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December 23

This Week in Fascism #41: Shedding Light On Light Upon Light

Welcome, fellow antifascists! This week, we’ve got the UNC Board of Governors giving millions of dollars to a neo-Confederate organization, a Washington state legislator engaging in far-Right “domestic terrorism,” an “anti-hate” organization that’s defending a hate group, plus doxxes of neo-Nazi Blood and Honour members, and the Goyim Defense League getting deplatformed!

Without further ado, let’s begin!

News

UNC Pays Neo-Confederate Group $2.5 Million to Care for Monument, $74,999 to Not Protest on Campus

This week, it was revealed that the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors created a $2.5 million trust for the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans, along with an additional payment of $74,999 to the neo-Confederate group, in exchange for the group’s promise not to rally on campus for five years.

Journalist Ari Sen noted that while the university offered multi-million dollar payments to the neo-Confederate group, it also paid $73,500 for a three-year contract to use “geofencing” technology to monitor the activity of antiracist protesters present at protests of the monument to slavery. Taking “both sides” to a whole other level!

WA House of Representatives Report Finds Rep. Matt Shea “Participated in Act of Domestic Terrorism”

A report commissioned by the Washington State House of Legislators found that GOP state legislator Matt Shea “participated in an act of domestic terrorism against the United States by his actions before and during the armed takeover and standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.” Shea was also involved in a variety of other key militia campaigns in a variety of states.

The report also found that Shea “engaged in and supported the training of youth and young adults to fight a Holy war” and that he had “engaged in and promoted annual Patriot Movement militia training and readiness exercises in support of anticipated armed conflicts against federal, state and local governments and law enforcement.”

Shea has made the news before, after he circulated a call for Christian holy war against abortion and same-sex marriage that called for outright murder of all male bodied people who would not submit to an authoritarian Christian regime.

As Jason Wilson in The Guardian wrote:

Shea, a six-term legislator and military veteran, came to international attention in 2018 after a document he authored surfaced laying out a “biblical basis for war”, which appeared to be a plan for an apocalyptic battle with people who practiced “same sex marriage” and “abortion”, and instructed: “If they do not yield, kill all males.”

Shea, over Signal, also discussed with others on the far-Right carrying acts of violence against antifascists in the lead up to the November 4th, ‘Antifa Civil War’ hoax that was promoted by click-bait conspiracy websites like InfoWars and the Gateway Pundit.

Again, Wilson in The Guardian:

A Washington state Republican politician took part in private discussions with rightwing figures about carrying out surveillance, “psyops” and even violent attacks on perceived political enemies, according to chat records obtained by the Guardian.

Shea, the elected Republican legislator, did not demur from any of these suggestions. He also appeared willing to participate directly in surveillance of activists.

The men talked about the broad outlines of what they appeared to consider to be a looming civil war. They also discussed using symbols from what they understood to be Russian anti-communist groups as a way of spreading paranoia among their adversaries.

Calls have grown for Shea to step down; which he has refused to do so, comparing himself to Trump.

Former Neo-Nazi Frank Meeink Joins New Hate Group, Centrist “Anti-Extremist” Org Rushes to His Defense

This week, journalist Nick Martin revealed that Frank Meeink, a former neo-Nazi whose life story served as the basis for American History X, was representing the Clarion Project, an anti-Islam hate group, at the American Legislative Exchange Council conference earlier this month.

The Clarion Project is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and frequently spreads anti-Muslim propaganda. Their 2005 documentary, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, was cited in mass shooter Anders Breivik’s manifesto.

Eli Clifton at Think Progress noted:

Norwegian gunman Anders Breivik’s manifesto is littered with references and citations to key players in the American Islamophobia industry. Bloggers like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and terror “experts” like Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipes and Walid Shoebat all appear to have played a role in influencing Breivik’s murderous rampage on Friday. But buried on page 762 of his 1,518-page manifesto is a list of sources Breivik recommended for “further study.” The list includes links to all ten parts of the Islamophobic documentary Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West.

Ryan Mauro, the Director of the Clarion Project’s Intelligence Network, appeared on Fox News to claim that the Muslim community of Islamberg, New York, was fostering “training camps… for guerrilla warfare training,” and that CAIR, a civil rights organization, is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, “set up to advance the Hamas agenda through the media” – all the things!

When confronted with evidence of the Clarion Project’s anti-Muslim agenda, Meeink replied on Twitter, “Here’s what you look like a fool cuz you’re not doing the research in the last year the Clarion project has not produced One segment that is anti-islamic there are people in this group who are still practicing in the Muslim faith.. if I get to change why can’t a group change.” Meeink was tweeting from West Palm Beach, Florida, where he was representing the Clarion Project at this weekend’s Turning Point USA conference.

Meeink currently works as an “Influencer” for Light Upon Light, yet another “countering violent extremism” organization that quickly rushed to his defense, after Twitter users responded negatively to his involvement with a hate group. Light Upon Light purports to help people leave extremist political movements using the “countering violent extremism” model developed by the FBI and NSA to surveil Muslim communities in the US.

