Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, Featured, US
“The United States simply needs a good scrubbing and a little bit of TLC and maybe another civil war.” –
Vanguard American Leader on IronMarch.org
On Sunday, September 24th, roughly two dozen neo-Nazis associated with the Houston Goylers, Daily Stormer Bookclub, and the newly rebranded American Vanguard offshoot, “Patriot Front,” rallied for about 20 minutes outside of the Houston Anarchist Bookfair. After being rebuffed from entering, the neo-Nazis gave fascist salutes and chanted “Blood and Soil,” just as many of the same participants did at the deadly neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, where a member of Vanguard America killed 32 year old antifascist Heather Heyer. After circling the building a few times and screaming at passersby who objected to their photo op, the group of neo-Nazis stole a cloth banner hanging in front of the entrance and quickly left.
Houston anarchists and antifascists had been monitoring the social media accounts of local fascists and made plans for the neo-Nazis potentially showing up to the event; putting a security team and plan in place. For the members of Patriot Front and other organizations, the protest on the 24th was a “white pill”: an ego boost, a photo op, and a chance to prove themselves to the rest of the white supremacist, Alt-Right, and neo-Nazi movement at a time when the scene was splintering apart and lines were being drawn. However in carrying out the protest, the group also exposed themselves, their formations, and especially, their leader.
Out of the small group that rallied for a short time in front of the bookfair, two leaders stood out. The first, a 50 year old man with a large beard and a cane who commanded a megaphone, and known to most as “Azzmador,” a writer for the infamous neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. The Stormer, along with AltRight.com, was one of the main websites which organized and pushed for the Unite the Right rally, and has developed a close relationship with neo-Nazi and Alt-Right leaders from Richard Spencer to Matthew Heimbach. Azzmador’s real name is Robert Ray Warren, and he is a Texas native with a rap sheet longer than his beard, and a fixture at Texas white supremacist and far-Right events and rallies.
The second person to stand out was Thomas Rousseau, partly because he wore a bright blue shirt and was one of the few people that did not cover his face with a mask, but also because he appeared to be one of the youngest neo-Nazis present. As it turns out, Thomas was not just a member of Patriot Front, he was also its leader.
BREAKING: A federal judge just ordered neo-Nazi Robert “Azzmador” Ray of the Daily Stormer to pay an additional $18,567.50 in our Charlottesville lawsuit.
To date, our case has resulted in nearly $800,000 in damages and sanctions against Ray — and a warrant for his arrest. pic.twitter.com/T2mq7X5F4e
— Integrity First for America (@IntegrityforUSA) March 30, 2022
As we will show, Thomas for months has struggled to gain control over the organization Vanguard America from its former leader, Dillon. In the wake of the Unite the Right disaster and the reality that a member of Vanguard America murdered someone however, Thomas finally launched a coup, setting up the Patriot Front through the “Southern Front,” a chat platform run over the Discord game app. The break from Vanguard America is only the latest in a long line of splits that have plagued the franchise since the group was born out of its own split with the neo-Nazi messageboard, IronMarch.
Thomas’s turn towards a very ‘American’ version of fascism and national socialism is a calculated one. After Unite the Right, Alt-Right writers and organizers have argued that neo-Nazis need to put down their swastikas and pick up the American flag. By appropriating the stars and stripes they argue, they can once again begin to move within the larger Right, gaining numbers and operating within larger coalitions.
The lessons from studying Vanguard America, Patriot Front, and Thomas Rousseau are three fold. First and foremost, groups like Vanguard America are used by more well known neo-Nazi talking heads, like Richard Spencer, for both muscle and protection. Second, after Charlottesville, the Alt-Right is attempting to rebrand itself, yet again.
Moreover, communities looking to defend themselves against and ultimately defeat fascism and auxiliary far-Right groups need to realize that a second wave of action from Alt-Right, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi groups is starting. With the lines clearly drawn and the memory of Charlottesville firmly in the minds of many, our work is far from over, but there is no better time than now to continue and strengthen our efforts.
From Atomwaffen to American Reaction to American Vanguard to Vanguard America to National Bloc to Patriot Front
Atomwaffen Division (AWD), (Atomwaffen meaning “atomic bomb” in German), is the name of a neo-Nazi group which grew out of the IronMarch.org messageboard. Like many other neo-Nazi, white nationalist, and Alt-Right groups, they produce a variety of offline stickers and propaganda, as well as do IRL meetups and camping trips. The group includes ex-military personnel and tends to skew to the younger, 18-21 side.
