Mastodon Twitter Instagram Youtube
Jan 17, 23

This Week in Fascism #133: Communities Continue to Mobilize Against Anti-LGBTQ Attacks as New Fascist Formations Emerge

photo: Kurtz Frausun

Welcome fellow antifascists!

Since our last column, much has happened. After Elon Musk took over Twitter and quickly moved to align with the far-Right by removing anarchist and antifascist accounts, we wanted to bring back this column and use it as a vehicle to promote antifascist theory, action, and research.

Today there’s much to celebrate – a new wave of antifascist action and community self-defense is kicking off all around us. Antifascists, two years after the coming to power of Biden, have continued to build coalitions and relationships within our communities while working to increase our collective capacity to take on growing far-Right forces – which have only become more emboldened following the attempted coup in Washington DC.

This week’s column will include a look at some of the newest neo-fascist, white supremacist, and neo-Nazi formations that have emerged out of the changing terrain that is the post J6 landscape. We also present a roundup of recent antifascist action across the so-called US, and a look at the neo-Nazi network ‘White Lives Matter,’ which has called for another round of pathetic monthly events.

We hope this column continues to be a space for sharing information, news, action, and theory – so with that in mind, let’s dive right in!

New Fascist and White Supremacist Formations Emerge Amid Ongoing Far-Right Wave of Attacks on the LGBTQ+ Community

The wave of threats, deadly attacks, and harassment that began last year against the LGBTQ+ community, Pride celebrations, and drag events has only continued into the new year. With it, we are seeing new far-Right, neo-Nazi, neo-fascist, and white supremacist groups emerge.

Some of these groups seem to be splits from Patriot Front, a neo-Nazi formation that attempted to re-brand itself after one of its associates murdered an antifascist counter-protester at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August of 2017. Recently, Patriot Front has been hit with a series of lawsuits, doxxes, and communication leaks, weakening the organization.

Other formations seem to have formed simply within the absence of existing groups, or amidst the breakdown and disunity currently found in associations like the Proud Boys. Others seem to be forming because they see an opportunity to take part in ongoing far-Right rallies and demonstrations.

It’s important that antifascists understand these new formations and mobilize quickly to take action, map their social networks, and act to defend their communities.

Rose City Nationalists throw up Hitler salutes.

  • Rose City Nationalists: Based in the Pacific Northwest, as Rose City Antifa wrote, this neo-Nazi group was founded by “Gaston, Oregon resident Casey Knuteson,” a former Proud Boy and member of Patriot Front. Like Patriot Front, the group has a dress code of khaki pants and black hiking wear and has taken part in White Lives Matter “days of action” and far-Right protests against drag events. In Eugene, Oregon in October, members of the group threw up Nazi salutes at an anti-drag rally, only to later run to their cars from a much larger antifascist crowd.

State Representative Anthony Sabatini speaking at American Virtue conference in 2022.

  • American Virtue/American Populist Union: The Groyper alternative for when Nick Fuentes becomes just too cringe. According to Salon, the group “closely mimics Fuentes’ movement and counts many groypers among its ranks. [John] Doyle has headlined multiple APU events and served as [the] figurehead for the movement.” In the spring of 2022, Arizona Republican Paul Gosar denied that he would be speaking at an APU event, after being listed on its website. Soon after, the group re-branded as “American Virtue,” and has had Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini speak at its conference. As Political Research Associates wrote, while its leaders have “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,” they have also attempted to clean up their image and firmly position themselves as part of the mainstream GOP.

“NorCal Active Club” post on Telegram.

  • Active Club Network: Out of the ashes from groups like the Rise Above Movement (RAM), the Active Club Network is an attempt to merge neo-Nazi politics with MMA style training and Patriot Front styled ‘activism.’ The network is active on Telegram with groups across dozens of states. They have strong cross over with White Lives Matter chapters and established groups like Patriot Front.

Neo-Nazi throws up a Hitler salute at a anti-drag rally organized by Kelly Neidert.

