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Feb 24, 21

This Week in Fascism #97: Nazi Camp Foiled in Michigan; Fascists in Military Growing ; Oath Keepers Get Conspiracy Charges

Welcome fellow antifascists!

As Trump prepares to address CPAC, we’ve got a lot of stories to bring to your attention. Turns out that one of the main people behind the accelerationist neo-Nazi group, the Base worked for the DHS, and most recently, members of the Base have attempted to open up a fascist training camp in Michigan. The Proud Boys continue to splinter and fall apart, while several Oath Keepers have been slapped conspiracy charges. Robert Rundo, a leader of the neo-Nazi street-gang the Rise Above Movement has been deported from Serbia while a new report shows that the number of white nationalists is growing within the military. All this plus doxxes and much more!

We also want to bring to your attention that This Week in Fascism was recently kicked off of Patreon following a “Mass Report” campaign by the Proud Boys. SIGN UP HERE to support the authors of This Week in Fascism continue to do this work every week.

Let’s dive in!


Rise Above Movement Founder & Neo-Nazi Robert Rundo Deported from Serbia

According to internet journal Global Voices, Serbia has officially expelled New York-born neo-Nazi Robert Rundo from the country. Rundo, who founded the Rise Above Movement (RAM), fled to Serbia in 2020. For context, Rundo has been involved in neo-Nazi organizing for years and even marched in Charlottesville with three other RAM members at the 2017 deadly Unite the Right rally. According to Bellingcat, Rundo has spent most of 2020 in Europe, having attended a neo-Nazi commemoration in Budapest, Hungary in February of last year. Bellingcat reports:

Rundo has spent much of 2020 in eastern Europe. He attended a neo-Nazi commemoration in Budapest, Hungary in February 2020. Two weeks later he was in Sofia, Bulgaria for an annual neo-Nazi march that, for the first time in years, was banned by local authorities, with only a small commemoration to a Nazi-collaborating general taking place (the author of this article covered both events). In an interview with a neo-Nazi podcast in September 2020 — one in which Rundo spouts the n-word, uses anti-Semitic language and references Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf — Rundo claimed he left the United States because of “non-stop harassment” from American law enforcement.

Rundo’s Rise Above Movement is a far-right fight club and clothing and lifestyle brand based out of California. Rundo and member’s of RAM would use MMA to recruit, train and indoctrinate more members into the far-right while espousing racist, queerphobic and antisemitic ideology. Until a few days ago, Rundo and fellow neo-Nazi MMA fighter from Russia Dennis Kapustin aka Dennis Nikitin co-hosted a podcast together where they talked about their own journey into white supremacy, their opinions on queer people, Black people and immigrants, and their recruitment strategies to build the movement. The podcast, which was hosted on the San Francisco-based platform PodOmatic and was pushed out through various far-right channels on Telegram, has, as of February 17th, been taken offline. According to a VICE article, Rundo:

…encourages listeners to form their own local groups like RAM, which he describes as a “white nationalist active club,” focused on strength and combat training, disseminating far-right propaganda, and giving members a sense of “camaraderie, excitement, and direction” they lack with the decline of traditional masculine institutions like boxing clubs.

Both Rundo and Nikitin are viewed as dangers to European authorities and have faced backlash from national and local governments across Europe as well as direct pressure from antifascist activists. Transnational white supremacist organizing is not a new development but still alarming, especially when done effectively as is the case with Rundo and Nikitin. It is unclear now where Rundo might go and details around his Serbian expulsion are still not publicly available. We will continue to track and report on Rundo’s whereabouts as it is likely he will return to the United States and possibly his previous location of California where he will no doubt pick up where he left off and continue training, recruiting and indoctrinating recruits to his racist and violent ideology.

Armed Neo-Nazi Groups Found to Be Planning on Building Training Camp in Michigan

According to VICE, members of the paramilitary neo-Nazi group The Base were caught planning to build an “ehtno-state” in rural Michigan. As VICE wrote:

Justen Watkins, 25, a former leader of the Base—the domestic terror group under the shadow of a persistent FBI crackdown—now awaiting trial in Michigan. Following a joint FBI and Michigan State Police investigation, Watkins was charged with gang membership for his association with the Base and using computers to commit a felony.

According to secret chats obtained by VICE News between known accelerationist neo-Nazis, a subset of the far right that believes terrorism will hasten the collapse of the U.S. government, Watkins claimed he was going to be purchasing and occupying land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, not far from where he was eventually arrested.

