Filed under: Featured, This Week in Fascism
Welcome fellow antifascists!
At least 100 people attended a rally in #JamaicaPlain to support #LGBTQIA & to protest the presence of #NSC131 members outside a drag queen story hour last weekend. Peaceful w/ no counter-protests or arrests. @Bos_Solidarity @wbznewsradio pic.twitter.com/ARHuO3t10S
— Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) July 30, 2022
While this column has been quiet for a few weeks, it doesn’t mean a lot hasn’t been happening in the streets. Both far-Right online grifters, street-based fascist groups, and the GOP have continued to push for attacks on reproductive freedom and the LGBTQ+ community, leading to continued harassment and occasional violence.
This week in the bay area, folks in #SanLeandro + #CastroValley held rallies at local libraries in opposition to the Proud Boys recent disruption of a #PrideMonth event. Only a handful of counter-protesters showed up, including white nationalist + anti-LGBTQ bigot, Don Grundmann. pic.twitter.com/s8EOHOqMyG
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) June 23, 2022
Communities continue to get organized and push back, mobilizing in the face of neo-Nazi groups like the NSC-131 and the Proud Boys. With the far-Right now attempting to weaponize the spread of monkey-pox and in reaction to the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, we don’t see this cycle of outrage slowing down anytime soon, even as we approach the midterms.
We’ve got some important stories to cover, so let’s jump right in!
Republican Official in Florida Invited Sheriffs from Homeland Security to Talk to Three Busloads of J6 Protesters About Imagined Threat Posed by Anarchists in DC
Eric Levai in the Daily Dot reported that on January 5th, several Florida sheriffs under the umbrella of Homeland Security, gave a training and “security briefing” to three busloads of Trump supporters on their way to Washington DC to participate in the attempted coup on January 6th. Sheriffs who addressed the crowd claimed that they were asked to speak at the event by Flagler County Commissioner Joe Mullins, and represented head Sheriff, Rick Staly, known to be part of the far-Right “Constitutional Sheriff” movement associated with groups like the Oath Keepers.
Mullins is no stranger to being in hot water. On top of money problems and getting into fights with other Republicans, he has also been in the news recently:
…after being pulled over twice in June for speeding and both times telling the troopers that he was a county commissioner. Mullins was driving a red Ferrari when he was stopped by a trooper in Flagler County on Interstate 95. Mullins told the trooper “I run the county.”
During the short briefing while surrounded by Trump flags in a parking lot, Commander Mike Lutz called Washington DC a “dirty city” and stated that “anarchists” would attack Trump supporters using “fire”…”as a weapon.” Lutz went on to urge the crowd to defend themselves against such mythical violence while giving tactical advice about staying in groups and sticking next to “the biggest guy.” He even went so far as to give optical suggestions, claiming the media was against them and advised them to be orderly and friendly with law enforcement; statements which in hindsight are laughable. Another Florida Sheriff and the head of the Homeland Security division, Chris Peterson, stated that counter-protesters would attempt to blend into the pro-Trump crowd, a tactic which they claimed to be seeing “across the country.” The event ended with Lutz telling Trump supporters to, “Say hi to the Donald for us.”
In reality, antifascist and anarchist groups in DC had no plans to counter-protest the rally on January 6th. Earlier demonstrations that were aimed at protecting Black Lives Matter plaza in downtown DC and defending locals from out of town groups of Proud Boys, were met with intense far-Right violence. At demonstrations leading up to January 6th, Proud Boys burned Black Lives Matter banners belonging to Black churches and stabbed several counter-protesters. The fact that law enforcement officers were totally uninterested in the threat posed by this violence to the public and instead were pumping up Trump supporters with conspiratorial phantoms, shows the degree in which law enforcement is not only tied into the wider far-Right echo-chamber, but that the security state actively sees their interests as in line with it.
According to Levai in the Daily Dot:
Florida sheriffs, acting under the orders of a local politician, gave a security briefing to an armed right-wing group heading to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to videos obtained by the Daily Dot.
