Filed under: Anti-fascist, Featured, This Week in Fascism, White Supremacy
Welcome, fellow antifascists! This week, we’ve got an explainer talking about why the Alt-Right is claiming that journalists are secretly antifascist activists, this week’s doxxes and deplatforms, and how you can help antifascists who were arrested at the recent KKK rally in Dayton, Ohio.
Explainer: Why is the Alt-Right claiming that journalists are secretly antifascist activists?
On May 15th, 2019, the well known racist far-Right troll “ProgDad” who has now rebranded as an “online extremism expert,” Eoin Lenihan posted a long thread on Twitter, accusing mainstream journalists of “doxxing” white nationalists by revealing their identities. He accused Huffington Post reporter Chris Mathias of having “spread the doxes” of soldiers who were also dues-paying members of white nationalist group Identity Evropa. He also accused Guardian freelancer Jason Wilson of “doxing” and “stalking” simply for quoting academic Mark Bray in his reporting.
Lenihan’s evidence? That reporters and academics who cover the far-Right follow antifascist accounts on Twitter. Ironic, as Lenihan is best known for participating in racist online harassment campaigns, to the point of being kicked off Twitter, along side well known neo-Nazis and Alt-Right trolls.
But even after Lenihan was exposed as far-Right social media troll ProgDad and an Al Jazeera interview touting him as an extremism expert was hastily scrubbed from the news agency’s site, his conspiracy theories continued to generate steam on the far-Right. (And in collecting his data, Lenihan appears to have violated the Twitter API’s Terms of Service, which prohibits “[i]nvestigating or tracking sensitive groups and organizations, such as unions or activist groups,” though he does not appear to have suffered any sort of ban by the service.)
On May 17th, far-right commentator Tim Pool released a YouTube video endorsing the thread, claiming, “They’re essentially activists themselves,” Pool said. “And they hide behind the label of ‘journalist’ to make it seem like their activism is some kind of legitimate news service.”
Neo-Nazi leader and podcaster Mike "Enoch" Peinovich makes "Day of the Brick" reference on recent podcast, and says it's best way to deal with journalists who write critically about the Alt-Right. pic.twitter.com/0FcmkG49pp
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) June 14, 2018
Soon, the flies were buzzing. Far-right outlet Red State also covered Lenihan’s thread, with the headline “Journos from Prominent News Organizations found to have Working Relationships with Antifa.” Patriot Prayer associate and hack “journalist” Andy Ngo reposted the thread on May 21st, claiming that “activists sympathetic to antifa are masquerading as journalists.”
Oh, it’s just Patriot Prayer affiliate and “journalist” Andy Ngo spreading a conspiracy theory that mainstream journalists are secretly antifascist activists.
These lies are going to get journalists killed. pic.twitter.com/kwQOofiTxH
— AntiFash Gordon (@AntiFashGordon) May 22, 2019
This rhetoric is intended to classify journalists as the valid targets of far-Right harassment campaigns, while at the same time, reposition long disgraced trolls, grifters, and hacks as “the real journalists.” As we noted in last week’s column, harassment of journalists has increased in recent weeks, but has always been a key reference point for the far-Right. From The Daily Stormer going after CNN, to the intended victims of the MAGAbomber, to the Alt-Right’s celebration of the “Day of the Brick,” a reference to both The Turner Diaries and the Capital Gazette shooting, like all fascist movements, the far-Right actively seeks to attack those who would speak out against them.
Here are some recent examples:
- On May 7th, Laura Loomer posted the personal cell number of Daily Beast journalist Will Sommer to her Telegram channel, writing, “There must be an even greater reactions to every action these leftists make to ruin our lives.”
- On May 16th, the Proud Boys claimed credit for having freelance writer Elizabeth King banned from Twitter.
- In response to a May 17th tweet noting that they were evading a payment processing ban, the Proud Boys posted Right Wing Watch reporter Jared Holt’s cell number to one of their Telegram channels.
Lenihan’s claims of “collaboration,” are nothing more than noting that reporters follow their subjects and sources on Twitter, endangers journalists everywhere. This conspiratorial view of events also sidesteps the reality that journalists covering the far-Right also follow just as many, if not more, far-Right and Alt-Right accounts. The threat is clear: if the far-Right doesn’t approve of your coverage, they’ll declare you to be part of “ANTIFA” and a valid target for their violence and harassment.
This violence is well-documented. On May 22nd, the Huffington Post’s Andy Campbell exposed a secret Proud Boys chat where the members of the hate group “discussed injuring and even killing their adversaries, plotting tactics and optics for months in order to assert a claim of self-defense should they face charges.” Neo-Nazi and Alt-Right trolls like Christ “The Crying Nazi” Cantwell and Jack “The Crying Incel” Corbin also have routinely called for the murder of antifascist researchers, activists, and journalists.