Unlike some of the Alt-Right, Atomwaffen Division openly embraces the use of racist slurs along with the term “Nazi” and “fascist,” and often distances itself from other parts of the movement which it finds to be too conservative and open to compromise. Instead, AWD takes inspiration from paramilitary neo-Nazi groups in Europe which openly use swastikas, as well as paramilitary neo-Nazi groups from US that existed in the 1980s and 1990s. This is strongly evidenced by their deep love for the book, SIEGE, by James Mason. Mason, a US based neo-Nazi who worked with Charles Manson to craft his ‘paranormal meets national socialism’ ideology, called for ‘leaderless resistance’ actions to further the neo-Nazi cause. Mason also began working with AWD in mid 2017, starting an online newsletter. SIEGE is often referred to as the Bible of posters on IronMarch.org and associated formations, and shows this section of the Alt-Right’s tendency towards ‘lone wolf’ terror actions.
Atomwaffen Division suffered a major setback in 2017 however, when one of its members in May shot and murdered two others, claiming that the group was going to set off bombs at a nuclear power plant. A fourth member, Brandon Russell, also faced weapons charges for having bomb making materials in his room, along with a framed picture of Timothy McVeigh.
But before this event thrust Atomwaffen Division into the national spotlight, a section of the posters on IronMarch in spring of 2016 had begun to conceptualize a new group: American Reaction, which was then quickly became American Vanguard, or AV after discussions on the IronMarch forum. Like Atomwaffen Division, American Vanguard was explicitly fascist and neo-Nazi in their politics, however attempted to compete with Alt-Right and Identitarian groups like Identity Evropa for recruits. Like AWD however, AV had a hard time recruiting, and was known for attempting to get people to hold their flag up in bars claiming it was in support of US soldiers, as a way to boost their perceived numbers.
The group folded after one of it's leaders, "Ghoul," was exposed for offering to give IGD information in return for an article about him being taken off our website. https://t.co/4EpvroS6oO
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) February 9, 2020
In late 2016, a series of doxxes took place including one of AV’s main leaders, Cooper Ward, aka “Ghoul,” who was also a part of The Right Stuff (TRS) podcast network, alongside people like Mike Peinovich. After Ward was doxxed by a local antifascist group, he wrote to IGD asking if he could work out a deal. In exchange for information, Ward asked that his information be taken down. This email exchange was then released, leading to American Vanguard being largely discredited. Moreover, in a leaked recorded conversation with Ghoul and other American Vanguard members, they also discuss their heated beef with Atomwaffen Division as well as other neo-Nazi groups, such as Identity Evropa, while claiming that American Vanguard members would do security for an upcoming conference organized by Richard Spencer.
After Ghoul left American Vanguard, it was released in various white nationalist circles that he had been grooming underage men for sex at various TRS meetups. With this information only further discrediting the group, rumors, attacks, and the leaking of information about Ward grew on websites like 4chan and HollaForums.
Out of this disaster, the group attempted to rebrand as Vanguard America, under the leadership of ex-Marine, Dillon Irizarry (aka Dillon Ulysses Hopper). The group then joined the Nationalist Front (NF), a confederation of neo-Nazi, KKK, and neo-Confederate groups including the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), National Socialist Movement (NSM), and League of the South (LoS). This joining was then followed by Vanguard America participating in the Pikeville, Kentucky rally in April 2017 along with Unite the Right in Charlottesville in August 2017. The summer of 2017 also saw the first official split from Vanguard America, with the formation of National Bloc (NB) setting up a website and then quickly falling into obscurity.
But bigger problems for Vanguard America lay just around the corner. At the Unite the Right rally, James Alex Fields, Jr, the driver of the car which murdered Heather Heyer, was pictured marching alongside, carrying the shield of, and wearing the uniform of Vanguard America. In the wake of the murder, Vanguard America attempted to distance itself from Fields while trolls on Alt-Right forums attempted to paint him as someone of Jewish background. A quick look at Field’s Facebook page however, revealed a young man obsessed with Donald Trump and neo-Nazi politics.