The Flager Liberty Coalition (FLC) recommended its members pack body armor, mace, and knives—which they said were for protection—and were working with Flagler County Commissioner Joe Mullins to bring crowds to D.C. that day. Mullins has faced criticism from his fellow local politicians for attending the protests that turned into the Capitol insurrection.
Together, the group brought three buses of people to Washington on Jan. 6. The briefing is one of the best publicly available videos illustrating connections in advance of Jan. 6 between right-wing activists, pro-Trump protestors, MAGA politicians, and law enforcement. Later, Mullins is praised for supporting the trip. Someone notes that he paid for two of the three buses that were going up to D.C. and that he contributed a large donation to make the trip happen. Mullins said he was in touch with a congressman who would stand with the group in front of the Capitol for support and would be voting against certifying the 2020 election for President Joe Biden. The briefing was primarily conducted by Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies Mike Lutz and Chris Peterson. It combines conspiracy theories and misinformation, as well as a request that protesters tell “the Donald” the police say hello.
In a related video obtained by the Daily Dot, FLC member Mark Phillips, who organized the trip along with Mullins, tells protestors to bring helmets, body armor, mace, pepper spray, and knives and notes that some members of the group will be in “fight mode.” In a since-deleted video on their YouTube page from the protest, they are seen chanting “Who’s House? OUR HOUSE” on Jan. 6, filming from what they say are the Capitol steps. Some of the people who went would later admit to “trying to take the steps of the Capitol.”
In [a later] interview, Phillips calls the Jan. 6 insurrection a deep state false flag designed to cover up the fact that the 2020 election was stolen.
Multiple Men Accuse MC of Modesto “Straight Pride” Rally of Being Sexual Predator
Conservative pundit Jesse Lee Peterson is one of the right’s most prominent anti-gay voices, rising to the top of the macho “Manosphere.” But now multiple male friends of Peterson say they had sexual relationships with him, including a decade long affair. https://t.co/IAHgFKbzaY
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) July 13, 2022
Notorious anti-LGBTQ crusader Jesse Lee Peterson, known for attending white nationalist conferences and praising slavery, is now in a sex scandal, after multiple men and former followers of Peterson claim that he is a sexual predator. More ironic, Peterson is set to once again be the “MC” for the “Straight Pride” hate rally in Modesto, California on August 27th.
According to the Los Angeles Blade:
Jesse Lee Peterson…is not only an influential religious and conservative political figure but also a rising star in the “manosphere,” a growing online right-wing movement that prizes toxic masculinity and shuns, well, everything and everyone else (including – you guessed it – men who have sex with men).
The Daily Beast was first to publish the allegations against Peterson, by two male associates who claimed in on the record interviews in June with Church Militant – a far-right Catholic website – that the minister engaged in sexual congress with them and propositioned others.
Following initial reports about Craig, Foley, and Haggard’s extra-curricular activities, the men were beleaguered by follow-on coverage of other corroborating accounts of their same-sex sexual activities. In Peterson’s case, those who have come forward noted the minister has been careful to ensure there are no emails, text messages, recordings, or video footage documenting their trysts.
At a rally that included Proud Boys in #Sacramento, white nationalist + anti-Semite Don Grundmann announced the "4th Annual Straight Pride" rally in #Modesto, to feature the disgraced Jesse Lee Peterson, accused by multiple former male associates of using them for sex, as MC. https://t.co/M4rwspASYQ pic.twitter.com/OGDJOTgWGO
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) August 1, 2022
As The Advocate reported:
Patrick Rooney is one of the men who said he had a sexual relationship with Peterson, which he claimed lasted about 10 years. He went into detail in a video interview on the Church Militant site in June, but he told the Beast he doesn’t have emails, text messages, or other documentation to back up his allegations. “Jesse Lee Peterson is a very smart person, he’s a sly person,” Rooney told the Beast. “He’s not going to leave a lot of extraneous evidence out about what he does.”
Another man, Samuel Arambula, said in the Church Militant video that he had sexual contact with Peterson, while Robert Santner, the former manager of the BOND house, “claimed he witnessed Peterson acting physically affectionate towards men in ways that he deemed suspicious,” the Beast notes. Peterson “has mostly avoided responding to the allegations,” the Beast reports, although one caller to his talk show recently asked him about the Church Militant video. He reacted by calling her “a wicked woman” and hanging up on her.
