyone in American political life seemed to be weighing in on milkshakes.

The conversation around milkshakes got to the heart of the public perceptions of antifascist activism. If the milkshake can be made into weapons, Antifa is violent. If milkshakes are a form of peaceful protest, then they can be considered a tool of non-violent resistance.

Here’s how the milkshake became a symbolic battleground between the radical left and the alt-right, and how milkshaking became a meme (not to be confused with milkshake duck).

What is milkshaking?
Milkshaking involves throwing a milkshake at or pouring a milkshake on a right-wing political figure as a form of protest. According to Know Your Meme, milkshaking began on May 1, 2019, when a British protestor dumped a milkshake on right-wing activist Tommy Robinson, and the incident was subsequently uploaded to YouTube.

How the milkshaking meme took off
There is an argument to be made that the origins of milkshaking really lie with “Egg Boy.” In March, Australian teen Will Connolly smashed an egg on the head of right-wing Aussie senator Fraser Anning. Like Robinson, Anning is known for his virulent bigotry, and specifically Islamophobia.

For whatever reason, milkshaking took off in a way egging didn’t. Perhaps the ease of transport and the fact that it is easy to pretend that a milkshake is, say, a soda or a cup of water, makes it easier to wield.

In the weeks after the Robinson incident, milkshaking spread rapidly. Throughout the month of May, right-wing figures found themselves the targets of milkshaking incidents. Most notably, on May 16, a UK McDonald’s was asked not to sell milkshakes near an event featuring Brexiter and right-wing provocateur Nigel Farage.

And, of course, the brands got involved—a true sign that a meme has really made it big.

Milkshaking as an Antifa symbol
From there, anti-fascist organizers around the world embraced milkshaking. Milkshakes quickly became a common sight at all kinds of Antifa actions, which led to serious criticism about protest action.

Numerous publications ran essays about whether milkshaking was a violent tactic. The Conversation asked, “Is milkshaking a form of political violence?” The Financial Times argued: “We should be stirred by Nigel Farage’s milkshake.” Ricky Gervais tweeted that he finds it hypocritical that leftists concerned about speech don’t find milkshaking to be a violent act.

Left-leaning and anti-authoritarian publications pushed back in favor of milkshaking. The Guardian asserted that milkshaking isn’t political violence but political theater. The Atlantic mused, “Sometimes a milkshake is just a milkshake.” Leftist labor writer Kim Kelly even went as far as to offer her “perfect” recipe for an anti-fascist milkshake.

Milkshaking as right-wing propaganda
This rhetorical back-and-forth turned milkshaking into an even larger symbol in the political battle between the left and the right. This tension came to a head during a clash between fascist “Proud Boys” and anti-fascists last week in Portland, Oregon.

As with all Antifa actions, the demonstrators used a diversity of tactics. Some were willing to use violence to meet fascists in the street, while others were not. Some activists brought milkshakes. Some black bloc protestors—the proper term for the subset of Antifa protestors who dress in black, cover their faces with bandanas, and are more likely to view violence as a viable tactic—were prepared to meet fascists with violence. And some did.

During the skirmish, Antifa demonstrators milkshaked and assaulted Andy Ngo. Some people consider Ngo a journalist, but he might be more accurately described as an opinion columnist who uses light reporting to launder his reactionary views at the far-right publication Quillette.

This led to the conflation of milkshaking with acts of violence, a confusion that was egged on Portland police who relayed an erroneous claim that protestors were mixing quick-dry cement in milkshakes. Right-wing media figures like Jack Posbiec ran with the claim, spreading disinformation online. Some even asserted that protestors were mixing battery acid in with the milkshakes, causing chemical burns.

The incident led to pushback against Antifa by mainstream journalists like Jake Tapper and renewed attempts by right-wing outlets to discredit the non-violent aspects of the movement. Even Senator Ted Cruz joined the pile-on. A GoFundMe for Ngo’s relatively minor injuries set up by fellow right-wing reactionary Michelle Malkin netted the writer nearly $200,000.

Left-wing outlets and progressive journalists then renewed and escalated their defense of Antifa.

Although the future of milkshaking is unclear, the power of the milkshake as a divisive political symbol for both the left and the right will likely only continue to grow.
 

Wraith

Made pure again from the hardest game on earth.
kiwifarms.net
Maybe you should shoot the person throwing the milkshake. That would stop it. You see, these people are attacking someone who is initially defenseless, someone that can't fight back. So... fight terrorism with justice.
 

HeyYou

seriousposter
kiwifarms.net
During the skirmish, Antifa demonstrators milkshaked and assaulted Andy Ngo. Some people consider Ngo a journalist, but he might be more accurately described as an opinion columnist who uses light reporting to launder his reactionary views at the far-right publication Quillette.
A GoFundMe for Ngo’s relatively minor injuries set up by fellow right-wing reactionary Michelle Malkin netted the writer nearly $200,000.
Is...is this an editorial? Seriously, DailyDot, what is this shit? Ngo is a journalist, for a journalistic site. If the Quillette is just a far right rag then you aren't journalists either. My Journalism professor in college wouldn't wipe his ass with this shit.
 

Shaved Kiwis

Gran Autismo 3: A-Sped
kiwifarms.net
Maybe you should shoot the person throwing the milkshake. That would stop it. You see, these people are attacking someone who is initially defenseless, someone that can't fight back. So... fight terrorism with justice.
I really enjoyed the way Tommy Robinson handled it. Way better than bukkake bitch Benjamin who just stood there smiling like a dumbass.
 

Coolio55

DON'T CALL LUIGI AT 3AM!! *OMG HE RICKROLLED ME*
kiwifarms.net
Wow. Just as funny as gritty!

Now back to more whining about internet comments being literally murder.
 

HeyYou

seriousposter
kiwifarms.net
whaaaaaaaataboutism always works for those easy upboats
I don't think hypothetical thought experiments about hypocrisy fall under whataboutism. I'm pretty sure there is an actual fallacy for using a thought experiment as evidence during an argument unless it falls under certain qualifications, though.

The fuck is Quillette?
It's pretty much like the Daily Wire, the most milquetoast of normal conservative sites. It published an expose on reporters and their ties to antifa though and that got people in quite a tizzy.
 

Ineedahero

kiwifarms.net
whaaaaaaaataboutism always works for those easy upboats
You don't know what that word means do you? Whataboutism is when you try to change the subject by insisting someone talks about your pet issues. Pointing out the obvious double standards of the left is not Whataboutism and you know it.
 

HeyYou

seriousposter
kiwifarms.net
You don't know what that word means do you? Whataboutism is when you try to change the subject by insisting someone talks about your pet issues. Pointing out the obvious double standards of the left is not Whataboutism and you know it.
Whataboutism can be that, but is usually when someone criticizes you for doing something and you point out someone else/their side does it or something like it too without actually defending yourself with logical arguments. Basically "well everyone does it so it isn't bad!" The funniest thing, though, is that the commies invented the concept. Anytime the Soviets did some dumbass shit they just said the United States was doing it too (almost always in a lesser capacity, if at all) to absolve themselves.
 
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