Patriot Front is best known for being the post-Unite the Right rebrand of Vanguard America, the organization that Heather Heyer's killer, James Alex Fields, Jr, marched with in Charlottesville. Seen here with a VA shield, standing next to Patriot Front leader, Thomas Rousseau. pic.twitter.com/eO5ZSFojiY
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) February 9, 2020
But as trolls on 4chan rushed to find the Facebook account of Fields, in the hopes that they could deactivate it before journalists and antifascists could read it, in the background, a power struggle was brewing between Dillon and Thomas. For as the fallout of Unite the Right was taking place across the country, Thomas was pushing for control over the entire organization.
On August 30th, on a Discord server operated by Vanguard America, of which Thomas was a regular poster and was in a clear position of authority, a message appeared, posted by Thomas, announcing the formation of the “Patriot Front.”
Thomas announces the creation of Patriot Front over the “Southern Front” Discord.
Thomas then went on to state that Vanguard America members that were loyal to him needed to report to another person on the board about their desire to join and their willingness to put in work for the organization.
But above all, Patriot Front represented a turning around the question of image that members of various post-Atomwaffen Division groups had struggled with. In short, how could they stay true to national socialist and fascist ideas while also reaching the masses? As Vincent Law wrote on AltRight.com, this turn towards white supremacy rooted in Americana was needed in the post-Charlottesville moment:
The Alt-Right must become the party of reason, the party of American Reaction to the subversion of our democracy and the voice of the disenfranchised White class. There is no need to resort to Nazi flags, the Betsy Ross flag will do just fine because the meaning is the same, America for the White man. Give the American people the motley underdogs that they want to root for, be the voice they are waiting to hear, not a call to oppress minorities but rather the voice of #resistance to the oppressive governent that espouses love for one’s own race and family against the iron boot of race-mixing state Totalitarianism.
Tap into that archetype, don’t fight it.
On the Patriot Front website, which is also the same URL as Vanguard America, instead of photos of Hitler or Mosley, it features the photos of George Washington, Robert E Lee, Henry Ford, and General Patton. In its manifesto, it writes:
Our people must learn to internalize their natural identities, and come to connect that re-emerging identity with their homeland. Americans are descendants of Europeans, but at the same time they are not European. This nation is unique in its newly realized pan-European identity which has allowed it to succeed. A nation without its people realizing a common identity is no nation at all.
The previous era has been spent broadening the definition of what an American is, the coming era will refine the definition of an American.
Thomas Vies for Power Within Vanguard America
If there is one thing that has remained constant within the lexicon of groups that have evolved from IronMarch, it is a culture rooted in shit-talking, backstabbing, and the throwing of former ‘comrades’ under the bus. One need only look to other neo-Nazi forums to find Thomas’ full name, age, and location, as well as the history of American Vanguard and its growing host of failed splinter groups and attempts at rebranding. Moreover, the amount of violent hatred that various Alt-Right, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi formations have towards each other, with Vanguard America in particular, is evident in the online musings of the rank-n-file.
Back to the issue of Vanguard America itself, the organization evolved around essentially three leaders: “Starman,” Dillion, and Thomas. According to one angry poster on HollaForums who laid out the history of the group:
starman was a user of larpermarch [IronMarch.org] and a 4cuck broswer. he was also a massive fucking weaboo, and an asukafag. He had an idea. this idea was to make a group called reaction america, essentially a National ACtion [UK neo-Nazi group, now made illegal] rippoff here in the states. It went through a few iterations, but everything was fine. And you have to give the kid some credit, he managed to make a pretty solid group. In a few months he was able to assemble a decent number of people from several states to form the American Vanguard.
Now starman had a bit of a problem. First of all, he was an edgy teenager. Second of all, he was a massive weaboo. And finally, his group had some people who would do anything to get power, or at least the feeling of having it. There are two main people you need to remember name wise here. DILLON and THOMAS. Remember the names of DILLON and THOMAS for later.
Now starman’s problem of being an edgy teenager is what started out first. You see, his mother kind of found out. don’t do this shit if you are <18 kiddos And his family flipped. I am 90% sure that most of his family tensions stem from this shit. Now if you are an edgy teenager who’s whole household is flipping out on you because you run a nationalist group, you are going to have to pause your activities in the group. And so starman kinda did. He put parts of things on pause on paper but he was still basically running the group.
