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Jul 7, 20

This Week in Fascism #67: A Hoax Upon All Your Houses

Welcome, fellow antifascists! This week, we’ve got the police targeting journalists in Portland, the Albuqueque Journal writing a puff piece whitewashing a neo-Nazi militia leader, a lack-luster Patriot Front photo-opt and Gettysburg hoax fest; doxxes of a racist cop, a member of far-Right militia the New Mexico Civil Guard, and a stalker; plus, how you can get neo-Nazi leader James Mason banned from his neighborhood liquor store.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

News

Journalist Targeted By Portland Police Department, Hours After Oregon ACLU Requests Temporary Restraining Order

The Oregon ACLU filed a motion on Tuesday, June 30, requesting a restraining order to prevent police from targeting journalists and legal observers covering protests in Portland. Specifically, the order sought the following protections:

  • Using any form of physical force against a journalist or legal observer, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and flash-bang grenades;
  • Arresting or threatening to arrest journalists and legal observers or seizing their equipment;
  • Threatening, harassing, or intimidating a journalist or legal observer;
  • Using indiscriminate force against crowds that are likely to contain journalists or legal observers;
  • “Kettling” or “killboxing” crowds that are likely to include journalists or legal observers; and
  • Ordering or forcing journalists or legal observers to disperse, or to stop recording or observing a protest.

However, in their list of plaintiffs, the ACLU included Patriot Prayer livestreamer Nathan Millsap, legitimizing fascist propagandists as genuine journalists. Twitter user PUADogbert threaded on Millsap’s approving presence at violent Patriot Prayer events, including the May Day 2019 attack on the Cider Riot bar, where Millsap watched Patriot Prayer’s Ian Kramer smash a woman in the back of the head, pronouncing it “like a movie.”

Hours after the injunction was filed, journalist Cory Elia, Managing Editor at Village Portland, was arrested for livestreaming that night’s protest. “One of your officers just tried to break my phone,” Elia told the police line. “He’s going to be part of a lawsuit. Did you just say you can arrest anyone you want?” Elia said as the police line advanced on protesters. “Are you okay, dude?” Elia asked a protester who was shoved by the police. “Yeah, you got media right here, don’t even try anything. These guys are reeking of misconduct tonight. This is Officer 66. You don’t have the right to tell me what to do,“ Elia told the officer.

“Well, when it’s called a riot–” the officer responded. “And it’s media, dude, freedom of the press,” said Elia, identifying himself as a member of the press. “You disrespect my press badge, I’m disrespecting your police badge. What is your name and badge number?” Elia asks one of the police on the line. “Oh, are you Bartlett? I think I recognize you from the other night. It is Officer Bartlett.”

After that, Bartlett and three other officers immediately advanced on Elia, grabbing him so that the camera shakes, and arrested him. Elia was charged with two felonies – assaulting an officer – as well as resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and two counts of interfering with an officer. Journalists Lesley McLam and Justin Yau were also arrested that night.

“It is with great sadness that I must state that I am done covering the protests. It is not my choice. I have been stripped of most of my equipment, humiliated, and harassed on multiple occasions. I’m exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally. It was made obvious that PPB no longer wished me to be reporting on the protests and they are now getting their way. I’m sorry to anyone who thinks I am tapping out but I have spent the time since my arrest trying to return to some normalcy without success. There are still reporters able to cover the protests. and whose work you will appreciate. Follow @tuckwoodstock, @DonovanFarley, @MrOlmos, @alex_zee, @PDXzane, @IwriteOK, and of course the many indies. (I would tag you all but that’s a long list) I’m gonna probably be a little reclusive as I am in the process of piecing my life back together and am overwhelmed. Life is really messed up for me right now without my equipment and while I don’t want to step back from reporting I am being forced to. I thank you all for your kind words and the support you have shown me during this time. I will do my best to live up to your expectations in my future reportings. Above all else I want to thank you for supporting the free press. I just want everyone to stay healthy and stay safe. I’ll probably be curled up in a depressed state for the next week until I can recover from this all,” Elia posted in a Twitter statement following his arrest.