Watkins made it clear to all that he had already begun operating in the Upper Peninsula and wanted committed, militant neo-Nazis intent on paramilitary training for the so-called race war to join.

Base Founder Confirmed to Have Worked for DHS, as Recent Pentagon Report Exposes Fascist Infiltration in the U.S. Military

Rinaldo Nazzaro, leader and founder of the neo-Nazi accelerrationist group the Base, was confirmed to have worked for the Department of Homeland Security. According to VICE, Nazzaro recently took to Telegram to share three separate letters from U.S. government agencies thanking him for his service: one from DHS and two from the Pentagon. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security stated that Nazzaro had worked there from 2004 to 2006.

This is not the first news of Nazzaro’s ties to military and intelligence agencies. Last September, VICE reported that the neo-Nazi had worked as private contractor for the Pentagon, and earlier last year he informed the BBC that he had been employed as an analyst for the FBI.

VICE writes:

The confirmation that Nazzaro worked for DHS is indicative of a significant problem American law enforcement and counterterrorism officials are facing: Some veterans and people who have worked for the government during recent wars, with real tradecraft and understandings of insurgency, now see that government as the enemy.

This trend is especially obvious in the wake of January 6th. That nearly one fifth of the defendants from the Capitol siege are military veterans hardly comes as a surprise given the makeup of anti-government militias such as the Oath Keepers. Military connections can also be found at the more extreme fringes of the neo-fascist right. Last November, Corvallis Against Fascism published an expose on Doghead Division, an Operation Werewolf-linked white supremacist group that aims to radicalize former veterans and first responders. One of Doghead Division’s members, Steven Bitzko, is a CIFSO Police Officer for DHS. To this day, the department has taken no steps to remove the Nazi officer from its ranks.

Just this week, Roll Call reported on a previously unpublished Pentagon report on the growing problem of fascism in the U.S. military. The article states:

The Pentagon report said U.S. military personnel and veterans are ‘highly prized’ recruits for supremacist groups, and leaders of those groups try to join the military themselves and get those already in their groups to enlist. Their goal is to obtain weapons and skills and to try to borrow the military’s bravado and cachet, the authors suggested.

The Pentagon report mentions Brandon Russel, the Atomwaffen Division co-founder who was sentenced to five years in prison in early 2018 for possession of bomb-making materials, after serving in the Florida National Guard. Officials say that Russel had a tattoo of Atomwaffen Division’s logo, a radiation warning symbol, on his right shoulder. Despite openly conversing with others about his white supremacist ideology, Army Guard officials did not realize that Russel was a neo-Nazi.

The Pentagon report includes several steps to prevent the rise of fascist infiltration, including more specific vetting questions for security clearance applicants, social media surveillance, giving Department of Defense officials access to FBI databases and tools, and adding a special designation on discharge and separation forms to indicate extremist behavior.

Only those who actively participate or publicly advocate for so-called extremist groups can be barred from the military. The Roll Call article states, “merely belonging to a group such as Atomwaffen Division is not explicitly against the rules.” This distinction is particularly absurd with regard to AWD and similar accelerrationist cells, where passive membership does not exist, and all involved are armed, dangerous, and actively plotting racist violence.

How could the military allow fascists like Brandon Russel to openly flaunt their white supremacist ideology, traumatizing and endangering the marginalized people in their ranks, as long as they hide their active participation in neo-Nazi organizing? The answer is simple: The U.S. military is fundamentally a structural competent within a system built on white supremacy: from the National Guard being sent out against Black Lives Matter protesters to invading foreign countries to secure imperial geo-political ambitions. It is unsuprising that they have taken a “softball approach” to the rise of fascism, as Mike Pietrucha wrote in May for War on the Rocks, as any meaningful effort to combat racism and hate would call into question U.S. hegemony and the very purpose of the military itself.

14First Foundation Member Vandalizes Spokane Temple

Raymond Bryant is being held on $2,000 bond and facing charges for second-degree malicious mischief and harassment after vandalizing Temple Beth Shalom in Spokane, WA. Bryant, a “proud white nationalist,” stated that he was “trying to get some publicity” by spray painting hate symbols on the building.

Bryant and other members of the 14First Foundation have previously placed white supremacist and antisemitic flyers around town. According to KREM news, two swastikas were painted on the building as well as “W [lighting bolt] P,” standing for “white pride.” Bryant also defaced a Holocaust memorial on the property with red paint. The name “14First” is a reference to the 14 Words, a white supremacist slogan coined by the Order founder David Lane.