The poster went on to describe Dillon, who they say encouraged the group to engage in acts of murder and terror such as “actual bombings.” They go on to write:
To keep to group running, he relied on two people who were decent leaders. The first of these guys was Dillon. Dillon is a 30 year old vet who is also a furry. One big question is what dillon does in the military. One guy says he does communications, the next guy says he does artillery. He has shown a serious understanding of advanced physical security, and importantly, he demonstrated serious knowledge on the topics of social engineering and infiltration.
From day one, dillon was known to be a bit more extreme. I remember his first talk on skype, where he opened with “if we ever have to fight a war, we have got to fight dirty.” He wanted to push the group into a more radical direction, and never stopped showing this. Dillon was close to starman. Apparantly he even bought starman a serious amount of milsurp. The two got along well, but dillon was the more radical of the two.
Enter the Texan, Thomas:
The second guy who was in charge while starman was out was Thomas. Thomas well, has always been a bit distant from everyone in the group save people in texas. This isn’t to unexpected, he is the texas state leader. However, Thomas loves the role of leadership. he WANTS it desperately. He is willing to do anything to get to the top. I can somewhat relate, the feeling of power can be pretty intoxicating, but Thomas would do anything to get it. Thomas never really but heads with starman, but he clearly wanted his role as leader from day one.
Now where was I, oh yes starman is dealing with family issues. He needs to put the group on hold, so he sets his two best organizers, Dillon, Thomas and ghoul (the guy who left TRS), to the tasks. He lays out a set of instruction for them to follow as to what to do with the group, and then went off for a while. Now this is when the bulk of the group started getting into motion. It was still starman’s plan to get everything moving like this, but dillon and thomas got the credit and the respect of the members. They got the power.
Thomas then moved to push Starman out of the organization:
Not long after his return, it became clear that Thomas and Dillon wanted that power back. Thomas was really direct about it as I recall, while Dillon kind of kept on the sidelines about everything. The real shitstorm began when the twitter account was handed over to another member. Thomas began to go through the accounts, and found a spot where thomas had apparantly been sending hentai to a friend from several years beforehand. This was a legitimately bad mark on the part of starman, but not enough to eject him from power. Thomas needed something absolutely horrible to completely de-legitimize him in the face of AV members, and he got it. Instead of telling the truth about what was sent, he claimed that the locked rar file of hentai was actually CP to the members, and used to to leverage for the ejection of starman. He even made up false CP claims and told them to a number of people outside of the group on numerous occasions. Thomas then exploited the stories of him being an edgy teen to make him look way stupider than he actually was in the face of the group. Granted, starman could get pretty edgy, but he was never what thomas made him out to be.
Now that starman was out of the way, AV needed a new leader. Its not entirely clear what happened, but it was not Thomas who became the commander. Remember dillon, our not-a-federal-agent who encouraged borderline terrorist activity? He took the position, shoving Thomas down to a vice slot. For a person who sounds stupid as fuck over the microphone, I will give him credit, he is probably the smartest guy in the group. Using Thomas to do the dirty work, slip into his position, and then give him a vice position as a “pat pat good doggy” type reward? Very clever.
Others claimed that the charges about Starman sharing what amounted to child pornography where in fact true. A poster on IronMarch.org wrote:
When our Skype chat was infiltrated, it was brought to our attention that Starman was playing these sick hentai games on Steam. At first, I blindly defended him and made up the excuse that the meme was fake. I looked at the meme for 5 minutes and realized that it was actually real. I confront Starman about it and told him that he needed to repent of his sin. As time went on, I randomly talked to one of my buddies (who also is still in AV) about the hentai situation. He then proceeded to tell me that he found a bunch of DMs in the AV instagram account that were damning and disgusting.
I asked him to send me screen caps of the DMs so I could verify the authenticity of the accusations. After that, I told my state leader that if Starman wasn’t going to step down, then I was going to take matters into my own hands. As time went on, it became clear that Starman was going to continue with is leadership role in AV, so I left and exposed the degeneracy.
“Starman,” founder of American Vanguard was driven from power in part due to his underage porn stash being discovered.
But around the time of Unite the Right, Thomas launched a coup against Dillon. According to SplinterNews:
Lately, the organization has seen a bit of internal drama. [Dillon] Hopper has publicly accused someone named “Thomas” of seizing control of Vanguard America’s servers and attempting a digital coup. It was during this chaotic time that Fields was photographed marching with the group in Charlottesville.