On Wednesday, July 1, the ACLU’s order was granted. However, journalists were protected by the First Amendment prior to the ACLU’s order being granted, and the police deliberately ignored those Constitutional protections. In May, investigative outlet Bellingcat covered a string of incidents in which journalists were deliberately targeted by police.

Gettysburg Flag Burning Hoax Attracts Neo-Nazis But no Antifascists

Militia members, Trump supporters, Qanon grifters, and neo-Nazis all made it out to Gettysburg to ironically fly Confederate flags in the face of a make believe “ANTIFA” threat – but antifascists were nowhere to be found. For weeks, far-Right conspiracy websites like the Gateway Pundit and white supremacists and FBI informants such as Hal Turner, were all pushing the idea that antifascists were going to converge on the historic site and burn American flags. This make believe exercise in free speech was too much for some people, and they made plans to come out in the hundreds to oppose a clearly fictional demonstration. Ironically, militant streets actions did take place across the US on July 4th, from riots to statues being torn down; but it certainly wasn’t happening at Gettysburg.

Oregon State Police Officer Gives “OK” Hand Sign to far-Right Counter-Protester

On July 4th, an Oregon State Police officer was caught on camera flashing an “OK” sign – classified as a white supremacist gesture by the Anti-Defamation League, but in practice, used as a far-Right symbol, even by groups not explicitly white supremacist – at a white man counter-protesting a Black Lives Matter rally. Despite the video evidence, according to NBC News, the officer in question has been cleared of any wrongdoing following an internal investigation from police.

Boogaloo Boys Banned From Facebook

Facebook executed another coordinated takedown of far-Right users on their site, this time focusing on the “Boogaloo Boys,” an accelerationist far-Right movement that fetishizes the start of a civil and/or race war. The move comes after a string of arrests of armed Boogaloo Boys planning to disrupt Black Lives Matter protests.

In May, journalists Jason Wilson and Robert Evans documented how Boogaloo adherents were using Facebook to attract new members. A Wall Street Journal investigation found that Facebook’s own researchers had documented that 64% of users who joined extremist groups did so because of the site’s own recommendation algorithm. However, the company’s executives refused to take any action over that finding.

In June, the social media giant removed over 1,000 Facebook and Instagram accounts belonging to members of the Proud Boys and the American Guard, after internal traffic showed those groups were coordinating armed confrontations of Black Lives Matter protests.

On Twitter, researcher Megan Squire documented some glaring inconsistencies in the Boogaloo takedown. For example, Patriot Wave, a far-Right group featuring fashwave graphics that refers to the white supremacist Rhodesia as “a remarkably free land,” had its Facebook group banned, but retained its Facebook page.

Albuquerque Journal Writes Recruiting Advertisement for Militia Led by Neo-Nazi

Albuqueque Journal writer Matthew Reisen spent a weekend the New Mexico Civil Guard, a far-Right militia whose leader, Bryce Spangler Provance, has several white supremacist tattoos, including a swastika. However, Reisen appears to believe almost anything he’s told by the far-Right.

“Provance, a wiry 30-year-old redhead, said his group doesn’t take sides and is ‘very centrist’ – although the majority of its members lean conservative with some libertarians thrown in. He hides several damning tattoos – including a swastika on his shoulder – that he said he got ‘to survive’ a lengthy prison stretch.”

Reisen fails to note that court records from Provance’s time incarcerated specifically note that he was the aggressor, creating homemade weapons in his cell and forcing other inmates to violate jail rules, even requesting to be housed in a smaller cell block with fewer inmates, so that he could control them. (Provance changed his name from Bryce Leroy Spangler to Bryce Spangler Provance, which is why he is referred to in court documents as “Spangler.”)

