Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, Featured
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On Thursday, October 19th, neo-Nazi leader Richard Spencer, one of the main organizers of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, will speak at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Along side Richard Spencer will also be two other white supremacists, Mike “Enoch” Peinovich of The Right Stuff podcast network, and Eli Mosley, leader of the group Identity Evropa.
Several neo-Nazi groups that attended Unite the Right have also recently been tapped to provide the security, and the university is allowing Spencer to give them free reign. While the university is not sponsoring Richard Spencer’s event, they are paying upwards of half a million dollars in order to provide him extra security, allowing Spencer to control who gets tickets in order to keep out potential protesters, and also are strictly regulating (and shutting down entire sections of) both the campus as well as items that people can have on their person. Furthermore, a state of emergency has been declared, which will make it easier for police from across the region to come to the campus and help facilitate a large neo-Nazi event.
At a time when poor and working-class communities across Florida are still rebuilding from hurricane Irma, one has to ask: how can the State and the university go to such lengths to facilitate an event by known neo-Nazis? Why are they marshaling so much money and resources to stop possible resistance to fascists and racists but couldn’t help people in the middle of a disaster? The answer is clear: the State is not neutral. The State is more concerned about putting down resistance from below than with the violence that grows out of the Alt-Right, neo-Nazi, and white nationalist groups that has risen up under the Trump administration. In short, the government is more concerned with people fighting white supremacy than it is with white supremacy, just as it was more focused on protecting private property during the hurricane than in saving the lives of everyday people.
Richard Spencer, his neo-Nazi followers, and his legal team which threatened to sue the University of Florida (which put up no fight) in order to gain access to the campus, view Gainesville as a testing ground. After the University of Florida folded, another university in Ohio buckled under their pressure and moved to allow Spencer space at a university in Cincinnati. Spencer hopes to continue this strategy across the United States, gaining access to public schools under the threat of neo-Nazi muscle, online troll storms, and future lawsuits.
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) October 17, 2017
Non-profits and ‘extremist’ watch organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) implore people to either ignore neo-Nazis on campus or turn towards school administrators for help. But each and every time students do this, we see that this strategy places people only in more danger. At UC Berkeley during Milo’s failed “Free Speech Week,” administrators paid almost a million dollars to facilitate a non-permitted event that lasted only 15 minutes. Meanwhile, Alt-Right trolls, neo-Nazis, and Milo fans attacked people on the street, harassed Leftist groups, and blanketed the campus with racist and reactionary slogans and flyers. In Charlottesville the night before Unite the Right, unarmed students were attacked by hundreds of neo-Nazis with torches, and faced no sizable opposition. In Seattle on January 20th, two Milo Yiannopoulos supporters shot an antifascist, almost killing them. Clearly, when we ignore the Alt-Right and give them control over the streets, they find those least likely to fight back and attack them. Not confronting them leads simply – to more violence.
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) October 17, 2017
For police and university administrators, these acts of violence, harassment, and intimidation have become the “new normal,” and their larger concerns lay squarely on managing, containing, and stopping community based resistance. Because of this, both the Alt-Right and local authorities often find common cause, as evidenced in both Berkeley and Charlottesville, where police worked closely with the Alt-Right and traded information about how to thwart antifascist and community groups. As the old saying goes, cops and Klan, hand in hand.
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) October 16, 2017
To save face, local universities and city governments often double down on talk of “diversity” and respecting “multiculturalism,” while at the same time, bending over backwards to give a platform to people dedicated to destroying those ideals. Examples of this abound, from “unity” campus events which seek to divert people away from potentially rowdy demonstrations, to music events intended to “heal divisions” and regain credibility to illegitimate power structures, to the setting up of powerless ‘advisory’ boards. In this way, we see that both the ‘multiculturalism’ of settler democracy as well as the fascism of the auxiliary Alt-Right – to really be two sides of the same coin.
With this in mind, both talk of ‘diversity’ from the institutions and ‘free speech’ from the fascists is meaningless; behind such empty sloganeering, the real question is who has the force at their disposal to advance their agenda. Ironically however, success on the end of the fascists comes only through colluding with the State in order to get police protection. Without the State, the Alt-Right is powerless. This is why in Charlottesville their entire strategy relied on developing a relationship with the police, and the neo-Nazis even expected that police would “clear” counter-demonstrators. On the other hand, the State succeeds only in either beating down or placating potential resistance from proletarians. To state it plain, we and the resistance that is collectively and individually generated, are the main force at work in these situations. While we may feel at times powerless, it is we who ultimately hold the most power above all other actors; those who in turn attempt to contain and subdue us. We are the real engine at work, and we can shut things fucking down. Let us not delude or forget that power.
