Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Southwest
This report from Antifascist Action Phoenix details how people mobilized against ‘New Right’ troll Milo Yiannopoulos, and the lies and shenanigans that developed on the side of the Right in response.
Hello to everyone from the desert of southern so-called Arizona! We are Antifascist Action Phoenix and we’ve come to fill you in our efforts to shut down the first tour date for Milo Yiannopoulos’ new tour in the so-called united states. We put in many hours worth of work and researching; finding his shell companies, his “tactics,” and calling a few promotion companies in the valley. In the end it came down to an entire community effort that eventually got Milo closed out again.
About a month back one of our members started trolling and gathering intelligence on the College Republicans United at ASU because we came across an event that they were going to be hosting on February 23rd; A Night With Milo. Through further investigation, we found that the club had split from the main College Republicans at Arizona State University. The reason for the split, as we found out through a twitter argument on the founding members account, was due to harassment and the fact that the CRU are a ragtag bunch of fascist devotees and alt-right bootlickers.
Milo has tried to come through Phoenix twice before. Most recently was just this past October when he was invited out for a free speech event. We shut it down after appealing to the location promoter. In a “hail Mary” attempt they moved it all the way out to the far west valley in a sketchy, dark, dank dive bar located across the street from the bastion of death and destruction owned by the US military. The reasoning for the cancellation, according to the hosting group, was that they couldn’t find the appropriate level of security for Milo. It wasn’t the fact that every venue they contacted throughout the valley, over 70 of them in total, would not host him or them. Milo knew that he had to change his tactics in order to speak in the US. He announced on his YouTube channel that he would do exactly as he had done on his tour in Australia; keep the venue a secret till the day of or the day before so that no opposition could be formed to shut down the venue.
We sat down and opened up the event page and to our chagrin the CRU had included on the page not one but both promoters for the event; XVSocial and Scottsdale Nights. We started gathering up all the pertinent contact information and started our Twitter and fedbook campaign. We put both the promotion companies’ and a few of their main staff contact info up on our social media platforms about three times every other day and the good peeps of the interwebs did the rest.
About two weeks after the campaign started we went out to the main club area of Scottsdale and posted fliers around the different clubs that used XVSocial and Scottsdale Nights for promotion work. We heavily flyered one particular club under construction because they had direct ties to the main promoter for XVSocial, they were the Riot Hospitality Group. We posted a pic of the flyering and tagged them on fedbook and Twitter.
We received an immediate response from the Marketing Director of RHG about the fliers and wanting to know who a Milo was. After looking up Milo for themselves and us sharing pictures of Milo the Marketing Director told us, “we absolutely do not share his beliefs. I also wanted to let you know that I spoke to my boss and he completely agreed with us letting go of the promoter. I just hung up with him and let him go.” In two weeks not only had the promoters backed out but one of the main promoters from XVSocial was sacked by RHG but still, sadly, no venue. According to the info we received from XVSocial and the Marketing Director of RHG the show was canceled and Milo would not be coming through town. We threw up a congratulatory post and went to bed elated. That’s when Milo took over for Alex Jones for a few days.
Tuesday the 20th of February we woke up to the video from the InfoWars supplement salesman, a.k.a Milo, whining about the fact that the production companies backed out due to threats and ‘antifa violence.’ According to Milo, “…Intimidating men then rang his home doorbell and started threatening his girlfriend. His girlfriend is now terrified. They phoned every venue that he has ever worked with in the past or works with currently. And antifa has been tweeting him every 10 minutes, all day every day, with threats of physical violence and death threats against him and anybody that comes to his shows. With the result that one venue has already canceled their relationship with him. Antifa has threatened to take this guys livelihood away for the crime of hosting me…”
The allegations of violence and death threats were fraudulent and unfounded. The only actions taken are the ones listed in the last paragraph. Milo used his ability to rile his base to create anger and hatred and sell even more tickets to an event with no venue. He also assured his viewers and readers not to worry that “the show would go on,” and he would still be in Phoenix on the 23rd. The next 72 hours was spent figuring out where the venue was and who the new promoter was.
24 hours before the event Milo made his next announcement, he was pushing the “almost sold out” speaking engagement back a week to March 2nd. Milo assured his audience that there was no issue with the venue but the “new promoter” needed more time to prepare. Milo flew to D.C. for a February 24th speaking engagement at an event hosted by Mike Cernovich. That’s when we picked up on a red flag with this “new promoter.”
We hopped onto the ticket sales web page once run by XVSocial and found that they were removed and replaced by Modern Talent Agency. We started scouring the web for any pertinent information on this talent agency and kept getting brought back to Modern Talent USA, a mid-west promotional event staffing company with locations all over the mid-west and Denver, Co. It seemed unlikely that this was the group doing the promotion.
At this time one of our members came across a comrade from the east coast who was thinking about coming out to Milo’s show to interview him for a book. We contacted them and they were willing to help us with any information that they could glean, and with what they had. In one of the emails from the “new promoter/talent agency” we noticed something oddly familiar about the header; it was the exact same header as Modern Talent USA. Looking more at the email we saw that the address listed was in California. From what we knew about Modern Talent USA that didn’t make sense they were only listed in the mid-west and Colorado, nothing on their web page or social media presence about a new California office. We looked up Modern Talent Agency on fedbook and came up with a page created back at the beginning of February with a different logo, a crap blurb about hosting speakers from the entire political spectrum, no posts from them, and links to their newly created Instagram page. In a joint effort we reached out to Modern Talent USA and Modern Talent Agency to see if they knew about Milo. Modern Talent USA denied any connection to Milo while Modern Talent Agency kept up the facade as being a talent agency and promotion company.
