Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Southeast
The following report from Richmond, Virginia details an upcoming event bringing together long-term Republican operative Roger Stone and members of the far-Right pro-Trump gang, the Proud Boys. To see previous coverage of Roger Stone using the Proud Boys as violent shock troops from the Republican party, check out this interview.
On Saturday May 4th, former Trump political adviser Roger Stone is scheduled to give a paid speech at the Southside location of Paper Moon, a local Richmond strip club. Stone is currently awaiting trial over allegations that he lied to Congress and made threats to a witness during the Mueller investigation. Stone is scheduled to appear alongside “Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis, in what may be an attempted run around his court-ordered gag about discussing his case in public. An article published by RVA Magazine lays out some of the foundations of the event.
The $25 event, which has yet to sell out, is presented as a fundraiser for Stone, indebted after his $250,000 bond and legal fees, as well as an underhanded publicity stunt by club management. The publicity element has far overshadowed the original premise of the fundraiser, and is clearly the motivating factor for other far-right figures to pile on and travel to Richmond to attend the event.
Did you know that roger Stone is coming to Paper Moon soon and Proud Boys will be doing security/attending? Stone is also a PB. Employees and Richmonder’s (including patrons of the club) are pissed but they are going forward anyways. pic.twitter.com/QFYuSgCJe1
— AntifaSevenHills ? (@ash_antifa) April 24, 2019
Meanwhile, local voices appear overwhelmingly opposed to Stone, but club management has assured the community that they don’t care and will not even acknowledge any calls being made. Nonetheless, according to management the Richmond Police Department and FBI are giving assurances that the event will be heavily protected in light of unsubstantiated “death threats.” Despite Richmond’s progressive reputation, deeply entrenched power structures and wealthy legacy governs official response, typically offering any available resources to ensure that events like this are a success.
Mike Dickinson, projects director at Paper Moon, booked the event via a mutual acquaintance according to the Daily Beast. and is seemingly unfazed by potential violence to the dance and wait staff at the club, not to mention the larger public, despite repeated requests by both staff and local activists to cancel Stone’s appearance. It appears that one dancer was even terminated over objections to working the event, but for Mike that was not enough – he saw it fit to post vile insults against her publicly, as seen in this tweet.
This abusive behavior is coming from the same person that’s hosting Roger Stone next week. This is who the sex workers at 5 of Richmond’s 6 clubs have to keep happy in order to keep their jobs. I’d love to see a unionized and worker owned strip club so we can cancel Mike D. #rva pic.twitter.com/SyIBI0VUAr
— Richmond Police (@TheQueerCrimer) April 26, 2019
This of course stands in the face of Dickinson’s consistent cries of libel and slander against him. Dickinson has been glued to his social media, under his business handle @Blackcat_events, willingly engaging, challenging, and ridiculing outspoken opponents of Roger Stone having any place in Richmond. Dickinson isn’t out for justice or political progress though, and knows he can indulge his bullying misogynist tendencies with the full backing of police and vigilante forces.
Dickinson also took an interview with the pro-Trump conspiracy website The Gateway Pundit, in which he continues his diatribe of “hypocrisy… from the left” that he claims has caused him to shift his political views away from “as liberal as anyone could get,” over just a few weeks. The question remains why a Democrat would decide to raise funds for such a notorious far-right operative. These dramatic statements are also common talking points for alt-right recruitment, especially in conjunction with his consistent antagonism towards antifascists and the left en masse.
It’s worth pointing out that this poorly-sourced article was written by the tragic Cassandra Fairbanks, and does little more than kick up dust and manufacture victimhood in an attempt to self-aggrandize in light of her pending attendance. A comment on her tweet of the article reads, “Conservative speakers should travel the country to rural areas, not necessarily to speak, but to attract Antifa protests,” providing a succinct example of this shared strategy among the far-right.
Virginia Strip Club Where Roger Stone is Set to Speak Receiving Death Threats, Promises of Antifa Protests
I spoke to the organizer of the event, who was previously a democrat — but says this has changed him.
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) May 2, 2019
The public concern for this event was amplified in light of expected attendance by members of the Proud Boys, an organization Stone has aligned himself with. Stone himself has been known to make threats of political and personal violence throughout his storied career, however he often attempts to portray progressives and leftists as violent, such as when he hired the Proud Boys as security during an Oregon Republican conference.
In February 2018, the Proud Boys posted a video on their YouTube channel showing Stone participating in the group’s 1st degree initiation, announcing “I’m a Western chauvinist. I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Stone has previously been named as “one of the three approved media figures allowed to speak” on behalf of the group according to founder Gavin McInnes, and continues to associate with the current chairman Enrique Tarrio and other Florida members, appearing with them in various videos and events, including his post-arraignment press conference. Tarrio has confirmed with The Gateway Pundit that Proud Boy members will attend the event in Richmond (notably, the author of said article is Jacob Engels, whom Stone named as one of several people who have access to Stone’s cell phone and social media accounts during a federal court appearance in Washington DC).
The Proud Boys self-describe as an all-male fraternity promoting Western civilization and culture. Known for their black and gold Fred Perry polo shirt uniforms, promoting the phrases “It’s OK to be white” and the genocidal “helicopter rides,” a direct reference to a practice used by the Chilean dictator Pinochet to silence and disappear his critics. These phrases are in kind with more explicit white supremacist formations.
While some chapters include members who have non-european heritage (Tarrio identifies as Afro-Cuban, the Richmond area crew has a black member) and attempt to declare themselves as “not racist” given their interpersonal acceptance of non-whites, the organization as a whole and particular members who’ve become notorious for violence have continued to showcase their white supremacist views.
While many Proud Boys have been documented in attendance of the 2017 Unite the Right event in Charlottesville, VA, the group’s poltical incoherence and founder Gavin McGinnes’ disavowal of the event allowed the group to evade the same level of public ire and scrutiny that caused other participant groups to falter and fragment. This allowed the groups many chapters and affiliates to inherit and amplify the theater of political violence that has developed under a far-right resurgence.
Stone is also associated with the violent group Patriot Prayer, hosting leader Joey Gibson on InfoWars during Gibson’s failed bid for U.S. Senate. Often at the center of violent far-right mobilizations along the West Coast, the group most recently traveled to attack a public celebration of May Day in Portland. After those involved promised to stalk peaceful May Day events in the city, they then attempted to frame the ordeal as a “riot” caused by antifascists.
breaking: far-right protesters and Proud Boys have arrived at Cider Riot. Cider Riot has done benefits for antifa and has also been vandalized in the past. RIOOOT. huge fight! pic.twitter.com/PKeRdYCF6d
— Mike Bivins (@itsmikebivins) May 2, 2019
Clearly, the ownership and management of Paper Moon and their supporters refuse any of their responsibility for inviting these aggressively violent factions and their enablers to Richmond. They seem to encourage any confrontation in hopes of contriving another story of victimization, all the while under the protection of local police and federal agents. That protection, as much as the invitation of the Proud Boys, is their threat of violence against community intervention. If they don’t get it, it is not out of character for Proud Boys to go out looking for a fight. Below are some of the likely attendees who neighbors of the establishment and other Richmonders should be aware of.