The video has led to protests at BOND headquarters, and one manosphere leader, Anthony Dream Johnson, has said he will bar Peterson from conferences. In a June newsletter, he wrote that Peterson should “burn in hell,” according to the Beast.
Despite this, Peterson is still being promoted as the MC of the “Straight Pride” rally in Modesto, organized by white nationalist and anti-Semite, Don Grundmann, who claims that LGBTQ people do “not exist,” and are “Satanic.” Early in August, Peterson interviewed Grundmann on The JLP Show.
The world laughed when Don Grundmann first called for a "Straight Pride" rally in #Modesto. Three years later, despite embracing white nationalism + hardcore anti-Semitism, he's built a network of Proud Boys, militias, GOP insiders + even local clergy. https://t.co/nzTJKROz4j
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) July 23, 2022
Far-Right Mass Shootings and Attacks Continue
Since our last column, there’s sadly been a continued string of mass shootings, several with connections to the far-Right. Most recently, a Trump supporter attacked an FBI field office with a nail gun, before being killed by agents. The attack is in response to the recent raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion. This mass shooting was followed by arrests of other Trump supporters, who called for the death of federal agents and beyond on social media.
An incel and follower of the Groypers who attended CPAC alongside Nick Fuentes has been arrested by the FBI after making online posts about attacking a rival far-Right, pro-Trump group, Turning Point USA. Alejandro Gomez went by “LatinoZoomer” online and posted neo-Nazi content. https://t.co/WLImbgHA6H pic.twitter.com/RUxgUSBDbT
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) August 20, 2022
Alejandro Gomez, known online as “LatinoZoomer,” was arrested this week by the FBI after making threats to attack a Turning Point USA gathering. Gomez was involved in the white nationalist “Groypers” and attended CPAC alongside the movement’s leader, Nick Fuentes. Gomez also racked up other charges, after the FBI found child pornography on his phone.
Dirty South Right Watch has published a new piece on the Highland Park shooter:
While much has been made of the alleged Highland Park shooter’s attendance of Trump rallies, more alarming is his presence in online subcultures detached from reality. The shooter inhabited communities focused on conspiracy theories, the paranormal, and deep nihilism. These communities cut off their participants from consensus reality at large and serve to lower the inhibitions of their participants towards violence.
These subcultures are distinct from the usual QAnon conspiracy theories associated with Trump followers and stand apart from the larger paranormal community, although those distances are continually growing smaller in the increasingly connected online world. We will specifically not be going into depth on where these communities are or what they share so as not to expose them to a larger audience.
The alleged shooter’s obsession with violence, school shootings, conspiracies, and Trumpism (as a way to destabilize the system/create chaos) echoes interests of similar online communities like the online incel community and the incelcore music community. At this time, there is no evidence the shooter was a member of these specific communities. However, the online communities the shooter inhabited exist in close connection to the incelcore online community. It should be noted that these communities are overflowing with racism, misogyny, transphobia, and more forms of hate and bigotry.
Also, a mass shooter at an Indiana mall seems to have posted to far-Right online cesspool 4chan right before his attack; a post which included an image of a Nazi wedding. As VICE reported:
Hours before a 20-year-old gunman opened fire on a food court in a suburban mall near Indianapolis on Sunday, he appears to have posted a grim message on the notorious imageboard site 4chan.
“Name is jonathan and today seems like a good day to die,” he wrote. The post was accompanied by a colorized image of a wedding in Nazi Germany. He also shared a link to the image-hosting site Imgur, which contained several images of himself wearing a white button-down shirt, blue jeans, a face-covering, and posing with two AR-15-style rifles, a handgun, and multiple magazines.
Finally, after being targeted by online far-Right social media accounts and facing protests from the Proud Boys, a bakery outside of Chicago was vandalized with homophobic and far-Right graffiti. Police later arrested Joseph Collins for the attack. Afterwards, antifascists quickly exposed Collins as a Proud Boy and a J6 attendee.
