Filed under: Announcement, Anti-fascist, US
Richard Spencer has had his sites on colleges for some time now. In 2016 he announced what he called the “Danger Zone Tour,” trying to build on his 80s synth-pop aesthetic. After his speaking event at Texas A&M drew thousands of opponents and a few supporters, and he was able to speak despite mass protests, he thought that this would be a major opportunity for him. The Alt Right, especially groups like Identity Europa and Vanguard America, had decided to focus on college campuses for recruitment, going after a middle-income white male demographic that was both educated and upwardly mobile(until they are doxxed, that is).
After a series of platform removals and canceled appearances, Spencer and his ilk has found that publicly run facilities were much more friendly to him than private ones. As white nationalist institutions like American Renaissance (AmRen) had found out, private hotels and venues were especially vulnerable to public pressure, especially when it meant mass community boycotts and pickets. In 2010 and 2011, AmRen was canceled after the One People’s Project and other anti-fascist organizations created campaigns to have their hotels pulled. Jared Taylor, the founder of the white nationalist conference, finally rested on Montgomery Bell State Park in Tennessee that was resistant to canceling. While protests continued, organizers have been since unable to get the management to sever Taylor’s contract.
The same has largely been true for Spencer, who relies on the Ronald Reagan building in Washington D.C. for his National Policy Institute conferences. Spencer then decided to focus on state funded universities since he believes that they will be more likely to host him. After his appearance at Auburn University was canceled amid organized pressure, he sued to force his way on campus, essentially proving his point true.
Now he has again won his ability to appear on campus at the University of Florida – Gainesville, even though a coalition of student and community groups created a massive protest that did not allow him free reign to speak as he had wished.
Now Spencer intends on continuing the vision outlined in his “Danger Zone Tour” where he will continue to appear on campuses. We have collected a list of the intended universities, where students or community members from the areas are trying to bring him there to aid in organizing Alt Right student contingents.
Ohio State University
Right now this event has been canceled by the administration after student pressure, yet, as he did at Auburn, he is suing to appear.
University of Cincinnati
As it stands it looks like the Board of Trustees is going to allow Richard Spencer to speak there, saying that the university should be a “marketplace of ideas.”
Penn State University
The university president Eric Barron has officially shut this down citing safety concerns, but a student, Cameron Padgett, has now officially sued the school to allow it.
Michigan State University
This is another state school that has officially declined to allow Spencer onto campus and who he has decided to sue.
Spencer’s lawsuits are being done largely by Kyle Bristow, the white nationalist attorney who has spent years in the more vulgar wing of the supremacist movement and who is using far-right money to force campuses to host Spencer. In many cases, the university itself is left with the bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars of security costs, which come out of the already taxed bank accounts of students.
Each of these schools is a fantastic spot to begin organizing, pressuring the administration to not back down and, if he does come to campus, to shut down the events amid massive organized pressure. Organizations like No Nazis UF, the Campus Antifascist Network, and various antifa projects are set up to create this model of resistance.