We looked at what we had in regards to Modern Talent Agency and Modern Talent USA and ran with it. We posted to social media the damning information about them lifting Modern Talent USA’s company header for all of their email correspondence. The very next day they and the CRU were removed from the ticket page and from the fedbook event. Milo had to come up with another shell company.
This time Milo, lacking creativity and out of desperation, named the promotion company A Night With Milo LLC. According to what he posted to the event page initially this LLC was registered in Flagstaff, AZ. It then changed to being a dual LLC with friends of his in Texas and Colorado. We started searching the listings with the Secretary’s of State for Arizona, Colorado, Texas, California, and his home state of Florida for A Night With Milo LLC. There were no such listings within the last 30 days.
Milo kept spinning his tangled web of lies and deceit. He kept pushing the story that the venue was secured and that general admission seating was almost sold out. He really wanted his followers to purchase the higher priced tickets to guarantee their seat. Then he started pushing that the cocktail seating was sold out but that you could still get general admission standing room tickets. That changed one more time to all general admission seating was completely gone but that the venue was opening up more cocktail seating so get them before they were gone. He stuck with that story until March 1st.
The afternoon of March 1st, Milo posted a pic to his Instagram of a post to the event page from someone in Scottsdale, AZ. In the post the person said exactly what we had been thinking all along, “They (sic) event planners were very cryptic in their communications.” Milo wasn’t being truthful to the venue managers and was doing his utmost to weasel his way in without being honest with them as to who he was to secure a venue. Once they figured out who they were working with one of the vendors contacted a friend and told them exactly what had been happening. This friend then took to the Milo fedbook event page to let all the Milo sycophants know what had actually been transpiring.
The person from Scottsdale made four points but it was the last point they made in their post that was the nail in the coffin, “My contact had a bad feeling about this event and wanted to get the word out for the safety of people our people. (sic) This is a big Milo event taking place in a highly populated area of the valley, with a bar available, and on a Friday. NOBODY knew about this event… not event (sic) the cops. They do now and were developing a safety strategy at midnight.” This person had called Scottsdale P.D., got a response, and Milo panicked.
Again, 24 hours before the event, Milo took to the event page and announced that the event was canceled. According to the very detailed press release Milo posted that the “Scottsdale Police informed the promoter and venue,” that the cancellation was in response to Scottsdale P.D. receiving a credible death threat to his life and had “forbidden” them “from proceeding with this event.” The press release went on to include information as to what SPD considered a credible threat. A credible death threat is “one that is ‘real and immediate,’ not conjectural or hypothetical.” Milo encouraged his alt-right lemmings in the post to call SPD’s non-emergency number and they grabbed their phones and bombarded Scottsdale P.D. When word was being posted on the event page that SPD couldn’t corroborate what Milo had posted he went back to the watering hole for a new story.
The next post to the event page was “AN URGENT ADDENDUM TO PREVIOUS STATEMENT ABOUT PHOENIX EVENT,” and it completely contradicts the initial press release. According to the addendum “(T)he wording of this announcement has been agreed with Scottsdale Police Department,” in it Milo dismissed the claims from SPD. He asked his followers to stop calling SPD and retracts the previous statement removing fault to the Scottsdale Police Department. He goes on to throw an unnamed Milo staffer under the bus for the initial press release claims. He continues on to say that the employee who wrote the press release was fired. Milo gets caught in a lie.
According to this new post the staffer never spoke to Scottsdale PD. In the previous press release he wrote, “Scottsdale Police informed the promoter and venue.” A Night With Milo LLC was the promoter. Obviously this means that Milo was either contacted by SPD in regards to a death threat or there was never a threat to begin with. Milo then states in the addendum that Scottsdale P.D. contacted him for the first time Thursday before noon in regards to the claims of death threats because his followers had been calling the police department continuously. When he spoke to SPD Milo says that the Venue Scottsdale informed him about SPD already being contacted and that the venue said that SPD was forcing the cancellation of the event. SPD takes this info and then calls the Venue Scottsdale to try to unravel what is going on.
When a detective from Scottsdale Police Department called the venue’s manager, based in Las Vegas, at around Noon local time today, to check details about the event, a female employee responded: ‘The event has been canceled because Milo is controversial.” Based on that quote we know for fact that before SPD called The Venue Scottsdale management before Noon on March 1st the event had already been canceled. Instead of telling his fans the truth initially, Milo chose to con, shill, and continue to sell tickets to as many people as he could before getting caught and his bluff being called.
While we all put in a lot of time and did a lot of leg work for getting Milo canceled and would love to accept the congratulatory applause from everyone we absolutely have to give credit where credit is due. This wasn’t just AFA PHX, this was local businesses standing up, independent journalists lending a hand from the East Coast, and an entire community coming together to tell Milo that he is not welcome here.
Milo has to understand that even everyday folk don’t accept his views, he does not have to be heard anywhere just because he and his fans say so. If he believes so fervently in the “marketplace of ideas” then he should understand that the marketplace has no demand for his ideas. His words and ideas spread hate and anger and they put communities at risk. He and his followers need to know that there are consequences for hate speech and rhetoric. You can’t go into a place, where you are not welcome, and speak hatefully about and to people and not expect there to be ramifications for that speech. Free speech does not equal hate speech. Three strikes and you’re out Milo! LSU it is now up to you to tell Milo, “NO PASARAN!”