We Will Be Ruthless notes that Raymond Byrant has collaborated with another Washington neo-Nazi named Eddie McBride. The group also located both of Bryant’s Twitter accounts and his Facebook page.

Although Twitter has recently removed over 70,000 accounts associated with the QAnon, they still permit accounts like Bryant’s which share overt Nazi iconography, and whose bios contain phrases like “National Socialist” and “pro-white.”

Updates From the Capitol Siege

Oath Keepers Charged with Conspiracy

According to an unsealed indictment acquired by CNN, a total of 9 members of the fa-Right militia the Oath Keepers across four states, have been charged in connection with the January 6th White Riot in Washington DC. According to the indictment, three members were charged in the days immediately following the event, and an additional 6 have been added in more recent days.

In January, military veterans Jessica Watkins, Thomas Caldwell, and Donovan Crowl were arrested after the siege for spending months planning the coordinated attack. According to CNN:

Searches of the defendants’ cell phones and email accounts revealed coordinated logistics, like a shared van ride up to Washington, DC, from North Carolina and a pre-dawn rendezvous in the lobby of a Virginia hotel on the morning of the insurrection, investigators wrote in court filings.

Prosecutors said this trio of military veterans recruited like-minded extremists to travel to Washington and hoped to ferry weapons by boat across the Potomac River. In the new charges unsealed Friday, prosecutors said Watkins coordinated efforts among fellow Oath Keepers.

Siblings Grayden Young and Laura Steele have been charged with conspiracy among other crimes. Kelly Meggs and wife Connie Meggs were also arrested and charged with conspiracy. All four are Florida residents. The final two members, Bennie and Sandra Parker of Morrow, Ohio, were charged with four federal crimes including conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, and unlawful entry on restricted grounds. According to the indictment, the Parker’s coordinated and planned with Jessica Watkins directly. Prosecutors say that Sandra Parker breached the Capitol while Bennie Parker remained outside but in radio contact with the group.

Jessica Watkins claims that she met with the Secret Service on January 6th, and agreed to provide private security. According to Reuters and Watkins attorney:

Ms. Watkins was present not as an insurrectionist, but to provide security to the speakers at the rally, to provide escort for the legislators and others to march to the Capitol as directed by the then president, and to safely escort protesters away from the Capitol to their vehicles and cars at the conclusion of the protest. She was given a VIP pass to the rally. She met with Secret Service agents.

A representative for the Secret Service denied Watkins’ claims outright.

Proud Boys Continue to Break Apart as Gavin McIness Attacks Enrique Tarrio; Jason Van Dyke Makes Legal Moves

In a new video from Gavin McInnes’s Get Off My Lawn show, he attacks Enrique Tarrio, calling him a snitch and saying that he does not know “if the club will survive.” McInnes now joins a growing chorus calling for Enrique to step down as Tarrio faces a slew of charges. Several Proud Boy chapters have already declared themselves autonomous from the national leadership and local Proud Boy leaders like long time white nationalist organizer and Unite the Right marcher Brien James have been openly attacking Tarrio, calling for his removal.

According to One People’s Project, the Proud Boys former attorney, Jason Van Dyke, is also now releasing the Proud Boys name back into the public domain:

Last week, Van Dyke sent a letter to Tarrio terminating his license to use the trademark effective immediately. In it, Jason cites incidences with substandard purchases of Proud Boy merchandise, neo-fascist imagery posted online by members, and complaints about the open promotion of white nationalism by members on social media, among a number of other reasons.

In the hours following, Alt-Right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos said on Telegram that “the Proud Boys’ leadership is so incompetent they never bothered to secure the organization’s trademark,” and that he was planning to offer to buy the trademark from Van Dyke. The plans involved gifting it back to “the fraternity” on the condition Tarrio “immediately step down, and renounce his claim to any leadership position beyond chapter president – for life.”


Mayra Gutierrez, Latinos for Trump Member of McAllen, TX

Our comrade Ruthless We has identified avid Proud Boy supporter and Director for the Texas Latinos for Trump chapter Mayra Gutierrez. Gutierrez is a resident of McAllen, Texas and has been involved with far-Right organizing since the November election. Gutierrez was present in Washington DC for a November 12th Proud Boys rally along with Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio. Beyond her transparent affiliations, Gutierrez’ social media is full of problematic content and she uses it to regularly promote the Proud Boys.