The enemy is white supremacy!
All out for Gainesville!
No Nazis at UF!
Who is Richard Spencer?
Richard Spencer is the son of two wealthy Republicans who attended private and ivy league schools, before starting a career as a journalist for various right-wing publications, such as The American Conservative and then Taki’s Magazine. After drifting towards paleoconservatism, Spencer then began to formulate a more explicitly white nationalist vision, which he termed the “Alternative Right.” Along with mainstays like Jared Taylor of American Renaissance and Peter Brimelow of V-DARE, Spencer argued that an all white ethno-state needed to be created within North America, that blacks and other people of color were intellectually and genetically inferior to white people, and that people within the Alt-Right should push for policy changes such as forced sterilizations, which amounted to “peaceful ethnic cleansing.”
During the Trump campaign, Spencer moved more into the limelight, and also made steps to join forces with more outwardly neo-Nazi formations. This included Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer, Mike Penovich of The Right Stuff, and also Matthew Heimbach of the Nationalist Front. In May of 2016, Spencer was video taped giving a Nazi salute at a Dallas bar while Milo Yiannapoulos sang, “America the beautiful.” In November, his followers gave Nazi salutes while Spencer screamed, “Hail Trump!” at a conference. Spencer was also one of the main organizers of the Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville, which brought together neo-Confederate, Alt-Right, KKK, and neo-Nazi groups.
Neo-Nazis at the National Policy Institute Conference give up salutes as Richard Spencer screams, “Hail Trump!”
Spencer openly uses anti-black, anti-queer, and racist slurs in his podcasts, and often speaks about the “Jewish Question.” Spencer is known for his cowardice, and at all demonstrations and events has on hand a security team which is often seen protecting or evacuating him from any sign of danger. Spencer also has access to vast amounts of wealth, receiving millions in subsidies from the US government because his family owns a cotton farm.
Also Speaking: Mike “Enoch” Peinovich and Eli Mosley from Unite the Right
Speaking with Richard Spencer at the Gainesville campus will be Mike “Enoch” Peinovich and Eli Mosley, the leader of the neo-Nazi group, Identity Evropa.
Mike Peinovich gives a Nazi salute at a rally near Pikeville, Kentucky in April 2017.
As we wrote back in May of Peinovich:
Mike Peinovich, who resides in New York, is a leader within The Right Stuff (TRS) neo-Nazi podcast network and has produced his own podcasts with several other Alt-Right personalities. Under Peinovich’s leadership, the show moved to openly use racial slurs and horrific Holocaust references, such as “Put ’em in the Oven.”
Under Peinovich, TRS also began to promote openly genocidal and exterminationist ideas, especially regarding African Americans and Jewish people.
After a round of infighting with other online neo-Nazi forums, however, all of the show’s leadership had their personal information reviewed. Mike “Enoch” suddenly became known by his real name, Mike Peinovich, and was exposed to be someone who worked in the tech sector and, surprisingly, had a Jewish wife who had even come on Mike’s podcasts.
After it came out that Peinovich was a full on neo-Nazi, he divorced his wife and came out more about his racist activism. Soon after, Peinovich was quickly recruited by Richard Spencer for more aggressive street action and public speaking events.
After the murder of Heather Heyer, Peinovich stated on a podcast along with Richard Spencer and Eli Mosley that her accused murderer, neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, deserved “a medal.” He stated:
“As far as the cat lady that was killed… this is the police’s fault for failure to control their own streets.”
“He added: “I don’t give a s–t about this dead cat lady. Whatever. The world is a better place. But the murderer is not the driver of the car. … He did nothing wrong. Frankly, he should get a medal. Let’s be honest. But legally he did nothing wrong.”
Eli Mosley at Unite the Right. Behind him is James Alex Fields, Jr, who would go on to be arrested for the murder of Heather Heyer later that day.
Eli Mosley, real name Elliot Kline, is a former Proud Boy and is the current leader of Identity Evropa and was one of the main organizers behind Unite the Right. Kline was deeply involved in the organizing and security of the event, mobilized rank and file neo-Nazis over internet platforms for the event, worked with law enforcement to plan security, and also helped lead the tiki torch march which attacked a small group of unarmed students.
Writing for the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer he wrote:
So what does this event mean in our struggle for total Aryan Victory? This is a sign that we have moved into a new era in the Nazification of America. Normie Trump supporters are becoming racially aware and Jew wise. They are willing to stick up for themselves side by side with Nazis without being adverse to violence. The police departments are begging for the return of law and order and love jokes about hooked-nose merchants, but need our help in getting strongmen elected so they can do their jobs.
