Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Education, Northeast, White Supremacy
The following report comes from someone who was on the ground at the University of Connecticut, where students and community members confronted Alt-Lite troll and conspiracy theorist Lucian Wintrich and his friend and associate, Sal Cipolla, a member of the Proud Boys who attended the neo-Nazi ‘Unite the Right’ rally and is friends with white supremacist organizers.
“The organizers booked the event under false pretenses and on short notice, in a craven attempt to catch the community off guard.”
On November 28th, members of University of Connecticut’s administration decided to provide a platform for Lucian B. Wintrich, a self-described Alt-Lite or ‘New Right’ provocateur, misogynist, anti-trans, conspiracy theory peddling, hate-mongering troll, and in doing so cosigned his message of hatred and violence towards minorities. [Editor’s Note: Lucian Wintrich, who has White House press credentials, gave a speech entitled, “It’s Okay To Be White,” a reference to a neo-Nazi meme popularized on 4chan’s /pol/, an imageboard associated with the Alt-Right and where Wintrich often finds conspiracy theories to signal boost for the Alt-Lite publication he writes for, The Gateway Pundit.] The organizers booked the event under false pretenses and on short notice, in a craven attempt to catch the community off guard. Leading up to the time of the “lecture,” members of the community contacted officials within UConn’s administrative offices, urging them to cancel it. Alas, the school’s official twitter released this all too predictable deflection:
“UConn does not bar speakers on the basis of content. Free speech, like academic freedom, is one of the university’s bedrock principles. That being said, a particular speaker’s or group’s presence on campus doesn’t indicate UConn’s endorsement of the presenter or their message.”
Fuck off with that marketplace of ideas bullshit.
Inside the Lecture Hall
So, with the full endorsement of UConn’s higher-ups and a robust police security detail, the coward held what amounted to a pathetic farce of a hate speech. Dead-eyed and sporting a tuxedo, the third-rate Milo, having mastered the art of PowerPoint slide transitions, clumsily recited from his print-out, smirking as he sipped milk (an Alt-Right dog whistle for white purity), between jabs at minorities. Surely his mind swelled with delusions of free speech martyrdom as members of the audience relentlessly booed and jeered.
At one point not long into the speech, two people briefly approached the podium; on their way out, one of them nabbed the coward’s print-out from the podium. Wintrich immediately ran after them and can be seen on video assaulting the person who’d taken his papers, pulling their neck and hair as he did so. Police quickly intervened, and escorted Wintrich into the men’s bathroom in the front lobby, generating uproar from the massive crowd of students outside.
This move by the pigs was a transparent protective measure intended to shield their precious little champion of intellectual discourse from the buzzing mob—a public arrest provided them an excuse to wait out the crowd and, if that failed (which it did), escort him with a full security detail into an unmarked cruiser. The charge filed: breach of peace in the 2nd degree, is a joke compared to what can be seen in videos of the attack.
Outside the Lecture Hall
“The crowd roared as Wintrich was escorted into the lobby bathroom. A window was smashed. Then another. Tension between the people and the pigs reached a fever pitch when one cop began yelling at a student of color who had been standing directly in front of one of the glass doors.”
The location for the event changed hours before Wintrich was set to appear, from the large and vulnerable Arjona building to the single-room, impregnable fortress of Andre Schenker Lecture Hall. No matter, as many hundreds of students swarmed the small building, keeping tight as they emanated a powerful energy of resistance (many were likely eager to see who among their fellow Huskies worships at the altars of hate).
The crowd roared as Wintrich was escorted into the lobby bathroom. A window was smashed. Then another. Tension between the people and the pigs reached a fever pitch when one cop began yelling at a student of color who had been standing directly in front of one of the glass doors. The pigs opened the door and grabbed the young person, pulling them into the lobby.
The crowd erupted, grabbed onto the young person, and successfully de-arrested them. In the commotion, a smoke bomb was tossed into the lobby, causing the glass-paned room to fill with smoke and the fire alarms to sound. This was likely done to force the pigs to evacuate the coward, so he’d have to face the crowd head-on, as well as to provide a diversion to aid in the de-arrest. Wintrich and his pig protectors remained inside the bathroom, and the crowd held its position as the pigs tried to flush out the smoke (they picked up the smoke bomb and threw it out one of the rear exits).