Directly after Unite the Right, which Thomas attended and was seen marching in the front of the Vanguard American formation, the group made a public statement that Fields was not a member, however this move was rightfully seen as a way to avoid being associated and legal consequences. The linking in the popular imagination between Vanguard America and Unite the Right however, led to the splitting of VA with its British section, British Vanguard:
Angered that he could not take over the social media apparatus of Vanguard America or its server, Thomas then decided to form his own group, and posting on the Discord server named, “The Southern Front,” wrote on August 30th the new name and intentions of Patriot Front. Thomas then called on Vanguard America members in the Texas and Florida area that were close to him to join the new formation.
Thanks for an antifascist informant within the Discord server, IGD was able to get screenshots of the entire conversation throughout the Server, which was operational from before Unite the Right, until after the protest at the anarchist bookfair. The conversation is ripe with the use of anti-black and racist slurs, neo-Nazi references and images, memes praising white supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof, as well as support for violent action and activity, which in the media Vanguard America has stated that is eschews.
After the Announcing of the Creation of “Patriot Front”:
Quoting and Giving Praise to Dylann Roof:
Since its inception, Vanguard America and proceeding iterations have sought to become a security force for the wider Alt-Right and neo-Nazi movement. This evidenced by its push to provide security at the National Policy Institute (NPI) conference in 2016, for Richard Spencer at the “Free Speech” rally in Washington DC, at Unite the Right, in Gainesville, Florida on October 19th, and finally at the proposed “anti-Communism” rally in Charlotte, North Carolina in December 28th.
Along with Vanguard America another group has attempted to provide security for Alt-Right, far-Right, and neo-Nazi events is Anti-Communist Action, or AntiCom. Anti-Communist Action attempts to pull from reactionary libertarian imagery, mimicking antifascist symbols while using “anarcho-capitalist” colors and flags, as well as helicopter references to the dictator Pinochet dropping political dissents to their deaths. While its leadership and rank-n-file is largely white nationalist, its imagery attempts to pull in those on the far-Right that may or may not be fully committed to white supremacist politics.
One such member of AntiCom wrote to IGD with the desire to expose the organization and claimed they were part of a coup which took control of the group’s Twitter account. Claiming that they did not support the neo-Nazi direction the group was going after Unite the Right, they expressed a desire to expose the group. What follows is the individual’s responses to our questions over email. We find these exchange helpful, because it shows the connection between groups like Vanguard America and AntiCom with leaders like Richard Spencer, who depend on them for security and protection:
I was thrown out of the organization because I refused to agree to associate our brand with Richard Spencer and the bullshit of charlottesville. Essentially what happened is after charlottesville our leadership decided to become closer to groups like vanguard america, the TWP, and Identity Everopa. I strongly objected that idea but leadership ignored me. I didn’t join the group to be involved with neo nazis. As a result of this disagreement myself and a few other members staged a coup against the leadership and took over the twitter account (Look at the pinned tweet they have up on their account). Eventually the leadership got control of the account back and then talked with me and 2 other leaders in the account takeover/coup via our private discord server and threw me out and then began posting a bunch of bullshit about me within the group about how they were going to find me.
When asked how the group funded itself:
No major donors but they do get funding through the sale of merchandise you can find on their site as well as through crowd funding sites like patreon. Member dues were enacted by the leadership despite the overwhelming vote of the staff and myself against it. Which is part of what lead to our attempted coup against the leadership and the brief takeover of the group twitter account by us.
On leadership and shot callers:
Verm – Admin on discord he lives in the netherlands
Pepe – Founder of the group. He lives in nc near monroe based on the area code. He also spends alot of time in charlotte NC. His face is visible in the Vice News footage from their cville documentary he is the one in the torch march carrying the ACA flag. (Yes he is very young but he knows how to organize rather well)
Wraithsalts – Real name unknown lives in washington state.
EyeAxeye – Lives in CA near nevada and works for an IT company. Also an admin for the outer heaven /pol discord.
Skrrt – not much I can tell you about him he was new when I left but he is very loyal to the main leader pepe
We are also looking into a possible merger with the RAM (Rise above movement) in california though it was only being talked about when I was purged.
