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Apr 17, 23

This Week in Fascism #133: Communities Push Back Against Neo-Nazis and Proud Boys; Campuses Protest Anti-Trans Grifters; Richard Spencer Rides Again

Welcome fellow antifascists!

As we enter into the spring, its clear that while the gender fascist wave of violence, harassment and intimidation against the LGBTQ+ community is continuing, some cracks are also beginning to show. Death threats, arson attacks, and far-Right protests are seemingly a weekly occurrence, while pundits are rushing to manufacture the threat of “trans-terrorism” – especially in the wake of the deadly Nashville shooting. At the same time, the pivot by many organizers, such as Kelly Neidert of “Protect Texas Kids” and groups like the Proud Boys to work openly with white supremacists, has seen anti-LGBTQ+ events swarmed by Hitler saluting neo-Nazis. Time will tell if this results in lower numbers or more violence, but one thing is certain: now is not the time to stop organizing, building relationships, and taking action.

Meanwhile, politicians have also continued to double-down on gender fascist policies and rhetoric, as anti-LGBTQ bills targeting access to bathrooms, sports, drag, and gender affirming care have continued to proliferate across the US.

But despite these attacks, resistance is also growing. In this column, we’ll look at communities pushing back against attacks on drag and story-hour events as well as far-Right speakers on college campuses. We’ll also look at recent doxxes and a dive into an attempted return to the spotlight by white nationalist and ‘Unite the Right’ speaker, Richard Spencer.

If you want to support It’s Going Down and this column, please consider making a donation. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get into it!


Communities Big and Small Push Back Against Attacks on LGBTQ+ Community

Things are still heating up on the streets, as both protests and anti-LGBTQ acts of intimidation and harassment continued into the spring of 2023. In Wadsworth, Ohio in early March, a collection of neo-Nazis, Proud Boys, and white supremacists rallied against a drag event, as supporters attempted to shield children from the bigots who threw up Nazi salutes and screamed racial and homophobic slurs.

Weeks later in Chesterland, Ohio, a church that which was scheduled to host a drag event was attacked with a Molotov cocktail in the lead up to protests (which were later called off) by the Proud Boys. As noted by antifascist researchers, the neo-Nazi, Aimenn Penny, who was arrested for the arson attack was exposed as a member of White Lives Matter and Blood Tribe, one of the groups which flew swastika flags at the anti-LGBTQ rally in Wadsworth, Ohio. Ultimately, the event in Chesterland went smoothly with only one protester showing up, however in the nearby town of Chardon, community members and antifascists squared off against a small group of neo-Nazis from Patriot Front who turned out to protest a drag brunch event.

According to one report:

About an hour before the second drag brunch ended, two SWAT team members came down from the third-floor rooftop over Element 41 in Chardon and told a room of reporters that a bomb threat had been called in to the restaurant. An organizer of the event said later that the bomb threat was actually called in to an unidentified radio station from an unidentified international phone number and was deemed not credible. Nobody left early from the brunch at Element 41 as result of the bomb threat. The restaurant was closed after the events.

In New York, folks have been busy pushing back against both genders fascists showing up to protest drag-story hour events and to defend access to local clinics. Recently, members of the Proud Boys were bloodied and repelled by defenders of a drag story hour. One Proud Boy was quoted as saying, “I came here to help, not to get the shit beat out of me,” as the crowd chanted, “Fuck the Proud Boys!”

In Vancouver, Washington, the far-Right was a no-show after, as Left Coast Right-Watch reported:

Heathen Brewing’s windows were broken after they announced they’d host an all-ages drag performance and brunch set for last Sunday, the 26th. After the vandalism, the brewery changed the event to be 18+. The event was targeted by a local hate network, who used the usual anti-queer “groomer” accusations to organize a counter-protest against it.

Despite the vandalism and the threats, as antifascist journalist Shane Burley reported:

Heathen Brewing in Vancouver, where community organizers and antifascists are protecting a drag event after threats from the far-right and attacks on the building. A good hundred folks or so protecting the space.

Event starting and no far-right folks have shown up. Security teams keeping the place safe and a growing crowd of defensive protesters. Pretty uniform support for the event going on without interruption.

In Louisville, Kentucky, members of Parasol Patrol and antifascists with the local John Brown Gun Club provided security and escorts for families attending a drag story hour event, after neo-Nazis from White Lives Matter announced that they would hold a protest. Only a “handful” of fascists reportedly showed up.

