Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Education, Southeast
Photo from @ajmalalami
As IGD reported back in early October, students at Virginia Tech have been organizing on campus to remove a neo-Nazi organizer, Mark Neuhoff, a teaching assistant, since it was revealed that he was heavily involved in Alt-Right and neo-Nazi organizing. For more background information on Mark Neuhoff and his support for neo-Nazism and white supremacy, go here.
Towards this end, students and community members have organized a series of demonstrations and educational campaigns, and on November 6th a march and demonstration was organized through campus calling for Neuhoff to be removed.
In the wake of the demonstrations, Neuhoff announced that he would not be returning to the campus. According to the Washington Post:
Neuhoff has been a teaching assistant in introductory writing courses, but said he is choosing not to teach next semester, “because I’m tired of the hateful mob that wants to crucify people.”
Unsurprisingly, when students first brought their concerns to administrators, they did nothing:
The controversy flared shortly before the start of the school year. Tori Coan, a senior from Fairfax studying economics, alerted friends about Neuhoff through a private Facebook campus group page. She also shared images from social media attributed to Neuhoff.
Coan met with administrators to share her concerns, she said, but became frustrated when it seemed nothing was being done.
The protests at Virginia Tech against Neuhoff show two things, first that the SPLC model of going to the school administration to ask politely for change simply doesn’t work, even in the face of one student organizer receiving death threats from neo-Nazis. This same reality has played out across the US, as various schools such as CSU Stanislaus and UC Berkeley have done nothing to expel neo-Nazi students and have given a huge cover for the Alt-Right to organize. But Virginia Tech also shows the power of mass collective direct action on campus, which physically forced a neo-Nazi troll like Neuhoff out of our communities.
The students at Virginia Tech show us we can’t turn to the authorities to solve these problems; they are only interested in keeping ‘order,’ and not with ensuring safety in our communities. Instead, let’s come together and organize on our own terms.
Check out this roundup of the recent action:
Antifascism is community self-defense and it works. https://t.co/H0rrzH48Ei
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) November 7, 2017
— ricky (@rickyhlam) November 6, 2017
— Black Caucus @ VT (@VTBlackCaucus) November 6, 2017