This rhetoric also has a clear historical analogue. The Lügenpresse, or “lying press,” was a term adopted by the Nazi party to attack journalists who gave them unflattering coverage. Trump supporters began using the phrase during the 2016 election, after the word regained popularity among the German far-Right. Likewise, Richard Spencer used it to attack the press at a conference in Washington DC, as a crowd of literally Nazi-saluting supporters cheered him on as he cried, “Hail Trump, Hail Our People, Hail Victory!”
But while DC was quick to can Greer for his Spencer ties, it has no problem giving space to long time Spencer friend + white nationalist, Peter Brimelow. In 2016, Brimelow was on the panel at the DC Alt-Right conference where attendees gave Nazis salutes to "Hail Trump!" pic.twitter.com/55M5k9RW4N
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) November 8, 2018
By conflating journalists with participants in social movements, the far-Right is opening up a broader category of valid targets for their violence, while also attempting to create a rhetorical framework to aid the broader Right in dismissing criticisms of its most violent and racist grassroots wings. As “ANTIFA” still remains a tried and true boogeyman for everyone from InfoWars to Fox News, if far-Right trolls can advance the narrative that not only does far-Right violence not exist, (as those like Katharine Gorka and Candace Owens have argued), then they can couple it with the argument that anyone who counters this narrative must then be “ANTIFA.”
What’s ironic about the Alt-Right’s anger at journalists at times using sources from independent, antifascist, and anarchist media like Unicorn Riot and It’s Going Down, is that up until 2016, the media, including much of the liberal Center rolled out the red carpet for the Alt-Right. Piece after glowing piece attempted to humanize the Alt-Right, explain their talking points, and treat them as simply an interesting creator of click-bait. Even after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, as FAIR pointed out, there were in fact more editorials written condemning antifascists than there were those written against the Alt-Right. In short, the dramatic sea-change in the public’s perception of the Alt-Right isn’t a testament to just good journalism, but to social movements organizing and people’s aversion to the violence and mass murder of the far-Right.
The "I'm Rich & Afraid of Everything" crowd of far-Right TV pundits is horrified DC rabble protested outside of Tucker Carlson's house tonight + Twitter has now suspended @SmashRacismDC from the platform. Carlson has long history of working with Alt-Right + white nationalists. pic.twitter.com/Pcw7ZXD4Xt
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) November 8, 2018
Furthermore, there’s also a long history of both more mainstream Right media feeding off of far-Right and Alt-Right conspiracy theories, as there is a long line of far-Right and Alt-Right journalists finding a home in “respectable” Right media outlets. For instance, conspiracy theories that develop on 4chan and 8chan quickly can then move to The Gateway Pundit and InfoWars, and then onto Fox News. A good example of this is the so-called “ANTIFA Civil War,” that was supposed to take place on November 4th, 2017. Websites like Brietbart and The Daily Caller, run by Tucker Carlson, also have a long history of employees who have been fired after their connections to the Alt-Right and white nationalism have come to the surface.
Other Daily Caller writers include white nationalist Llana Mercer, who has written in white nationalist publications like American Renaissance, and spoken at the HL Mencken Club white nationalist conference. A Trump speech writer was fired for speaking there in 2016 this year. pic.twitter.com/qpKegrmQse
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) November 8, 2018
It should also be noted that at the end of the day, this push by the far-Right to stop journalists from covering and interviewing participants in social movements, is the same as that of most corporate controlled media: they don’t want certain voices having a say. Mainstream outlets don’t want everyday, poor and working-class people’s voices on their channels and they especially don’t want these voices being tied to actual organized social movements; this is why they turn to pundits and talking heads to explain the world and the news, not fast food workers organizing at their job, the local Black Lives Matter chapter, or people involved in an anti-pipeline group.
The far-Right’s recent push to attack journalists is the same as its drive to force women and feminists out of online and gaming spaces and people of color and trans folks out of public discourse. It’s a political move intended to exonerate their movement after two years of constant headlines of mass murder and racist attacks.
In short: if you find yourself catching heat as a journalist because your work has angered the far-Right, then you’re doing something right.
Monday, May 20, 2019
Riley Grisar, the former head of Turning Point USA’s University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Chapter, who stepped down after being seen shouting “White power!” in a viral video, was revealed by Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists to be a member of the white nationalist Identity Evropa, recently rebranded as the American Identity Movement.
Grisar is currently a student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. You can contact their Office of Student Conduct by emailing [email protected] or by calling 702-895-2308.