In Fort Worth, Texas, members of the John Brown Gun Club and others stood against Proud Boys and other fascists protesting a drag show, reporting:

The fascists were greeted with a multi-group coalition of 75+ antifascists, neighbors, and community members that weren’t having any of their shit.

In April in Brooklyn, New York, community members defended a Transgender Day of Visibility event from far-Right trolls. As Greepoint reported:

[W]hen Alex Stein, a far right YouTube personality, showed up to protest the event, counter protestors banded together in full force to prevent his hateful rhetoric from tarnishing an event meant to teach kids about literacy and being comfortable in your skin. Stein gained notoriety by sexually harassing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez while she was on her way to work and is known for his COVID-19 vaccine denial.

In a video that Stein shared on Twitter, counter protestors can be seen using umbrellas to try to prevent him from entering the premises. He eventually makes his way inside and a heavy police presence corrals him into his own barricaded section, where he’s joined by a smattering of other protestors.

Hate has no place in our neighborhood, and we’re glad that counter-protestors way outnumbered the transphobes on display.

In Portland, Maine, one comrade was sadly hospitalized after neo-Nazis with the Nationalist Social Club-131 attacked two antifascists who came out to counter-protest them, report from Maine SRA here. Things went much differently in Washington DC, where a small group of white supremacists had their banner stolen and were beaten back from attacking various pro-LGBTQ+ protesters. Neo-Nazis also showed up in Missoula, Montana at a Trans Day of Viability protest, but failed in “scaring anyone off.”

Meanwhile in the Sacramento area of California, antifascists have been holding it down in recent months, facing off against Proud Boys and neo-Nazis who have attempted to attack various anarchist, left-wing, and pro-LGBTQ+ events. From holding an antifascist festival at UC Davis to mobilizing against Charlie Kirk, facing off against gun-toting far-Right chuds and defending drag-queen story hour events, antifascists have successfully held the streets in a series of ongoing engagements.

Most recently, over 50 people in Sacramento, California turned out to defend a drag story hour after neo-Nazis with White Lives Matter called for a protest. Facing down only a handful of Proud Boys and one swastika shirt wearing white supremacist, the group held the road in front of the venue and helped escort folks attending the event back and forth to their cars. Proud Boys that attempted to attack those defending the venue or the space were quickly repelled and one neo-Nazi even had to call for a police escort from inside of a restaurant.

Community defense against gender fascist protesters was also organized in various Canadian cities, including Calgary, Ontario and Montreal.

Central California Community Pushes Back Against Death Threats and Protests by Proud Boys

Community members are standing in solidarity with a pastor in Loomis, California, after he began receiving death threats and protests from the Proud Boys outside of his home, following far-Right grifters in Project Veritas producing a video targeting him.

According to ABC 10:

Pastor Casey Tinnin leads Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ and founded the Landing Spot. That’s a “non-religious support group for LGBTQIA+ youth and their parents in Placer County,” according to a website for the group…the Landing Spot – and Pastor Tinnin – are the subject of a hit piece by Project Veritas, released on Sunday.

Some of the allegations, supporters of the Landing Spot say, amount to Pastor Tinnin creating a safe space for teens – especially whose families don’t accept or like that they are Queer. Supporters say Pastor Tinnin was recorded without his knowledge or permission and his words were taken out of context. They say he was lead to believe he was speaking with parents of trans kids who were seeking his advice. Now, as a result of this Project Veritas piece, he has received a death threat and hateful comments.

In the wake of the video, the Roseville Joint Union High School District, whose students use the Landing Spot, distanced themselves from Pastor Casey Tinnin by sending out an email stating that they had “contacted the Roseville Police Department and Child Protective Services to advise them of the matter so they can ensure no students have been harmed.” The church and Pastor Tinnin soon were flooded with death threats and local Proud Boys began to hold demonstrations outside of Tinnin’s home, leading to one, Jeffrey Perrine, being arrested.

Students protest undeterred by Proud Boy Jeff Perrine, who walks through crowd while live-streaming in an effort to intimidate youth.

Local community members, antifascists, and supporters of the Landing Spot responded by showing solidarity with the church and Pastor Tinnin at the local City Council, turning out to shout down Proud Boys like Perrine and take down Proud Boy flyers in various neighborhoods. Students also organized a walkout of a local high school in support of the Landing Spot. Perrine and other Proud Boys showed up at the walkout to livestream in an attempt to intimidate students, but the much larger crowd was undeterred. Local antifascists also passed out flyers alerting parents to Perrine and his violent history.