In one photo, Gutierrez is wearing a “Pinochet Did Nothing Wrong” t-shirt at the gym. This is a fascist dogwhistle and reference to brutal Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who tortured and killed political dissidents and leftists by throwing them from helicopters. Gutierrez has a telegram profile where she posts her most vile content including climate misinformation, anti-immigration propaganda and forwards posts by UK fascist Tommy Robinson and white supremacist Nick Fuentes. McAllen, Texas residents should be on the lookout for this woman. Her politics are dangerous and she is a threat to marginalized community members.

Dr. Joseph Christopher Cihlar of Hixson, Tennessee

Anonymous Comrade Collective came through with a mega dox of Hixson, Tennessee neo-Nazi Dr. Joseph Christopher Cihlar. ACC was able to identify Dr. Cihlar by way of Unicorn Riot Discord leaks. According to the leaked chats, Doc Cihlar, who used the moniker DocCLAR, was involved in far-Right organizing as far back as 2017 where he provided monetary support for those attending the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. DocCLAR also used that same screen name to post content to his Twitter account as well. His commentary is a collection of racism, homophobia and queerphobia, misogyny, and white supremacy. In a 2014 post, DocCLAR admits that he is an active duty military physician.

His reddit posts aren’t any better. His content is antisemitic, homophobic and racist. Additionally, his mixcloud account is full of neo-Nazi dogwhistles like references to the 14 words. According to our comrades, Dr. Joseph Cihlar has taken a job with Beacon Health Alliance in Hixson, Tennessee. His views are violent and dangerous and this man has no business treating patients of any background. Please consider reaching out to Beacon Health Alliance and politely asking them if having a neo-Nazi on staff aligns with their values.

Beacon Health Alliance Phone : 423-756-8871

For more information on Navy neo-Nazi Dr. Joseph Cihlar, head over to the Anonymous Comrade Collective blog.

Neo-Nazi Heathen Jon Alexander Argumedo of Kilbourn Park, in Chicago IL​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Chicago AFA has dropped a mega dox on Heathen Jon Alexander Argumedo of Kilbourn Park in Chicago, IL. Jon Argumedo has been involved in neo-Nazi organizing in the midwest for the last decade and continues to be a threat to the community. In 2019, Argumedo reached out to Chicago AFA with a desire to come clean and deradicalize. Emails show Argumedo’s temporary sincerity in the derad process. He seemed to be invested in leaving white power behind, becoming a father (his partner was pregnant at the time), shutting down an anti-antifa site he was operating, and giving up information about those he organized with.

In late 2019, after a series of personal hardships, Argumedo went dark and stopped engaging the process. In August 2019, Chicago AFA were able to confirm that Argumedo had abandoned the deradicalization process entirely and fallen deeper into white supremacist organizing. Before quarantine, Chicago AFA had heard rumors of Argumedo’s organizing and escalating violence. Argumedo was spotted in photographs at a November 2020 #StopTheSteal rally in Shaumburg, IL. The Shaumburg rallies are known far-Right hotbeds where MAGA supporters, militia members, Proud Boys and other far-Right supporters recruit and galvanize.

Chicago AFA have captured screenshots of Argumedo’s twitter profile which features a “We The People” banner (a nod to III% Militia groups) and his profile pic which features a “Revolt Through Tradition” sticker. Revolt Through Tradition is an offshoot of the neo-Nazi group the Rise Above Movement (RAM). RAM was founded by neo-Nazi Robert Rundo, who was just expelled from Serbia for neo-Nazi organizing, as we wrote about earlier in this article.

Chicago AFA took great care to make the unanimous decision to release Jon Argumedo’s emails effectively outing him as a snitch. We encourage everyone to head over to Chicago AFA’s blog to get the in-depth story.

Edward Joseph Poirier, neo-Nazi of Barnstable, Massachusetts

Our comrade Antifa Garfield brings us our final dox this week. Welcome to the column neo-Nazi and Tinder fascist Edward Joseph Poirier of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Poirier first came on Garfield’s radar as a promo model for neo-Nazi grifter Chris Polhaus aka The Hammer. Garfield states, “Chris sells a variety of neo-Nazi flags, hats, and sunglasses, which Ed has eagerly bought and shown off for Chris.”

In addition to promoting Chris’ clothing and other crap, Poirier was also found in Chris’ telegram chats. His posts in Telegram led Garfield to Poirier’s Tinder profile where he gives up his name, age and location. A further connection was proven based on arrest data, Poinier recently had his guns seized following an OUI charge.

For the full picture and images of the chats, check out Garfied’s excellent thread.

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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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