— IdentifyEvropa (@Identify_Evropa) May 20, 2019
A group of anonymous Kentucky antifascists revealed that Nathaniel and Emily Carroll, of Glasgow, Kentucky, are members of Identity Evropa. In the recently leaked Discord chats, Nathaniel went by the moniker GloopGod, and Emily used MrsGloopGod. Prior to joining Identity Evropa, Nathaniel was active in a number of anti-feminist web forums, such as Paul Elam’s A Voice for Men.
— Panic! in the Discord (@discord__panic) May 20, 2019
He is currently employed by Malone Heating and Plumbing, in Cranston, Rhode Island. If you would like to inform them about their employee’s white nationalist ties, their Facebook page is here, their phone number is (401) 943-9790, or you can fill out their online contact form.
Thursday, May 23, 2019
THREAD: There's a KKK rally happening in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, May 25th.
This thread is the story of who planned it, who's attending, and how the police are lowkey helping them establish an interstate terrorist network. https://t.co/4sgWfQ0GBB
— AntiFash Gordon (@AntiFashGordon) May 23, 2019
Two days before a KKK rally in Dayton, Ohio, AntiFash Gordon identified the six people who had confirmed that they were attending via a private Facebook post from Honorable Sacred Knights leader Derek Eaglin. The rally was eventually attended by a grand total of nine KKK supporters and an estimated 600 protesters. Please see the Call to Action at the bottom of this page to see how you can help protestors who were arrested in Dayton.
Saturday, May 24, 2019
BREWER NAMES IDENTITY EVROPA IN HIS FBI INTERVIEW pic.twitter.com/bGHFxis26j
— Emily of the State (@EmilyGorcenski) May 25, 2019
21-year-old Nolan Brewer was sentenced to three years in federal prison for vandalizing a synagogue in Carmel, Indiana. Eagle-eyed Emily Gorcenski noticed that in his court documents, he admits to being a member of Identity Evropa, along with his wife, Kyomi Brewer, who was sentenced last month for the arson of a synagogue.
Sunday, May 26, 2019
— WANaziWatch (@WANaziWatch) May 26, 2019
Alvin Dietz followed a person of color and confronted him, calling him a “sand n*****.” Dietz was ID’d via his license plate. He works at Pac Rite, Inc., in Auburn, Washington. You can reach them via their contact page, by emailing [email protected], or by calling (253) 833-7071.
Dietz owns the company, so before calling, be sure to use *67 to block your number before calling.
Hello to all Twitter dot comrades! Today, we've just released an article revealing Linden, Alabama resident and newspaper publisher, Howard Goodloe Sutton of Democrat-Reporter, as a fascist who likes Hitler and the KKK and wants them to lynch political opponents.
— Haleyville Anti-Rapist/Anti-Fascist Action (@Haleyville_ARA) May 26, 2019
Haleyville ARA/AFA showed Howard Goodloe Sutton that hate has consequences, with an expose showing a long history of bigotry and fascism.
Mitch Baker, Regional Managing Partner at Fisher Phillips LLP’s Portland office, was ID’d by Femmes Strike Back PDX as one of the men who assaulted two femmes outside of a Portland Sizzle Pie location. throwing one of them into traffic and beating the other on the sidewalk.
Baker is a labor lawyer who “has defended a variety of employers in labor and employment law matters,” according to his firm’s website. Additionally, the site notes that he has “extensive experience… defending employers accused of retaliating against employees for exercising protected employment rights.”
Looks like the Proud Boys just got kicked off @Square.
— AntiFash Gordon (@AntiFashGordon) May 22, 2019
The Proud Boys were –once again– booted from payment processor Square. This was mere days after a presser at the Lincoln Memorial, at which the Proud Boys announced their lawsuit against the SPLC for designating the Proud Boys as a hate group. It was also after newly-leaked chats showed the Proud Boys planning for violence at rallies.
— call me siren (@sirenthemedic) May 24, 2019
Congratulations to comrades in Little Rock for the first known milkshaking of a fascist on the left side of the Atlantic in modern times. May there be many many more, all around the world.
When second place neo-confederate dipshits show up to @PunkRockBowling in their racist attire and are subsequently chased the fuck out. Video by Mike Gamms.
Videographer Mike Gamms confronted a man in a Confederate flag shirt and ran him and his friend out of the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Call for Solidarity
Three associates of Louisville ARA were arrested after the KKK rally, and are currently being held in Dayton, OH. If you can donate to their bail/legal defense fund, please contact the Louisville ARA. If you can’t, please share their tweet as widely as possible. Many thanks!