Filed under: Anti-fascist, Editorials, US
Editor’s Note: The Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has canceled the Mid-Atlantic Liberty Festival. According to Steve Scheetz, one of the official organizers for both the MALF and the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party 2017 Convention (and Facebook friends with Austin Gillespie), they are currently trying to find another venue.
After IGD released an article about how Libertarian Party of Florida member and former Senatorial candidate Augustus Sol Invictus, real name Austin Gillespie, a fascist and fellow traveler within Alt-Right and neo-Nazi circles, was speaking at an upcoming Libertarian Party event in Pennsylvania, we received a flood of emails. These didn’t come from Libertarian Party officials or from Gillespie; instead they came from people within the Libertarian Party who were glad that we were finally shining a light on fascists making inroads into Libertarian circles. On Facebook however, various people connected to the Libertarian Party downplayed the article or claimed that the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania itself was not officially organizing the Mid-Atlantic Liberty Festival (MALF), or “soiree,” and thus should not be held accountable.
At the same time as this was going on, Gillespie himself issued a statement responding to the article, painting himself as a weak victim. Meanwhile, Will Coley, the former Vice Presidential Candidate for the Libertarian Party who Gillespie is set to debate, also made a statement attacking people who were pushing to shut the event down, claiming it would affect him negatively economically.
Meanwhile, new information has come forward that shows that a second fascist, friend of Gillespie, and another contributor to his website, The Revolutionary Conservative, is also scheduled to speak at the conference. Furthermore, the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania also gave $1,500 to the MALF in order to help fund it, although it appears that at some point the money was returned out of concerns about MALF by the LPPA.
Lasty, according to Alexandria Brown, a journalist that interviewed Gillespie several times and had developed a friendship with him, now claims in a recent blog post that Gillespie “raped, brutally beat, and threatened his [19 year old] ex-fianceé with a gun.”
Will the Libertarian Party continue to associate with fascist trash like Gillespie or will they draw a line?
Who is Behind Invictus?
According to anonymous individuals within the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania on social media, there is a distinction between the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPA) official convention and the MALF event, organized by individuals.
The truth however, is very clear. The MALF event is being organized by Greg Faust and Steve Scheetz, the same two official organizers of the LPPA convention, (and who are both friends with Gillespie on Facebook), according to the LPPA website. The LPPA also sent out official emails promoting both events and the official Facebook hosts both events. According to Libertarians Against Fascism:
The Soiree occurs in conjunction with the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania 2017 Convention the following day. The two events are nominally separate and linked only for marketing purposes. However, the organizers of the Soiree, Greg Faust and Steve Scheetz, are also the official LPAA organizers for the convention, according to the LPPA website. Greg’s phone number and email are listed on the facebook group promoting both the conference and the Soiree. They are both facebook friends with Invictus.
Furthermore, the LPPA has sponsored the Soiree by fronting them $1,500 [archive], with the understanding that it will be reimbursed through ticket sales. There will also be a Meet-and-Greet event organized by the Montgomery County Libertarian Party on March 30th, the previous day.
The debate itself will be hosted by The Revolutionary Conservative, Invictus’s media outlet at which Okyay is an editor. That name is a reference to the interwar German political movement that was a fellow traveller to Nazism. It’s mission statement plainly declares its goal as “the defense of the West, starting with the restoration of the American republic”. It articulates a third positionist political orientation, hostile to the twin forces of leftism and “international finance”. It hearkens back to an era of unapologetic imperial conquest.
But Gillespie isn’t the only fascist who will be coming to the MALF event and who Libertarians are embracing with open arms.
As Libertarians Against Fascism wrote:
Raquel Okyay will be speaking at the Mid-Atlantic Liberty Festival and Soiree in Harrisburg, PA…Okyay is the Region 6 Representative for Libertarian Party of Florida.
In promotional materials for MALF, Okyay is clearly identified with The Revolutionary Conservative blog which publishes openly fascist, white nationalist, and far-Right articles, and openly links to other such projects such as Red Ice TV, which have in turn, interviewed Gillespie.
Okyay has supported Augustus Invictus through his ‘career’ and now works with him on his fascist and Alt-Right blog, The Revolutionary Conservative.