LUL takes a hardline “both sides” approach, as they wrote on their website:

…extremist strands of far-left groups like Antifa call openly to violence, which in turn fuels the propaganda of far-right ideologues and vice versa.

LUL associate Samantha Kutner, who has done some impressive tracking of the Proud Boys and also has interviewed antifascist groups like PopMob for LUL’s publication, also landed in hot water recently after posting a rambling livestream to YouTube, in which she decried “gatekeeping” by “cis white males,” briefly talked to Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio, and several times, used a slur to refer to trans people. When Twitter users objected to Kutner’s multiple use of the slur, she responded by tweeting, “This discourse harms me and other individuals doing work beyond online activism.”

The organizational LUL account responded by doubling down on their support for Meeink, even after seeing pictures of Meeink representing a hate group at a Turning Point USA conference. “We at @lighttuponlight are honored to have @frankiemeeink, the original former, as a #ShapeShifter. U may know his story from the movie American History X or his book Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead,” they tweeted.

LUL co-founder Jesse Morton recently wrote an op-ed with Meeink and former National Socialist Movement leader Jeff Schoep, who still refuses to turn over documents to the court demonstrating his role in the first Unite the Right, claiming his cell phone fell into a toilet. In the editorial, they claim they have “a collective of former right-wing, left-wing and jihadist extremists and survivors of extremist violence” who are “embedded in at-risk networks.”

Light Upon Light also recently announced its intention to begin “embedding” within various movements. Morton is an admitted FBI informant, so folks should be on the lookout for him or anyone affiliated with Light Upon Light.

The example of Light Upon Light should also serve as a reminder that non-profits and organizations monitoring “extremism” are not de-facto friends of social movements and at a time when far-Right street activity is down, these groups which survive off of grants and big foundations will potentially look to “the Left” and autonomous movements as a source for potential content and research targets. There are several examples of this, from the SPLC’s attacks on “eco-terrorists” and supposed Black Nationalists, which predated the creation of the FBI’s “Black Identity Extremists” label, the ADL’s demonization of antifascists during the rise of the Alt-Right and their most recent smear that “anarchists” were promoting a white power meme, which IGD successfully pushed them back on.

Doxxes

Nine Blood and Honour Members Doxxed in the UK

Anti-Fascist Intel exposed the names and workplaces of nine members of Blood and Honour in the United Kingdom. They are Sebastian Losik, Affliction Tattoo Parlour in Bathgate; Colin Holmes, Demon Drillers Ltd. in Gateshead; John Hepworth, Haribo factory in Pontefract; Mick Wakefield, Benson for Beds, Eastbourne; Frank Mcglone, Advance Construction Scotland; Mark Marsden, Manchester Airport Cargo; Baz Stone Cooper, S-C Security; Peter Wooley, S-C Security; and Calvin Roe, S-C Security.

Leah O. Deveau, Operation: Werewolf in Portland, Oregon

Leah Deveau, a yoga instructor in Portland, Oregon, had ties to the neo-fascist Operation: Werewolf exposed this week.

Operation: Werewolf is a neo-fascist strength training program that acts as a feeder organization for the fascist neo-pagan group the Wolves of Vinand.

Deveau works out of The Yoga Space in Portland, Oregon. You can inform them of Deveau’s neo-fascist ties by emailing [email protected]

Actions

Antifascists Protect Vigil for Trans Teenager

Portland community members held a vigil for Nikki Kuhnhausen, a trans teenager murdered by a 25-year-old man she met on Snapchat.

Journalist Robert Evans attended the vigil, documenting that far-Right group Portland’s Liberation, (made up largely of Haley Adams followers and the left overs of Patriot Prayer), showed up to disrupt the event. Evans caught one middle-aged white woman screaming at at a Black attendee, “How do you know I’m not a Black person?”

Brandon Farley, a propagandist livestreamer for the far-Right, attempted to disrupt the event before being chased inside a government building. “You brought your camera here to try to fuck with people and monetize and profit off a fucking funeral,” antifascists told him.

Deplatforms

After Month-long Pressure Campaign, Venmo Finally Cuts Off Goyim Defense League

Earlier this month, Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists revealed that the Goyim Defense League was selling merchandise and using PayPal and Venmo to process the payments and mounted a pressure campaign.

While PayPal responded immediately, closing the neo-Nazi group’s account, Venmo did not respond, despite the fact that, as Sleeping Giants co-founder Nandini Jammi noted in a tweet, Venmo is actually owned by PayPal. One day after Jammi’s tweet, Venmo stopped processing payments for the group.

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This Week in Fascism

A weekly roundup of the latest and greatest happenings in the anti-fascist world. Each column will feature an “Explainer,” delineating some new fascist trend, a roundup of the doxxes and the deplatformings, and feature the calls to action, ways that you can help your local anti-fascist crews beat back the rising tide of fascism worldwide.

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