“the dean, Eleanor B. Daugherty, created a diversion so the police could escort the coward safely to an unmarked cruiser. She falsely announced that Wintrich would be brought out through the front while he was whisked out through a rear exit.”
Eventually, the dean, Eleanor B. Daugherty, having cravenly conspired with the police, created a diversion so they could escort the coward safely to an unmarked cruiser. She falsely announced that Wintrich would be brought out through the front while he was whisked out through a rear exit. Many people were not fooled, and descended upon Wintrich as he was gently placed into the cruiser. At least one person physically blocked the cruiser’s path before being overpowered by pigs. You know the old chant: “Cops and Klan and university officials whose heads are so far up their asses that they think nazis are totally OK go hand in hand!”
There was an intense feeling of fear and upset felt by many minority students in the crowd after Wintrich was whisked away and the demonstration began to die down. They came to UConn to pursue their dreams, and for the administration to create an environment where they feel unsafe as they do so is unforgivable.
After the Event
Somehow, after Wintrich assaulted someone at his blatantly white-power lecture, Daugherty became disappointed in the hundreds of counter demonstrators (many of whom are people of color). That she can witness the power of her students’ total rejection of hate and conclude that, “No, you just need to hear the nazis out, OK?” is a testament to the deep cowardice of centrists. Shame on her for blinding herself to the truth that welcoming hate-mongers onto college campuses is itself an act of violence. Wintrich’s assault on that person happened because of her decision to defend a racist, sexist, transphobic scumbag and his allies.
Proud Boy and attendee of the neo-Nazi ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Sal Cipolla, livestreams the Lucian Wintrich event.
A cursory glance at Wintrich’s employer’s website, thegatewaypundit.com, clearly depicts a platform for hate-mongering. “But no,” say UConn’s administrators, “let’s hear him out. Surely this child is merely an armchair debate away from snapping out of his white supremacy, misogyny, and hatred for the poor!”
For some context, let’s briefly revisit just a few recent events that have taken place on campus in Storrs:
“the counter demonstrators, given virtually no time to prepare, displayed an impressive diversity of tactics to shut this scumbag and his cronies the fuck down.”
Or how about the micro-aggressions faced every single day by countless minority students? Racism is alive and booming on college campuses across America, and when a racist speaks, there is no “discourse”—it’s just hate. When minority students voice their concerns, administrators have a responsibility to listen, and to ignore them in the name of some myth about “The Marketplace of Ideas” is to explicitly endorse hatred and violence. There is no equivalence between minorities speaking out against racists and racists spewing hatred—no intellectual debate, no carefully worded explanation.
Ultimately, the counter demonstrators, given virtually no time to prepare, displayed an impressive diversity of tactics to shut this scumbag and his cronies the fuck down. Shame on UConn for kowtowing to bigots! To racists in Connecticut and everywhere, stay the fuck in your holes.
These are some of the people involved in organizing the event:
Joseph Gatti, the main organizer of UConn’s chapter of the far-Right/Alt-Lite group, Turning Point USA. He uses the College Republicans as a front to mask the group’s organizing on campus.
Sal Cipolla, doting stooge to Wintrich and a self-described member of the Proud Boys, was also involved in the assault and livestreamed the event, standing behind Wintrich as protection during his talk. Presumably based in Oceanside, NY. Pure scum, nothing more.
Sal with Lucian, presumably before or after the speaking event. This is currently Sal’s Facebook image. Source: Facebook
Editor’s Note: Sal Cipolla, beyond being a Proud Boy, was also an attendee at the neo-Nazi Unite the Right rally. While Wintrich has attempted to distance himself from the white nationalist section of the Alt-Right since August 12th, his working closely with Cipolla shows that he still has strong connections with open fascists and white nationalists, while also signal boosting and mainstreaming their talking points.
A video of Sal at the neo-Nazi, Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. From: One People’s Project
A photo of Sal with former KKK and neo-Nazi leader, David Duke, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Source: Facebook
Sal with neo-Nazi podcaster and Unite the Right organizer, Mike “Enoch” Peinovich. Source: Facebook
Sal with Lucian Wintrich on the Gavin McInnes show. Source: Facebook
Sal Cipolla’s Facebook page featuring him posing with Lucian Wintrich wearing the same outfit from the campus speaking event. His background image features a fasces, a symbol associated with fascist movements. Source: Facebook
Eleanor B. Daugherty, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, who decided to amplify the voice of a troll on her own campus, endangering her students and feeding the toxic climate on her campus.