When asked to speak on the subject of the group planning or encouraging violence:
ABSOLUTELY. Our members typically go to events carrying concealed weapons (Pistols if its legal to carry at the location) and body armor. Richard Spencer and Vanguard America and the other Cville groups selected our members at charlottesville to work vehicle security and had them help extract their members onto the buses when the national guard was deployed and everyone was trying to leave. We were selected for that role for a reason.
Currently they are planning a rally on the UNC campus in charlotte NC for december 28th. The rally will include a Cville style Tiki march (Despite my and other members objections due to the nazi connotations to a torch march). The speakers for the event are expected to include Lauren Southern, Baked Alaska, Richard Spencer, and possibly Nathan Damigo and Based Stickman. Though our twitter takeover did turn off a few of these speakers. Currently Leadership is working to repair the damage we did. Despite objections of many members the rally is still going ahead as planned. All our members who are going will be armed and openly carrying weapons where possible at the venue.
When asked about the major associations and splits within the Alt-Right:
This I can tell you more about. IE and Anticom are considered almost sister ORGs due to the fact that our members traveled and stayed in the same houses at Cville.
After the Cville event our members hid out in a safe house run by IE and one of our members VenusFrost (Blonde ACA female member in the photos from Cville) personally administered first aid to Baked Alaska after he was maced in the safe house.
The main split in ACA was between leadership and now purged members like myself who did not wish to associate with neo nazis. Due to the purge however I would say its mostly resolved now. Since Cville most of the older members have either left or have been purged like myself. Currently I would say that most new members are coming from mostly nazi type backgrounds and groups more than anything else.
When asked about why groups were mobilizing in Charlotte:
The reason for a rally there is because leadership cannot get any other venue to host such an event. Universities have free speech obligations they have to meet. The reason for Charlotte NC being the place for the rally is obvious. They are bringing in fashy nazi speakers to upset the BLM activists who are there in the hopes of getting national attention. The irony is lauren southern wants to keep her involvement under wraps because of the nazi guest speaker list.
How these groups will continue to organize:
Its moving in the direction of absorbing nazi orgs that are almost defunct such as VA and IE and growing into a movement that communicates less online and more IRL.This is partly due to discords crackdown on servers that violate the TOS. Though I would say discord is going to still play a critical role for the foreseeable future. Currently there just isn’t another service like it that offers so many features. For the most part we have started IRL recruitment by reaching out to groups like the outlaw hammerskins, the 3%ers and other militia type groups to bolster our numbers were still somewhat small but our connections to these groups have helped us organize a large force like you and the media saw at Cville.
On the main AntiCom leader, “Pepe”:
For Cville it would have been our leader pepe. The unicorn riot leak of the planning server shows a great deal of how that went down. The main organizing is done typically via discord due to its security. The leaders of each organization have private servers that they use to communicate with each other our leader pepe also has the cell #’s of spencer, anglin, and of a few milita groups. Text is typically only used sparingly and when group leaders are attempting to meet face to face. Discord is king for everything else.
How the groups worked together for Unite the Right:
Cville was a shit show on this front. The leaders of each group at UTR were supposed to have a voice chat conference via discord before the event but spencer skipped out on it. As a result we didn’t have security figured out for the event until the night after the torch rally. Due to our leaderships ties with spencer he volunteered us for vehicle and parking lot security. This upset alot of members since we wanted to be with the oathkeepers near the front lines working security but our leadership put their foot down on dissent and made the decision for us.
When asked if people are mad of Spencer always been quickly evacuated while the rank-n-file are left behind:
YES. But spencer has alot of support and he is good at rallying the more extreme members to our side. Thanks to our involvement with him the organization has taken in more nazi types and pushed out the moderate members like myself from the group. As of right now ACA is on its way to becoming another skinhead type group thanks in large part to the pro spencer members in the leadership. There is still a chance it could move away from him but currently I don’t see that happening anytime soon unless a drastic shakeup happens in the leadership. Time will tell really.
After this interview took place, Richard Spencer announced that he would no longer be attending the event in Charlotte, however members of AntiCom stated that were looking for another venue and will still organize an event on December 28th.
Not only is the university paying $500,000 to bring Spencer here, they are also giving Spencer’s private security almost full reign
— #NoNazisAtUF (@NoNazisAtUF) October 13, 2017
Meanwhile, in Gainesville, Florida, the school administration has not only allowed Richard Spencer to speak at the campus, but also given him control over who gets tickets as well as over security, providing an official sanction to rank-n-file violent neo-Nazi squads.