Resistance to Gender Fascists Explodes on Campus

Students and community members across the US have mobilized at college campuses against gender fascist speakers such as Michael Knowles, who recently called for trans people to be “eradicated from public life,” and Charlie Kirk, the multimillionaire CEO of Turning Point USA who stated that trans people should be “taken care of,” on a recent livestream.

At UC Santa Barbra, over 100 protesters demonstrated against Kirk and Turning Point USA.

At UC Davis, hundreds of people mobilized, running off Proud Boys, clashing with riot police, writing graffiti, and breaking the windows to the venue hosting Kirk on campus.

Other campuses also organized protests, rallies, and marches. At Ohio State University, Crystal Lake, Illinois, and the University of Illinois in Chicago, students rallied against Charlie Kirk and Turning Point USA and in Lincoln, Nebraska, an event by Kirk also saw protests and graffiti.

Michael Knowles faced a counter-demonstration at Buffalo State University, and other campuses on a recent speaking tour.

Most notably, students and community members at Purdue University in Indiana held it down with a series of disruptive protests. Indiana Mutual Aid Coalition has a great thread on how a massive crowd drowned out Knowles. Check it out here.

From a report by Indiana Mutual Aid Coalition:

There were a number of student groups that responded to trans students being targeted. We spoke with some of them and they had just over two weeks to plan – they decided on a multi-pronged approach and did an absolutely excellent job responding to this threat.

Before and during Michael Knowles’s event there was a protest intended to peacefully disrupt it. Hundreds of students and community members vastly outnumbered people who came to listen to transphobic rhetoric. They started outside with chants and an open mic. As event attendees started to line up for the event the crowd went inside the Purdue Memorial Union to make their voices heard there. They lined the hallways [and made a massive amount of noise].

This is when the police asked protesters to leave…Seconds later YDSA and PSL (Party for Socialism and Liberation) complied and encouraged others to comply as well. Doing this placed remaining protesters in danger. PSL is well-known for co-opting events and splitting up crowds, either ignorant to or intentionally ignoring the fact that there’s safety in numbers when countering fascists, especially against police wishes. This routinely knee-caps the intended goals of actions. There were hundreds of protesters and only a couple dozen cops. The cops seemed pretty aware of not only how difficult it would be to arrest that many people but also how they’d look shutting down free speech given that was how they justified protecting hate speech.

Luckily, even though PSL quickly pressured the majority of the crowd into following police orders to abandon their goal of disruption, a large enough number of protesters stayed that they were able to safely disregard police orders and continue to disrupt the event. Against police direction the students posted up right outside the North Ballroom where Michael Knowles was speaking, shouting and stomping for nearly two hours straight. Any time it got quiet for more than 30 seconds someone started a new chant. It was seriously impressive.

Looking defeated, the cop walked away. Cops tried a few times to talk to other members of the crowd and found themselves repeatedly ignored. Students looked nervous a few times but stood their ground and the cops never moved to make any arrests, no thanks to PSL. After vague threats of removal didn’t work and they weren’t willing to follow through with arrests, cops loitered around not quite knowing what to do for a bit.

That awesome protest wasn’t the only event that night. [There was] also a queer block party where queer-friendly student groups and orgs set up booths and activities for attendees. The environment at the party was busy but relaxed and it was filled with queer joy. While the protest was in full swing one building over attendees of the block party were being treated to a drag show. While we didn’t get a chance to attend the show, by all accounts the house was packed and the queens who performed killed it.

Folks at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) also disrupted a “Students for Life” event, facing down police and violent security.

Beyond fighting back against gender fascist grifters, students have also been heavily involved in organizing walkouts across the country against anti-LGBTQ+ attacks and legislation.

We also wanna give a shout out to the folks with Tampa Bay SDS, who have been organizing and fighting back against Ron DeSantis in Florida. Currently, several students are facing expulsion for taking part in recent demonstrations. From a group statement:

On Monday, March 6, students at the University of South Florida marched to the president’s office to protest attacks against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs by Governor Ron DeSantis and raise demands for increased Black enrollment at USF. They were attacked by police and brutalized. Copious video footage on TikTok and Instagram show students being grabbed, slammed onto the ground and walls, put in chokeholds, kicked, scratched, groped, and more. 4 were arrested, suspended from their classes and jobs, and are now being charged with bogus charges, including felonies.

One of the 4 arrested and charged, Chrisley Carpio, appears to be a campus worker, also a member of the service and clerical worker union AFSCME, who reports being put on paid administrative leave in face of potential discipline.

This is heinous and USF, Governor DeSantis, and USFPD need to be brought to justice.

For more information on Tampa Bay SDS, go here.