  • Aryan Freedom Network: An outgrowth of a neo-Nazi version of Christianity called Christian Identity and various KKK formations, the Aryan Freedom Network is a Texas based neo-Nazi group that openly embraces flying swastika flags and throwing up Hitler salutes at public demonstrations. They’ve become a regular at rallies organized by Kelly Neidert and Protect Texas Kids, rallying alongside a variety of other neo-fascist and white supremacist groups. The group is led by Dalton Henry Stout and his father, George Bois Stout, who live in De Kalb, Texas, north of Dallas. The Aryan Freedom Network has also recently been in the news, after it attempted to sue veteran and antifascist researcher Kristofer Goldsmith, who exposed the meeting place for the group’s recent conference – which was also attended by Jason Van Dyke.

American Nationalist Initiative (ANI) poster promoting mutual aid programs. Even goes to far as to use, “We keep us safe,” a slogan from the George Floyd rebellion.

  • American Nationalist Initiative (ANI): In what appears to be another re-branding of Patriot Front, with colors, rhetoric and aesthetics that come across as a more edgy Identity Evropa, this group continues use of PF’s fasces symbol while also attempting to recuperate autonomous, anarchist, and left-wing mutual aid projects. Like the Proud Boys, the group claims to be open to men of all races, yet also praises neo-Nazi leaders like Oswald Mosley and clearly promotes a neo-fascist vision of the US. This group has shown up in Texas at various anti-drag events along with other neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, but claims to have chapters in dozens of US cities.

Symbol of the New Columbia Movement, a fascist Catholic organization modeled around groups like Identity Evropa and Patriot Front.

  • The New Columbia Movement: Think Identity Evropa energy mixed with fascist-Catholic rhetoric. While promoting an authoritarian set of politics, like the ANI, they claim to not bar non-white “fellow soldiers for Christ.” As Steve Monacelli wrote, the group embraces a form of “Carlism, a semi-fascist Catholic pro-monarchist ideology, [that] emerged in 1800s Spain and played a part in Franco’s brutal regime.” The group has appeared at numerous anti-LGBTQ+ rallies in Texas alongside Kelly Neidert and a variety of neo-fascist and white supremacist groups.

Neo-Nazi Jon Minadeo, Jr. fist bumps with a police officer in Austin, Texas after being stopped for dropping an anti-Semitic banner outside of a Jewish neighborhood.

  • Goyim Defense League (GDL): Led by Jon Minadeo Jr., who recently moved from the bay area to Florida after his house was vandalized, the GDL is known for its neo-Nazi ideology and harassment of Jewish communities across the US with banner drops and flyering campaigns. Known for heavily documenting their actions on social media, the group also works closely with a wide variety of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

  • White Lives Matter: A loose network of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Proud Boys that carries out monthly “days of action” which includes banner drops, flyering and sticker campaigns, and at times, flash (unannounced) rallies in various cities. While generally never drawing more than a dozen or more, WLM has attempted to bring together older, more experienced neo-Nazis from a variety of groups and organizations, with many newer activists from online spaces. While they have faced ongoing community opposition and push back from antifascists, the group has continued to carry out unannounced actions in a variety of cities, monthly.

  • Nationalist Social Club-131 (NSC-131): Based in the New England and Massachusetts area, NSC-131 includes ex-members of Patriot Front and in many ways, blends PF’s organizational blueprint with more confrontational street politics. The group is known for openly flying swastika flags and throwing up Hitler salutes in public, but will also hand out flyers, put up graffiti, and hold demonstrations and flash rallies. The group is also known for attempting to hold protests against anarchist and left-wing events and spaces. It is led by long-time white supremacist organizer Chris Hood and is capable of mobilizing upwards of several dozen members. In the spring of 2022 the group grabbed headlines after the lead singer of the punk band the Dropkick Murphy’s called the group out on social media for using the band’s song in a promotional video. The racists never materialized for the potential brawl. Ironically, despite attempting to label all LBGTQ+ people as “groomers,” the group includes a former member that is doing jail time for child pornography and solicitation.