Screenshots of Requests for Security for Richard Spencer Events in October in Florida and in December in North Carolina:
As we can see, speakers like Richard Spencer depend on rank-n-file neo-Nazi organizations like AntiCom and Vanguard America for protection – leading to murderous results. Moreover, “Alt-Lite” speakers like Lauren Southern and others are attempting to slowly associate themselves with more outright neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
Thomas Rousseau, the 18 Year Old Commander of Patriot Front
Thomas Rousseau is the leader of Patriot Front, and was the second in command of Vanguard America under Dillion up until the fallout within the group after Unite the Right. He is currently 18 years old and lives in Texas. Rousseau also controls and monitors the activity of Patriot Front members in a variety of states, and makes them keep up a regiment of high activity. Discord is primarily used as the group’s organizing forum.
Seems Patriot Front Texas, the group that failed to storm the Houston Anarchist Bookfair last month, is coming to Gainesville. Patriot Front is a recent split from Vanguard America, the group associated with James Alex Fields Jr, who murdered Heather Heyer. #NoNazisAtUF pic.twitter.com/jPCkZshiuC
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) October 17, 2017
In November 2016 for the Coppell High School newspaper in Coppell, Texas, Thomas wrote of the Trump administration:
The racial divide between the left and the right seems heavily pronounced following the results of the 2016 Presidential Election.
The white working class came out in droves for Republican Donald Trump this election. The partisan differences between the races have been steadily increasing over the last eight years of worsening tensions.
Trump did remarkably better than the 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney in homogenous white communities, outperforming him by 13 to 17 points.
This election brought a voice back to the millions of white Americans completely forgotten by the establishment and it is now Trump’s choice to listen to that voice as president. The mantle of anger rested on Trump’s shoulders now must become the mantle of change.
The voting base of the right, and to some degree the left also, has been further right than the politicians that they have been settling for. This seismic shift marks what I believe is a true change in how the American populous have chosen to be represented.
Whites in America, fresh off eight years of President George W. Bush then another eight years of President Barack Obama, feel more disaffected than ever and have made their voice heard loud and clear in the marble halls of Washington.
Months before in February, Thomas wrote in the same student newspaper:
If you look at who wins Oscars proportionally, then you will find that while blacks are represented with similar numbers to their population in the United States, it is actually Latinos and Asians that are underrepresented. Yet contrary to this, the black community has failed to talk about those who actually do have reason to be boycotting, and made it purely a black issue.
A shot of Thomas in 2014 with his family.
Organizations like Vanguard America (which is still organized across the US), splinter groups like Patriot Front, and even the most hardcore neo-Nazi formations like Atomwaffen Division, are all ideologically committed to fascism and national socialism. At the same time, they also want to be connected and move within the larger Alt-Right and far-Right, which has somewhat less baggage, and some access to media and establishment conservatism. This is why they chose to to security for people like Richard Spencer, because they want access to a much broader audience. Also, people like Spencer know that without the rank-n-file neo-Nazis acting as his police force, they won’t be able to get that far. In short, both camps need each other.
The partial consensus that emerged from Center and liberal circles following the Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville: that ‘civil society’ would reign in the Alt-Right and fascist currents, has been shot to shit. If anything, civil society: the State, the media, settler democracy, and police, have normalized and excepted fascist and white supremacist groups as simply an allowed part of the political landscape. As Buzzfeed has shown, this is not new, as white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Alt-Right have long been getting a pass from major news media outlets and the Trump administration. Furthermore, Centrist and liberal media are still lining up around the block to hand people like Richard Spencer a microphone. The recent photo op in Chancellorsville is a prime example. In short, what Charlottesville has done for us as anarchists and antifascists, is not validation in the eyes of the mainstream media or even the ‘progressive Left,’ but instead created an opportunity to talk with and organize alongside everyday people around us. The same reason we are demonized is the same reason we are respected: we are willing to fight and take risks.
The good news it that what is needed to combat fascism and auxiliary far-Right white supremacist groups is the same thing that is needed in regards to building a broad revolutionary movement: the creation of relationships and capacities outside of political parities, capital, and recuperative reformist organizations.