Accusations of Rape and Assault from Journalist and Former Friend
According to a journalist that interviewed Gillespie twice in the past (last interview is dated on January 22nd of this year) and also established a friendship with him, Gillespie recently horrifically assaulted his much younger ex-fiance. From her tumblr account dated March 21st, 2017 [post has since been taken down, however IGD is in contact with author – content and trigger warning]:
“If you’re going to stab a tiger in the back, you’d better make
goddamn sure you kill him.”
“Adriana“ messages me on Facebook chat. She tells me Augustus Invictus posted the above on his Facebook 18 minutes ago. Augustus Invictus is a former candidate for U.S. Senator with the Libertarian party whom I interviewed twice, beginning last year, and then befriended, to the chagrin of many of my friends. At this point, when Adriana tells me he posted this to Facebook, undoubtedly aimed at Adriana and/or me,
A journalist who interviewed Gillespie twice, now claims that he brutally attacked, raped, and threatened to kill his 19 year-old ex-fiance with a gun.
Augustus is a coward. Only a coward could, as a man over 30, do this to a 19 year old girl. Yet I’m terrified to be writing this, even though he is scum and a dog and a monster in my eyes now.
Nietzsche said we must protect the strong from the weak, but I don’t think what he meant was, “we must valorize those men who bludgeon 19-year old, 118 lb. girls with a gun.”
So I am going to Jezebel. I am going to Vice. I have contacted former Libertarian candidate for Governor Adrian Wylie. Will the KKK show up at my door? I don’t know. If they do, everyone will know it was you.
Stop Fascists Augustus Invictus and Raquel Okyay
The Libertarian Party needs to decide if fascists have a place among them. As Libertarians Against Fascism wrote:
Invictus is a racist and a fascist. That is proven and settled. It’s not a debatable interpretation of his and actions, and suggesting as much only aids his attempts to muddle the definitions when he wants to play at respectability.
Debate works with people that care about discerning truth. It does not work on people who only care about power. Fascism’s appeal lies in the promise of strength through belonging. You cannot argue it into oblivion because it is so profoundly anti-rational. The way to stifle it is to deprive them of any image of power and legitimacy; to make the image it promises a transparent lie. And while there are always pathetic fascists whining in the corner, that victimhood is not what gains them recruits. They despise losers and long to be winners. Trump’s campaign presented them a credible promise of strength, and it was at that point that American fascist movements really began to snowball.
Apply this to Invictus’s own career. The Libertarian Party allowed him to catapult himself into prominence. Merely being allowed to represent it gave him the image of legitimacy. Now he’s busy networking with other fascists, running a fascist media outlet, while continuing to exploit the LP’s open offer of a platform. He already got a nomination; we ask Will Coley just how many more free lunches do we owe him before he goes away?
We shouldn’t have to explain to a libertarian that subsidies increase demand for otherwise unmarketable products. A boycott may kill this event, but it will send a valuable price signal to the LPPA and others that hosting fascists is an unprofitable venture. It may persuade the organizers to pull the plug. The hotel itself might pull the plug if they discover that they organizers are allowing fascist thugs to devalue the property with their presence.
Our belief in a free marketplace of ideas does not mean we owe every random reactionary support to boost their signal. It does not mean we owe advocates of race war and a white ethno-state the courtesy of demonstrating how they are wrong.
We live in a time in which violent fascists are exploiting libertarian ideas and twisting them to support their right-wing authoritarianism. This is not a time for equivocation or moral cowardice. We can either take a stand, or continue to be used and forever tarred by an infiltration that we did not resist.
Keep Calling! No Fascists at MALF!
Mid-Atlantic Liberty Festival
Email: [email protected]
Chair at Libertarian Party Radical Caucus
Founder / CEO / Interim Chair Pennsylvania Liberty Fund
1303 Seneca Run, Ambler PA 19002
Email: [email protected] (official event contact)
LPPA 2017 Annual Convention
Email: [email protected]
Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
Address: 3915 Union Deposit Road #223 Harrisburg, PA
Web Contact Form: https://lppa.org/index.php/actions/contact-us
LPPA Chairs and Board Members
Email: [email protected]