Moving forward we must continue to have a presence at these rallies or organize them ourselves to attract normies to redpill them in person. We need to continue to show the cops that the Nazis are the good guys, and help them elect local officials who will let them once again curbstomp undesirables.
Spencer is Bringing in Neo-Nazi Groups to Do Security, and Sanctioned by the University
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
On top of forking out half a million to bring Spencer to the campus, the university is also giving Spencer almost full reign to bring in private security. This same practice was seen on the Auburn campus, where Matthew Heimbach and various other neo-Nazis showed up in paramilitary like gear to defend Spencer.
We can't forget the Texas Patriot Front crew he's attracting. The same group that tried storming a bookfair. An offshoot of the group that associated with Heather Heyer's murderer#NoNazisAtUF pic.twitter.com/oTa7b8AcZ3
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) October 17, 2017
In released screenshots of online conversations, IGD showed that violent neo-Nazi groups such as Anti-Communist Action and Vanguard America are planning on attending the event and providing security for Spencer, much as they have in the past. Patriot Front, an off-shoot of Vanguard America, has also stated that they are coming to offer security for Spencer.
Chillingly ironic, an org whose rep described himself as a "school shooter" in prep for Cville was approached by Spencer for security at UF pic.twitter.com/tphdNTq3vp
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) October 16, 2017
Recently, blogs and news websites such as Restoring the Honor and Unicorn Riot have reported that one Spencer bodyguard in particular, is also a National Guardsman.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) October 17, 2017
University is Paying over $500,000 to Protect Spencer and Will Shut Down Key Student Services as a State of Emergency Brings in More Police
Much as with the recent talks in Berkeley with Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos, the university will shut down vital student services in order to better police the campus. This again flies in the face of the talk of the university that they want to keep students safe. According to Unicorn Riot:
After legal threats led the University of Florida to agree to host neo-nazi speaker Richard Spencer, local officials have stated that they expect to spend over $500,000 on security despite only being able to charge a fraction of that cost to host the event. The school had previously cancelled a speaking event by Spencer in September citing safety concerns, but Spencer’s event has now been officially confirmed as taking place on October 19th.
One of the University of Florida’s top doctors recently told the Washington Post that the security operation to protect Richard Spencer on October 19 involves closing a major outpatient clinic and surgery center, disrupting students’ ability to access medical services. No student group at the University of Florida has invited Spencer, who is simply renting space for his own private event.
Through public records requests sent to city officials in Gainesville, Unicorn Riot has obtained documents that shed light on police preparations to create a safe space for Spencer and his supporters, who are expected to be met with thousands of anti-racist counter-protesters.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) October 16, 2017
On Friday, October 6, Gainesville Police were looking to finalize a Mutual Aid Agreement that would bring outside law enforcement from all over Florida into town on October 19 to protect Spencer and his white nationalist fans from anti-racist counter-protests. Senior Assistant City Attorney Lee C. Libby forwarded the agreement for review to the city’s Risk Management departing, writing “GPD is trying to get this out to the Florida Police Chief’s Association before lunch so they can finalize mutual aid assistance for the Richard Spencer event.”
While the language in the memorandum makes reference to the “enthusiastic exercise of free speech” by both white supremacists and anti-racists, the nature of the police mission is spelled out clearly as “providing security for the Richard Spencer and/or National Policy Institute event.” The generic agreement, with blank spaces to be filled in by each assisting Florida agency, requests “operational assistance…for security planning, training, execution, and post-event law enforcement operations.”
We Need to Oppose the neo-Nazis in Mass Numbers
Poor and working-class people face a barrage of attacks on a daily basis, communities of color most especially. On all levels, we are told by those in power, from the heads of the Democratic Party to the Trump administration, that we need to let them handle the disaster of industrial capitalism. But all around us, things just keep getting worse. From the lack of response to ever growing disasters, to the slow deadly grind of neoliberalism that is destroying our communities, our lives, and the living environment, the established order has only one answer: business as usual. Meanwhile in the background, groups of fascists and white nationalists are attempting gain power in the shadow of Trump’s growing debacle while pushing policy, as neo-Nazi and far-Right parties are on the march worldwide.
In the face of growing reactionary violence, we have to come together and get organized. We have to recognize the calls to “ignore them and they’ll go away” for what they are – distractions from the task at hand. We can’t ignore white supremacist violence, we have to mobilize in mass numbers across our communities to route them out. The more of us there are, the safer we are in driving them from the streets.
The fascists have the State, we have each other.