According to a 2013 filing, “[i]nmate Spangler, who was short and slightly built, may have preferred to be housed in C-pod because it is a small pond, which provided him with the opportunity to take advantage of other inmates and instigate others to violate jail rules while avoiding inmate fights he could not win.”

The filing further documents that Provance received disciplinary measures for keeping weapons in his cell, clogging toilets, and threatening and assaulting jailhouse staff.

However, Reisen doesn’t even question Provance’s account of his neo-Nazi tattoos. This follows a pattern of white journalists and “experts” credulously accepting the word of neo-Nazis at face value. In June, militia “expert” JJ MacBan tweeted that Provance is “anti-racism” after Provance’s group, the New Mexico Civil Guard, brought guns to confront a group protesting a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate. In 1599, Oñate led the Ácoma Massacre, slaughtering 800-1000 Indigenous Pueblo, and ordering that any surviving men over the age of 25 have a foot removed as punishment.

In 2019, journalists Elizabeth King and Erin Corbett produced The Study Hall Anti-Fascist Media Guide, advising other journalists on how to cover the far-Right without providing a recruiting platform for hate groups.

“It goes without saying that any lies a fascist tells that will be included in an article should be debunked and the truth should be plainly stated,” the Guide advises. “Exposing and countering lies with facts is important but this alone is insufficient. It’s critical to deprive fascists of any chance to use your reporting to recruit to the movement and spread their propaganda.”

NFAC Stages Armed March Against Far-Right, Leader Grand Master Jay Revealed to Have Antisemitic Beliefs

In Stone Mountain, Georgia, the Not Fucking Around Coalition (NFAC), a group of armed Black militants, staged a march challenging anti-Black attitudes in the area, especially from the far-Right.

“To the Boogie Boys, the Three Percenters, and the rest of you scared-ass rednecks, we here. Where the fuck you at? We in your house. NFAC motherfucker,” said NFAC leader Grand Master Jay.

However, while many leftists were excited to see a militant group challenging the far-Right, a review of Grand Master Jay’s social media revealed a number of antisemitic postings.

“So the Jews are hoarding masks? How ironic,” Grand Master Jay tweeted in response to a tweet about stashes of medical masks in New York City. “Black people pay attention,” he noted before posting a meme claiming that Hitler started World War II to “save my nation from the Free Masons, the Illuminati, the jews.”

Grand Master Jay also appears to believe in a number of other conspiracies, such as anti-vax ideologies and “ID chips,” the idea that the American government is seeking to implant citizens with tracking chips.

Patriot Front Rally Fizzles in Chicago

In what was supposed to be a follow up to their DC march of several hundred in February earlier this year, Patriot Front’s decision to hold a secret rally in Chicago, Illinois this past Saturday only managed to bring out around 50 neo-Nazis for a very late-night photo-opt that sources close to This Week in Fascism describe as a “disaster.”

Patriot Front grew out of the neo-Nazi web-forum Iron March, along with a series of splits from other neo-Nazi groups such as Vanguard America, a member of which, James Alex Fields, Jr, was found guilty for the killing of anti-racist protester, Heather Heyer at the Unite the Right rally. Since Charlottesville, Patriot Front has attempted to build up its forces by posting a steady stream of photos of PF stickers, graffiti, and posters to social media. The group has also recently began to beef with the American Identity Movement (AIM), which has aligned itself with Trump and the Groyper movement, led by Nick Fuentes.

Doxxes

Officer Austin Lewis of Bear Creek, Alabama

Antifascist researchers out of Haleyville, Alabama under the pseudonym Haleyville ARA were able to uncover the identity of racist, queerphobic police officer Austin Lewis out of  Bear Creek, Alabama. Lewis, who graduated from Tuscaloosa Police Academy, posts some pretty problematic content to his social media.

