The following is a call from organizers on the ground for a mass mobilization in East Lansing against Richard Spencer, who is holding a talk at the Michigan State University Campus and will be busing in neo-Nazis from an Alt-Right conference in Detroit.
On Monday, March 5th at 12 NOON, hundreds will converge in East Lansing, Michigan in a mass mobilization against neo-Nazi and Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer and the systems of white supremacy, patriarchy, and fascism that he represents.
The goal of our mobilization is simple: to show that the Alt-Right, which since its creation has done nothing but carry out acts of murder, violence, and harassment while promoting the most authoritarian and reactionary policies of the Trump administration, has no place in East Lansing, or anywhere. Together, we will oppose the rise of fascism, whether it comes in white sheets or hipster haircuts.
Above all, we will defend our communities from the Alt-Right. Everywhere that Spencer goes, violence follows. From the horrific murder of Heather Heyer at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville which Spencer spearheaded, to Gainesville, Florida, where neo-Nazi goons brought by Spencer to do security for his last campus speaking event, literally opened fire on demonstrators sitting at a bus stop.
This time around, Spencer will be bringing attendees from an Alt-Right conference on March 4th in Detroit to his speaking event for extra backup. With the potential for a large Alt-Right presence that will surely be heavily protected by police, the need for a mass convergence is clear. This is all hands on deck.
To carry this convergence forward, a growing coalition entitled Stop Spencer at MSU has been hard at work doing outreach, making connections, and organizing for months, but ultimately, we need your help to make this mobilization a success.
The coalition includes community members, students, faculty, staff, and organizations from around the state. We operate under four points of unity:
- We do not work with or rely on the cops. The police defend fascists and are the foot soldiers of a white supremacist system.
- We go where they go. Wherever Spencer speaks, we will go there. We cannot ignore them or stay away. Never let the Nazis have the streets!
- We’ve got each other’s backs. Groups will have a variety of tactics and while we may not always agree, we have to stand behind each other to defeat the fascists. We will not undermine the efforts of other groups by publicly denouncing the efforts of fellow organizers or groups while the coalition is active.
- We do not work with politicians. Elections and laws don’t prevent fascists from organizing and attacking us. Folks can do what they want on their own time, but this coalition is focused on shutting down the fascists and defending our communities.
These points of unity guide us as we prepare to mobilize against Spencer and his Nazi followers.
People in East Lansing are expecting hundreds of people out on the streets, including students, community members, staff, and faculty. The fascists are going to be rolling into town the morning of March 5th from Detroit, after attending an Alt-Right conference the day before, on March 4th.
The actual speaking event is scheduled to take part inside a room which is located within the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education from 4:30-6:30 PM. The area surrounding the pavilion is largely farmland and golf courses, and moreover, there are only several entrances into the Pavilion off of two main roads. In short, we want to flood the area with people – to shut down the Alt-Right in its tracks.
On our end, we will be mobilizing up the road at a set of large parking lots, which are located at Farm Lane and Mt. Hope Road. Parking is free, and this convergence point is located less than half a mile from the campus.
What To Bring
In order for this mobilization to be a success, and moreover to shut down any potential for Alt-Right violence, we need a mass collection of people out on the streets. To do this, we need help from you in terms of getting the word out, bringing supplies, and being prepared on March 5th. Here’s what to bring:
- It’s going to be cold. Dress warm.
- Bring water and snacks. Stores, coffee, and gas stations are not far away by car, but are not within walking distance of the general mobilization point, so you will want to bring supplies with you.
- Outside of the Pavilion, there may be no bathroom access in the general area, so make sure you use the facilities and get water before hand.
- Make sure to look at a map of the area before arriving.
- Bring noise makers, signs, and banners!
- There will be a marching band and giants puppets, so if you want to participate and get creative, please do so.
How You Can Help
- Help gather and send us intelligence on the Alt-Right regarding their plans for the 4th and 5th.
- Invite people on the Facebook page and share it.
- Post up images supporting the mobilization on social media.
- Print out flyers and pass them out.
- Tell people about the mobilization and encourage them to attend.
- Get your local community group, organization, labor union, collective, faith community, or affinity group to attend the convergence.
- If you can’t make it, organize a benefit event to help us raise potential bail money. Drop a banner, wheat-paste flyers, put up slogans, or take other action in your local area to offer material solidarity.
- Share this article near and far!
- Make and design promotional materials for March 5th.
- Follow Stop Spencer on Facebook and on Twitter, as well as @IGD_News to stay up on the latest updates.
- Use the #StopSpencer hashtag when posting on social media.
– There are street medics mobilizing for the event, but we could always use more.
– The National Lawyers Guild are organizing legal observers to keep tabs on the police and the fascists.
– We are organizing some lawyers who could do jail visits and pro-bono cases, but we could always use more.
– There are efforts underway to provide food to the antifascist crowd the day-of.
– We cannot provide housing for masses of people, so consider looking at motels or other options. We are currently only able to offer housing to close friends and comrades. If this changes we will let you know.
– There’s gonna be an antifascist marching band – and puppets!
Monday, February 19th, 5:30 PM: Community Discussion on Resisting Richard Spencer
Wednesday, February 21st, 5 PM: Disrupting White Supremacy: Teach-In
Thursday, February 22nd, 7:30 PM: White Supremacy and Free Speech Teach-In
Monday, March 5th, 12 NOON: Stop Richard Spencer at MSU
The Political Context
MSU is currently in the middle of a crisis relating to a decades-long cover up of a doctor named Larry Nassar sexually assaulting and abusing girls and women. The president of the university resigned a few weeks ago and the Board of Trustees un-democratically appointed a former Republican governor and far-Right-winger to be interim president. The Faculty Senate just voted 94% “no confidence” in the Board of Trustees.
As the university stumbles its way through the current crisis, we are seeing the anti-Spencer confrontation as a way to pose an alternative, popular mobilization from below, a democratic moment in a sea of authoritarianism. The crisis has people asking, “What is the function of a big public university?,” “Who should make decisions at a public university?,” and “Who is the university for?”
Additionally, in this moment of crisis everywhere, many new friends emerge. People from the nonprofit, faith, and other more “liberal-ish” worlds are outspokenly very supportive of our plans for March 5th. Even if they are organizing a separate event, they have publicly stated that they feel our mobilization is important. We have built these relationships over years with these people in our community. And this means that there is space open politically for a truly massive anti-fascist demonstration, supported by hugely broad swaths of the community.
The mobilization on March 5th is spurred by one of the monsters of our time. But it is also an opportunity to find each other in the tide of rising fascism, and, in finding each other, discover our collective power. If we, against the plans of the bureaucrats and the police, stop Spencer from speaking, what else is possible? We dream of such a fitting commemoration for the 50th anniversary of the student rebellions of 1968, a time when students asked, and answered, similar questions.