Taking a step back and looking at these new formations, we see trends developing. While some of these groups claim they do not bar members based on race, they are still more than willing to work directly with open white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and as fascists, see themselves as all working towards common goals. Far-Right currents such as opposition to drag and Pride events provide a common ground for potential unity, as Trump supporters stand side-by-side Hitler saluting national-socialists. Organizers like Kelly Neidert are fine with rallying with neo-Nazis, as long as they bring out bodies and potential muscle. Just last month, it was even made public that Kelly’s brother Jake, is now working as the legislative director for Republican state Representative Tony Tinderholt of Texas.

Antifascists must work to continue to expose the high-degree of cross over between these groups and the Republican party; shining light on how GOP-linked organizers are creating safe spaces for fascist and far-Right nationalist coalitions to grow.

We also must keep in mind that many of these groups are attempting to build organizations that aren’t defined explicitly by racial politics – and instead are using language based around everything from religion to American nationalism and economic populism. Some groups like the ANI are even recuperating anarchist strategies like mutual aid organizing.

The good news is that antifascist groups and coalitions are putting in the hard work of building relationships and fighting to mobilize big numbers against these groups. But between protests and demonstrations, we also have to be doing the work of educating our communities and explaining to the broader public the danger that these groups pose and the fascist politics they are promoting, as new organizations attempt to rebrand.

Just as the Alt-Right faded into the background by the middle of the Trump presidency, so to are we seeing the post-J6 formations come apart and form new groups and networks while experimenting with different strategies and tactics.

The challenge ahead remains to build a broad antifascist movement that can push back against these fascist forces, splitting them off from their bases of support and exposing their links with established power structures, while also building a counter-movement that speaks to the struggles of poor and working people’s lived realities; promoting autonomy, self-defense, mutual aid, direct action, and class conflict in the face of whites supremacy, authoritarianism, conspiracy theories, and fascist violence.

Roundup of Antifascist Resistance

Vancouver, BC: Over 500 people mobilized to oppose a few dozen bigots protesting a drag-story event at a library in Vancouver.

Dallas, TX: Around 50 antifascists and community members mobilized to protect a drag event against a collection of far-Right and white supremacist counter-protesters, including members of the American Nationalist Initiative and New Columbia Movement.

Fall River, MA: Antifascist crews, socialist groups, John Brown Gun Club chapters, and community organizations mobilized several hundred people in support of drag-story hour that in the past had been targeted by neo-Nazis. While the white supremacists were no shows (choosing instead to mobilize in Taunton, several minutes away), a handful of far-Right protesters did materialize.

Baltimore, MD: Supporters rallied outside of a library during a drag-story hour, facing off with umbrellas and flags against protesters.

Redlands, CA: Local antifascists and community members held it down at a drag story hour event, despite attempts by the Proud Boys to harass the event.

New York City, NY: Hundreds of people turned out to defend a drag story event from Proud Boys and neo-Nazis. Clinic defenders have also continued to mobilize in defense of the local Planned Parenthood, facing down police and far-Right protesters.

San Diego, CA: Church hosting far-Right grifter Sean Feucht was covered in antifascist and pro-LGBTQ+ graffiti.

White Lives Matter

White Lives Matter (WLM), a loose network of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Proud Boys, has again called for monthly demonstrations in 2023. This activity generally takes the form of banner drops, flash demonstrations, and flyering actions. This month, WLM actions popped up in a small smattering of cities, including in Idaho, Toronto, and in Boca Raton, FL, where neo-Nazis in the Goyim Defense League reportedly flyered. The group has been particularly active in this region and the group’s leader, Jon Minadeo Jr., also recently announced that he was moving from the North Bay Area of California to Florida, after he was doxxed and his house was vandalized.

White Lives Matter participants were also confronted – both as large crowds mobilized to defend Drag Story Hour events and also in the streets. In Missoula, MT, neo-Nazis were pelted with eggs and in the Conejo Valley of Southern California, people again patrolled areas known for past neo-Nazi activity.

Until next time, see you in the streets!

While you’re here, we need your support. To continue running the website, we need support from community members like you. Will you support It’s Going Down, and help build independent media? donate?

Share This:

A weekly roundup of the latest and greatest happenings in the anti-fascist world. Each column features a roundup of news, actions, doxxes and current calls to action.

More Like This