🧵 On Saturday, Joseph Collins was arrested for allegedly vandalizing UpRising Bakery.
It was the culmination of weeks of harassment incited by NIL Proud Boys & @Awake_IL against the cafe for hosting a drag show.
And Collins? Yep, he's a Proud Boy. Let's dig in. 📖 pic.twitter.com/0Q5PgsO8dc
— chicagofreemedia (@chifreemedia) July 25, 2022
Republicans Continue to Embrace the Far-Right
Republicans continue to embrace sections of the far-Right including full on white nationalists. In Pennsylvania, GOP nominee for Governor, Doug Mastriano, has entered into a working relationship with white nationalist social media platform Gab, although in recent weeks due to intense fallout, has begun to backpedal his relationship to the platform.
several republican politicians (paul gosar, herschel walker, marjorie taylor greene, doug mastriano, kathy barnette, jerrod sessler) are paying gab to run ads, presumably because they think their message will resonate with the site's user basehttps://t.co/NdzsDixkOh
— molly conger (@socialistdogmom) July 29, 2022
According to CNN:
Mastriano has had a formal relationship with Torba and Gab since at least April, when Mastriano’s campaign paid Gab $5,000 for “consulting” services, according to state records first published by Media Matters for America, a left-leaning watchdog organization that has documented the relationship between Mastriano and Torba.
The site has a particularly grisly history in Pennsylvania. Shortly before suspected gunman Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, he posted on Gab, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” The shooting left 11 people dead, and while the site took down the suspect’s profile, his digital footprint was littered with antisemitism.
Following his campaign’s payment to Gab, Mastriano – who rarely speaks with reporters from traditional media outlets – sat down for an interview with Torba and lauded the site founder, telling him, “Thank God for what you’ve done.” Torba also praised Mastriano and, in an indication that he was aware that their relationship is controversial, said, “You may even get called a name for doing this interview with me, so brace yourself with that.”
According to Grid, 15 Qanon supporting candidates have won key primaries:
Deep-pocketed mainstream Republican groups and party leaders are pitching in to support many QAnon-linked candidates who have survived their primaries. More Q-linked politicians could advance in primaries over the next month, as elections are held in Arizona and Florida,where QAnon has appeared popular.One candidate linked to the fringe QAnon conspiracy movement has already won a congressional seat in the 2022 election cycle.
Those 15 candidates have raised $20 million this election cycle, much of it from small donors. Overall, QAnon-linked candidates received nearly 70 percent of their donations from small donors — much more than traditional lawmakers or political groups, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) or the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), Federal Election Commission records show.
Michael Peroutka —a neo-Confederate "still angry" Maryland didn't secede during Civil War, & who’s refused to disavow his past membership in white supremacist group League of the South — has won the GOP nomination to be Maryland’s next attorney general. https://t.co/V2d8ezKG7E
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) July 20, 2022
Meanwhile in Maryland, a neo-Confederate activist won the GOP seat for Attorney General. As the HuffPost report:
Michael Peroutka, a neo-Confederate activist who’s refused to disavow a racist group to which he once belonged, has won the Republican nomination to be Maryland’s next attorney general. In a 2014 blog post, Peroutka described the separation of church and state as the “great lie.” That same year he argued for dismantling public education, which he denounced as “the 10th plank in the Communist Manifesto.”
And in 2002, according to Vice, Peroutka gave a speech to a racist organization called the League of the South, in which he said he was “still angry” that Maryland did not secede from the Union during the Civil War. Peroutka served on the board of the League of the South — which believes that today’s Southern states should secede from the U.S. — from 2012 to 2014.