Lewis says he’s not a racist but regularly tries to contort the conversation about violence against Black people into a discussion about why no one cares when white people are killed. He shares racist posts targeting people for standing up against racist police. His response to the recent uprising in response to George Floyd’s murder, he and his friends reminisce about going back to “western times” where people were “hung and shot.

Lewis also frequently posts “thin-blue-line” memes and is supportive of multiple SPLC-designated hate groups, the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer. This isn’t surprising given Lewis’ open bigotry toward queer people.

He has also posted statements about “helicopter rides” which is a fascist dogwhistle referring back to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was known for his brutal treatment and mass murder of political dissidents and leftist activists during his rule. He would often throw his prisoners out of helicopters, known as “Death Flights.” Today, the phrase is used by members of the far-Right in jokes about executing their political opponents.

For more information about Austin Lewis, please check out Haleyville ARA’s blog post.

New Mexico Civil Guard member Devon Bay

Antifascist researchers out of Albuquerque, New Mexico have identified another New Mexico Civil Guard member as Devon Bay. Bay was seen with fellow NMCG member Craig Fitzgerald headed to an action in New Mexico last week. The NMCG have been active at confederate and colonial monument protests, showing up to protect the monuments as well as attending reopen protests in late April and early May before the George Floyd Uprising began.

Devon spends a lot of time online, on Youtube especially. It appears that he runs an unlicensed paintball company under the name of “Paintball Parties, Incorporated” and can be spotted in front of his van with other NMCG members.

Devon’s Youtube page is filled with videos that include some pretty conspiracy theory-laden content about freemasons, GMOs, abortion, and chemtrails. He also records a lot of content about police weapons and armored vehicles. In one video, he is selling firearms targets with the faces of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and NM Governor Susana Martinez. Additionally, he includes videos of him shooting his AK-47 making thinly-veiled threats to the Albuquerque Police Department, and the United Nations. Devon describes himself as “a constitutional patriot, a sovereign American man,” but really, he’s just an unhinged militia member, with a criminal record of obtaining illegal firearms, and a danger to New Mexico residents.

Those who are inclined are asked to leave comments on his Yelp and Facebook pages.

Convicted Murderer James Lee Ginther III Linked to White Nationalist Group, Identity Dixie

Southern antifascist researchers Identify Dixie were able to conclusively link murderer James Lee Ginther III to Identity Dixie, in a thread. On Nov 16, 2017, James Lee Ginther kidnapped and executed his ex-wife, then dumped her body in a shallow grave in the woods. Three months earlier, he marched with Identity Dixie at Unite The Right. Ginther is now serving life in prison.

Suzette Ginther had two children with James. They married after being HS sweethearts. After killing her and dumping her body, he then returned home to his girlfriend and the child they had together and asked her to admit to the murder to cover for him.

This is a story about unhinged misogyny in far-Right organizing. The misogyny and violence against women are often overlooked in our conversations about neo-Confederates/white nationalism but it is an integral part of the dangerous ideology. Thank you to Identify Dixie for their excellent work on this story.

Stalker Ben Zahnd

Antifascist activist and sex worker Fancy Baker, after days of receiving rape and death threats, was able to identify her stalker as Ben Zahnd of Keene, Indiana. This man spent days sending serial threats via email to Fancy. Ben’s twitter handle is @bbenzahnd.

Sex workers, be on the lookout for this man. He is a danger to the community.

Neo-Nazi Ryan Van De Car, Norco, California

Activist Chad Loder, with the help of community members has identified the man who was filmed wearing a shirt with an SS symbol on it while assaulting a young woman at a recent Norco, California Black Lives Matter protest as neo-Nazi Ryan Van de Car. Ryan works for I.U.O.E. Local 12 labor union as an operating engineer. Folks are encouraged to reach out to them and ask them why they employ neo-Nazis. The main number for the Local 12 is (626) 792-8900. More info here http://oefi.org/local-12/.