Richard Spencer Rides Again

After famously declaring, “Antifa is winning,” and a round of court battles, ranging from charges of violent domestic abuse against his former spouse and the Charlottesville trial, Richard Spencer largely shrank from the spotlight. Around 2020, many took note that he was going to vote for Democrat Joe Biden as he continued to critique the much wider right-wing and look back critically on the Alt-Right. But while Spencer faded from the headlines, he continued to put out an almost non-stop stream of content and collaborations with several prominent white nationalists largely under the banner of the National Policy Institute (NPI), Radix Journal, and Arktos Press – all white nationalist institutions that Spencer has been involved with long before the Alt-Right had became a household word.

Richard Spencer speaks with Alt-Right podcaster and convicted sex-offender, Ethan Ralph in 2022.

Sadly, many pundits have uncritically described his views as “transitioning” away from white nationalism; this is perhaps best exemplified by his recent appearance on the popular YouTube show and podcast, No Jumper, where he squared off against neoliberal debate grifter Destiny on race. Despite this touted makeover, for anyone that’s been paying attention to Richard Spencer over the last few years, he’s simply been attempting to update his politics for a new, post-Trump generation. As Spencer would argue, following Trump and Fox News driven right-wing trends is a dead end; one that leads to currents like Qanon and grifters like Marjorie Taylor Green. Instead, Spencer argues that liberals represent a new powerful bloc, and fascist and racialist politics should adapt to this new terrain.

But while Spencer has become more critical of the Trump era right-wing, he’s still firmly remained inside of the white nationalist movement through his own ongoing activity and output. He continues to publish podcasts regularly with a close circle of white nationalist pundits who discuss the news and culture from a racialist perspective and Spencer has also stated that he is working on a book with long-time collaborator and white nationalist, Mark Brahmin. In short, Spencer hasn’t left the movement.

It also appears that Spencer is returning to holding public (or semi-public) events. On April 29th, 2022, Spencer hosted an event featuring himself and Brahmin, which took place in Dallas, Texas. Another gathering took place in Las Vegas in January of this year. Spencer is also organizing an event later this summer, also in Las Vegas, from August 17th – 20th. According to Radix:

The event will center around The Strip in downtown Vegas. First, we have secured a beautiful villa, with a pool and a recreation area. This will act as our “home base”….We will shuttle people to-and-fro the villa and the hotel.

Its important for us to take note that racial fascists and white nationalists like Spencer can and will shift their politics from being directed at the average Fox News viewer and Trump voter, to the growing liberal bloc. Spencer is also someone that plays the long-game; as he may be gathering his forces to re-build what’s left of a movement after people like Trump and Nick Fuentes have long left the stage.

Doxxes and News

From neo-Nazi cops, white supremacist teachers, a racist librarian, to unmasked Unite the Right marchers, there’s been a whole bunch of doxxes that have dropped – so many we can’t really do them all justice. Be sure to stay up to date with new releases from Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, Atlanta Antifascists, and Asheville Anti-Racism. Be sure to also check out recent coverage from Unicorn Riot.

Also in major news stories you may have missed, the ongoing J6 Proud Boys trial has revealed that the FBI was seemingly more interested in what the neo-fascist group could tell them about antifascists – than the threat they posed to the public. Lastly, a trial is underway in San Diego against several antifascists facing conspiracy charges.

As USA Today reported:

The defendants are charged with felonies, including conspiracy to riot, stemming from a day of unrest in Pacific Beach on Jan 9, 2021. As a USA TODAY investigation found in 2022, groups of anti-fascists clashed with white supremacists and supporters of former President Donald Trump throughout a day of protests and counterprotests, but only the self-professed anti-fascists were ever charged with crimes, despite video evidence showing white supremacists attacking people.

An attorney for one Antifa defendant has asked the court to deny a local journalist media privileges in the courtroom, alleging that she obtained her media credentials by filing documents with the court under an assumed name – something the attorney argues is a felony under California law – and that her reporting was used for a right-wing harassment campaign against the defendants.

The journalist in question has published stories for years under the false name and recently co-wrote a series of stories about the San Diego case with a far-right provocateur.

The same defense attorney says he will also soon file another motion asking the judge to dismiss the case that takes aim at the prosecution’s key expert witness. The motion claims the witness – who, as USA TODAY reported last year, has a history of writing for far-right websites –  holds “speculative and biased” opinions that are not based on facts.

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Correction: This article has been corrected, as it previously stated that Richard Spencer was organizing an event in Dallas, Texas in late April of 2023. In fact, Spencer held an event there last year.

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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.

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