Submitted to It’s Going Down

Milo Yiannopoulos is not off to a great start for the third leg of his “Dangerous Faggot Tour.” Kicking things off in California at UC Davis on January 13, Milo’s event was a complete disaster with protesters successfully shutting down the event before it even had a chance to start[1]. The second stop on Milo’s tour was supposed to be at UC Santa Barbara on January 17, but the host group Students for Liberty cancelled the event themselves due to poor communication from Milo’s handlers[2]. The next stops in California for Yiannopoulos are Cal Poly SLO on January 31, UC Berkeley on February 1, and finally UCLA on February 2. Milo’s previous visit to UCLA in 2016 was complicated by protesters employing a variety of tactics including blocking access to the building Milo was to speak in (causing an hour-long delay), disruptions in the audience once the talk started, and lastly a bomb threat that resulted in the room being evacuated.

Milo Yiannopoulos is scum. His offenses are well-documented and reported on and thus it isn’t surprising to see such large and militant turnouts in opposition to his politics everywhere he goes. As controversy continues, discussions are usually boiled down to simplistic and individualized analysis centered on the man himself. Does Milo deserve free speech? Is Milo racist/transphobic/Islamophobic etc? Is Milo alt-right? A fascist? The list goes on, and it’s always Milo, Milo, Milo.

We would like to add some quick thoughts and analysis from a different point of view.

Opposing the tour is not just about Milo, it’s about the Moment

It’s no longer a secret. By now we know that Republican clubs and other college student groups that have been inviting Milo Yiannopoulos to their campuses have ties to or are themselves directly involved in alt-right and neo-nazi movements. This includes the president of the UW College Republicans[3] and multiple members of the Berkeley College Republicans[4].

This is significant. Jessica Gamble, the previously mentioned president of UW College Republicans, admits that the Yiannopoulos speaking tour is to serve as a recruitment tool for her group:

“Our membership is growing because of Milo,” she said. “I know it would have made more sense if we had a more eloquent, adequate speaker that would appeal to everyone but the thing is we are getting a lot of people that are coming out of hiding that have been really worried about speaking on a college campus or being involved on a college campus because of their beliefs and Milo has emboldened them.”[5]

Jose Diaz, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, agrees:

“It’s going to allow us, once he departs, to hopefully pick that up and run with it a little bit to create some momentum so we can help effect some sort of change in creating a campus environment where free speech is tolerated.”[6]

Indeed, for those on the far right looking to expand their reach, they see the Yiannopoulos tour as a huge opportunity. Anti-fascists at UC Davis identified Nathan Damigo and some of his neo-nazi cadre outside of the hall where Milo’s talk was set to take place. Damigo is the leader of the white nationalist and fascist alt-right organization Identity Evropa, which has been actively recruiting college students across the country, including at UC Davis and UC Berkeley. In his live video feed from UC Davis on Periscope, Damigo explained to his viewers why he had come out that night to engage with others at this particular event – to spread the word about his white nationalist organization to sympathetic alt-right ears.

It wouldn’t be hard for the Nathan Damigos of the world to find more than a few “open-minded” people outside of the “Dangerous Faggot Tour.” Paid-for tickets in hand, those waiting in line for the Milo show know what they’re about to hear: Black Lives Matter is a hate group dedicated to racial hatred, women are screwing up the internet for men, feminism is cancer, trans people are mentally ill, Islamic immigration is societal suicide, and of course, the West is the best.

Damigo was again seen at UC Berkeley during anti-Trump protests on January 20. This time he was doing video documentation from the Berkeley College Republicans table on Sproul Plaza for Red Ice, a neo-nazi and conspiracy theory media outlet.[7] Despite their declarations to the contrary, this is another instance of the Berkeley College Republicans showing its ties to a fascist neo-nazi movement.

This is the moment we are now in: far-right groups are looking for opportunities to continue growing and recruiting under a Trump presidency, and they’re finding them!

Should we ignore them or directly confront them?

Nathan Damigo ended up getting into a debate with a student at UC Davis. While asking Damigo to say more about his utopian vision of a white ethno-state, the student asked, “Will queer people be safe? Will people of color be safe?” Damigo responded by telling the student that those questions are too direct, and Damigo failed to provide an answer.

It is widely understood that the “alt-right” label has been beneficial to the growing far right looking to reinvent and re-energize their movement. With a new name that doesn’t yet have the same baggage that the word “nazi” does, they push the same racist, misogynist, homophobic, and transphobic bullshit they always have. They’ve been hiding behind this new term “alt-right” using a lexicon of memes and racist codewords under pseudonyms to avoid accountability on social media or in the streets. The alt-right has been allowed to grow for almost a decade since Richard Spencer coined the term in 2010. They now have a president of their own in Donald Trump. To sum things up, this movement has enjoyed not being “too direct” when it’s beneficial. Being direct is what starts to complicate things for them.

As ridiculous as it is, many people think this movement should be ignored. Some say they are just out looking for attention, or that they have a right to free speech just like anyone else. The answer for those that assess the situation this way is to therefore ignore them. But ignoring them in order to beat them misinterprets the problem. Ignoring the alt-right, neo-nazis, white nationalists, fascists, or whatever you want to call any of them is not a good idea. They aren’t looking for attention, they’re looking for ethnic cleansing. Allowing the far right to organize and grow their organizations is not acceptable. These people already go out hurting and even murdering people. They terrorize those that aren’t white and male and heterosexual. To allow them room to grow by ignoring them is giving them what they want: not being direct.

To really stop the alt-right, they shouldn’t be ignored. They must be confronted.

The hoods are coming off. Prominent figures in the movement are getting doxxed, college republican groups are being recognized as the white nationalists they are, and the utility of hiding behind obscure terminology and memes is dwindling as the movement continues to attempt to move off of the internet and into the real world. We’d like this to continue.

Shut down their events! Create disruption and chaos at every stop of Milo’s tour. Directly confront the alt-right. When their events are cancelled and/or cannot otherwise operate smoothly, it becomes harder for them to organize and grow. They are slowed down when they need to consider security fees, venue changes, and secret meetup locations. These kinds of tactics and more are what have always been the most successful in defending ourselves against the fascist threat. Don’t give them an inch! Always shut it down! Don’t ignore them. Make it hard for them to do what they want!

See you soon, Milo fans.

Notes:

[1] https://itsgoingdown.org/quick-report-shutting-milo-uc-davis/

[2] http://dailynexus.com/2017-01-11/milo-yiannopoulos-visit-canceled-at-uc-santa-barbara/

[3] https://itsgoingdown.org/seattle-racist-class-stop-uw-college-republicans/

[4] https://itsgoingdown.org/kids-alt-right-uc-berkeley-college-republicans/).

[5] http://mynorthwest.com/503634/flyer-calls-uw-republican-president-racist-for-hosting-alt-right-speaker/

[6] http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Controversial-Speaker-Gearing-up-for-UC-Berkeley-Appearance-410745145.html

[7] https://itsgoingdown.org/not-alt-right-richard-spencer-attacked-dc-nathan-damigo-pepper-sprayed-berkeley/


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