Neo-Nazis Edward McBride and Chris Freeman of 14First/The Foundation – VA Chapter

Tidewater Solidarity Collective recently identified two neo-Nazis out of Norfolk Virginia after the area was flyered with neo-Nazi propaganda as Edward McBride and Chris Freeman. Both McBride and Edward are members of the 14First/The Foundation – Virginia chapter.

McBride has a history of membership with NSM as a Commander and even tried to adopt a highway under a Nazi name. He was recently spotted in Washington state so it’s unlikely that he is currently in Virginia, although he may be back at some point. He has a giant Reichsadler tattoo across his chest.

It has been confirmed that Freeman and a man by the name of Daryl “Big D” were responsible for the flyers. Freeman recently moved from Fredericksburg apparently flyered the area and yelled out “White Power!” on the night of June 29th, 2020. He uses multiple social media accounts.

14First/The Foundation, named after David Lane’s famous “14 words”, is a newer neo-Nazi organization that has recently popped up. They identify themselves as “Pro-White” and indicate that their primary directive is the “Prosperity of our [white] race.’ They also buy into the conspiracy of white genocide. You are encouraged to contact GoDaddy and let them know that they are currently platforming a site used to organize neo-Nazi’s and that it should be taken down immediately.

Neo-Nazi musician Joshua Matthew “JD” Croom Williamson, NE

Utah-based antifascist researchers Utah 161 were able to identify neo-Nazi musician and Panzer streetwear model as Joshua Matthews Croom Williamson, also known as “JD”. JD regularly posts antisemitic content to his social media. He also posts other racist symbols like nooses and his bands album artwork is full of neo-Nazi dog whistles.

Williamson’s first neo-Nazi band was Definite Hate, which he co founded with a friend in North Carolina. DH’s guitarist, Wade Michael Page, attacked a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI in 2012, killing several worshipers.

JD is also a member of the Atlantic City Skins gang, a neo-Nazi skinhead gang out of New Jersey. ACS is known for its members willingness to engage in violence. He often uses the initials “ACS” in his screen names, and named his carpentry business after the ACS motto, “Above the rest.” He posts the gang’s logo and symbols on social media as well. JD marched at the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in Aug, 2017 with a bunch of his neo-Nazi friend. This event left one leftist activist dead and many others injured.

JD owns a custom carpentry business, so in Geneva, NE residents be aware of a truck with this logo warn your community that the guy installing their new kitchen floor is a neo-Nazi. JD also continues to be active on Facebook and Instagram and if so moved, please consider reporting his posts and his accounts. For more information on JD, check out the blog.

Proud Boys in DC

A group of Proud Boys showed up to Washington, DC and the antifascist community has come together to create a running list of who was present:

  • Tyler Christopher Ziolkowski of Deland, Florida

  • Bill Whicker of Hillsborough, NC

Call to Action

This week’s Call to Action involves neo-Nazi James Mason of Denver, CO. Mason is the author of the infamous collection of newsletters, Siege. Mason’s Siege is considered a manifesto and is regularly used to inspire acts of terror from neo-Nazi accelerationist groups like Atomwaffen Division.

Mason, in addition to being a neo-Nazi with links to fascist organizing, is also a convicted felon for possessing child abuse images of a 15-year-old girl. It has come to the attention of the “This Week in Fascism” co-authors that Mason frequents @Argonautliquor on Colfax in Denver and though patrons have spoken out about how uncomfortable it makes them, management continues to render services to this man.

Your call to action this week:

Please consider reaching out and providing Argonaut some feedback to their Yelp and Facebook pages. You can also send a message via their contact form or give them a call and have a chat with management over the phone (but make sure you’re actually speaking to management or the owners and not the friendly store clerks who have zero control in this matter). Let them know this man is not wanted or welcome in the community.

It’s important to hold our local businesses accountable for providing services to fascists. NO SAFE SPACE FOR NAZIS.

Argonaut’s Contact Information

Argonaut Wine & Liquor
760 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203
(303) 831-7788

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This Week in Fascism

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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