SCOOP- Last week MAGA House candidate Anthony Sabatini spoke at a Gen-Z white Christian nationalist conference with close ties to Nick Fuentes & the groyper movement. The event’s producer worked w/ Unite The Right, Identity Evropa & other alt-right groups https://t.co/T2FlOPSpZc
— Ben Lorber (@BenLorber8) July 28, 2022
The Groyper aligned American Populist Union (APU) has now rebranded as American Virtue in an effort to gain more currently with Republicans. As Political Research Associates wrote:
From its beginnings, American Virtue has strained to distance itself from White nationalist Nick Fuentes and his Gen-Z America First/groyper movement. They have attempted this by toning down overtly racist, male supremacist, and antisemitic rhetoric in a bid for mainstream conservative respectability, even as they mimicked many aspects of groyper ideology and style. At the “State of the Movement” launch, however, multiple speakers and attendees held deep connections to the groypers. The event’s technical lead, Simon Dickerman, was a longtime White nationalist with close ties to alt-right figures such as Richard Spencer, Identity Evropa, and the 2017 Unite the Right rally, as well as to Fuentes and the groypers.
If the lineup at “State of the Movement” is predictive, American Virtue appears to be a venue for young White nationalists to curry favor with a new crop of MAGA-aligned political figures. As Nick Fuentes scrambles to remain relevant in the evolving MAGA landscape, some former groypers see American Virtue as a strategic bridge of sorts, helping them continue to reach for influence in the conservative movement.
The American Virtue summit comes at a low point for another Gen-Z nationalist group, Nick Fuentes’ White nationalist America First/groyper movement. Since its emergence in the latter years of the Trump presidency, the groyper movement aimed, like American Virtue, to “build bridges”, as Fuentes put it in 2019, and influence establishment conservatism, until “one day, we become the mainstream.” In 2021, Fuentes reiterated his goal for the groypers to drag the Republican Party “kicking and screaming into the future, into the right wing, into a truly reactionary party.” Today, however, Fuentes appears to be faltering in his goal to cultivate mainstream conservative acceptance, and multiple groypers are jumping ship, into the arms of American Virtue.
- Marking the 5th anniversary of Unite the Right in Charlottesville and in remembrance of Heather Heyer and all those who were injured in the neo-Nazi car attack, antifascists are going back and doxxing fascists who have somehow escaped the prying eyes of the movement. Follow Unmask UTR and look out for call-in campaigns and beyond!
Ignite the Right – One week in review:
40+ newly ID'ed, 70+ ID entries under review, 100+ new tips under review
284 active entries – 205 ID's Confirmed – 81 ID's Needed
300k+ Twitter impressions, 500k+ website page views
10k+ website bruteforce hacking attempts (lol) 🔥 pic.twitter.com/n7PntTk6IA
— Ignite The Right (@UnmaskUTR) August 17, 2022
- Antifascist crews be on the lookout on August 20th, as ‘White Lives Matter’ groups are scheduled to put up posters, hold flash rallies, and drop banners.
Hey Reno! If you haven't marked your calendars for Saturday, August 20, 2022, what are you waiting for?
Join us for an amazing evening with Cobra Skulls, Fleshies, and some rad local bands at The Bluebird.
Adv sale tix: https://t.co/sglH25S1v0
(flyer art by @LCRWnews) pic.twitter.com/FfnD7DL06r
— Trash Panda Booking (@TPandaBooking) June 29, 2022
- On August 20th, there is a Rock Against Racism benefit show in Reno, Nevada.
#Modesto https://t.co/W7ip5DiiDR pic.twitter.com/88lb7LxozQ
— OFF THE 99 (@Off_The_99) August 1, 2022
- On August 27th, a broad coalition of groups is calling for a counter-mobilization against the “Straight Pride” hate rally in Modesto, CA. More info here.
Support Our Prisoners
- Support those arrested during the ongoing rebellion! Check the In Contempt column on It’s Going Down for a list of prisoners.
- Support Gage Halupowski! Currently serving a six year sentence. More info here.
- Support Dan Baker! Currently facing federal charges for posts online in response to armed far-Right rally at the capitol building in Florida. More info here.
- Support Eric King! Anarchist and antifascist prisoner who has been targeted by the State and neo-Nazi inmates. More info here. Donate here.
- Support San Diego antifascists facing heavy charges! Go here to sign petition and donate.
- Support the International Antifascist Defense Fund. More info here.
photo: Screenshot from Tracey Eaton Livestream