It’s Going Down
On August 12th in Charlottesville, VA, hundreds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Alt-Right trolls, and KKK members will reconverge at Emancipation Park in order to hold a protest to “Unite the Right” and in support of a statue of Confederate general, Robert E Lee, which is slated to be removed. While the protest is advertised as a broad mobilization across the right-wing and advertised as a “free speech” rally, the only groups organizing for the event and the only people speaking at it are all connected to the racist Alt-Right and various neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate groups.
Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the US promotes the Unite the Right protest. “88” in the website URL stands for the 8th letter in the alphabet, and short for “Heil Hitler.”
These groups do not hide their politics, but they do cloak it in irony and memes while openly using racial slurs, claiming that Jews control the world, calling for genocide and ethnic cleansing, and promoting and endorsing violence. The rally will mark the third white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville in the past four months; as Richard Spencer led a series of rallies in May and the Ku-Klux-Klan gathered in July, all around the same statue.
As the Unite the Right protest draws closer, Alt-Right trolls and neo-Nazis have increased their calls from the safe space of the internet, for violence and openly are talking about bringing weapons and concealed firearms. Moreover, on various Alt-Right and neo-Nazi websites which are promoting Unite the Right, attendees have even made a “hit list” of local political leaders and police, referring to them as “n*ggers” and “Jews,” while in the media the Alt-Right has worked hard to portray itselves as nonviolent and ‘not racist.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.
Neo-Nazi podcast with Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler describes counter-demonstration as a “chimp out,” a racist reference to black people.
Despite their giddy excitement about using violence, the Unite the Right protest is being promoted from a place of victimization. Regardless of the fact that members of the Alt-Right have carried out numerous murders, arson attacks, and racist acts of intimidation – they claim that they are the real victims.
Their Facebook event page even hilariously reads:
[T]he City of Charlottesville and roving mobs of Antifa have cracked down on the First Amendment rights of conservatives and right wing activists…This is an event which seeks to unify the right-wing against a totalitarian Communist crackdown, to speak out against displacement level immigration policies in the United States and Europe.
If anyone has their head so far up Alex Jones’ ass that they need a reality check, the truth is that the State has not cracked down on conservatives or the Right. In Charlottesville, despite massive outcry from the local population, the City Council and police have kept the permit for the neo-Nazi rally in place, bowing to pressure from Alt-Right lawyers. While the Alt-Right might like to think there is a “totalitarian Communist crackdown,” in reality the State has targeted poor communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and protesters while giving the far-Right free reign.
Even several of the leaders who are speaking at Unite the Right will attest to this reality. In a recent podcast on Fash the Nation, Richard Spencer and Mike Peinovich, two prominent neo-Nazi organizers who are speaking at the protest, discussed how both the Trump administration and Steve Bannon in particular are holding back both police and the FBI from harassing them, giving them the “space to destroy.”
“He’s going to give us space to operate, and frankly, it is space to destroy,” Peinovich continued.
“Now is the time that we have to make hay while the sun shines . . . while these investigations of ‘domestic terrorist groups’ are not being funded by the government, they’re not being pushed by the Department of Homeland Security” argued one of the co-hosts of the program, an anonymous former Republican political staffer who calls himself Jazzhands McFeels.
“We’d probably be facing fucking [racketeering] charges or some shit like that,” Peinovich said, discussing what he believed might have happened if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election.
“We have to use these four years to grow into something that can’t be defeated by that kind of thing,” Peinovich said, referring to possible future investigations of neo-fascist groups.
“They kind of expect us to be doing this. I’m not saying he’s our guy, but they want — at least Bannon, I would think — wants us to be able to operate in that space. So we should and we are,” [Jazzhands] said.
Alt-Right and neo-Nazi groups feel emboldened, empowered, and protected by police and the Trump administration – not attacked by it. With this in mind, they are attempting to play on fears of ‘antifa’ and Black Lives Matter promoted by Trump aligned media outlets like Breitbart and Fox News, in order to turn out rank and file people on the Right.
There’s just one problem: the Alt-Right has been picking fights and laughing at militia members and groups like the Oath Keepers over “muh freeze peach” and fighting with the various Alt-Lite organizations and leaders for months. Because of this, it seems many of them won’t be showing up for Unite the Right, and instead are leaving the door open for the most hardcore neo-Nazi elements of the Alt-Right to come in and fly their colors.
KKK member and III%er arguing about Unite the Right, while KKK member attacks militia member’s mixed racial child. So much for uniting the Right!
At a time when openly racist and fascist groups feel the most emboldened and protected by the government, the President, and the police – it’s important that we as everyday working and poor people arm ourselves with knowledge of what is really going on, so we can better organize ourselves and our communities in defense against these groups who are bent on using violence and intimidation to further their politics, either from behind a keyboard or carrying an assault rifle.
At the end of the day, what the Alt-Right wants most of all is to unite the various white supremacist and Neo-Nazi factions together, under a strong leadership. They are also hoping to bring in and indoctrinate a variety of Alt-Lite individuals and groups, such as the Proud Boys and people like Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, and ultimately make them move from “civic nationalism” to “white nationalism.”
Lastly, the Alt-Right hopes to distance itself from its image of being a ‘rent a troll’ army that helped get Trump elected and lined the pockets of hucksters from Milo Yiannopoulos to Steve Bannon. But moreover, as stated in online forms and in social media, the Alt-Right hopes to “demoralize” community members who come out to demonstrate against them by crushing anyone that stands in their way.
But despite everything that the police, local city government, and the white supremacists would throw at us, thousands of people are coming to Charlottesville and will mobilize and converge to defend their city and region against the growing neo-Nazi threat of the Alt-Right. Across a broad range of organizations, movements, lines of race and gender, beliefs of faith, and communities, people are holding meetings, teach-ins, and talking with their neighbors about the need to drive out the white supremacists.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Protest is Being Spearheaded by Jason Kessler, Who was Fired from Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller for Being a White Supremacist
Jason Kessler is the principal organizer of the Unite the Right protest, and is a long time organizer in Charlottesville around Alt-Right and white supremacist causes. Throughout his career, Kessler has campaigned long and hard to keep the Charlottesville statue of Robert E. Lee from being taken down and done everything to further his cause from petition drives, rallies, getting arrested for fighting, and now: working with neo-Nazis.
Over the past few months, Kessler’s descent into full blown neo-Nazism and white supremacist politics has only intensified, leading some of his former associates to distance themselves from Kessler, claiming that they want nothing to do with him or the Unite the Right protest.
Kessler speaks to media at a press conference with protection from the 1% biker gang ‘The Warlocks’ behind him for intimidation. The Warlocks have a long and violent history of crime, but they’re some of the only allies that Kessler can buy.
Moreover, locally Kessler has attempted to align himself with a violent biker gang for protection. At a recent press conference about the Unite the Right rally, Kessler was flanked by the outlaw 1% biker club the Warlocks for protection. A quick look at the history of the Warlocksreveals a group connected to violent crime, carrying out many of the same acts that Kessler states people of color are genetically predestined to commit:
In 1991, 12 members of the Warlocks MC — including former national president John “Spike” Ingrao — were indicted by a federal grand jury in Orlando, FL on drug, explosives, and weapons violations. That November Ingrao was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison for attempting to sell 525 lbs of marijuana, transferring 21 machine guns, and selling 84 homemade bombs to undercover ATF agents.
Ingrao had also told ATF agents about the Warlocks MC “wrecking crew,”an elite group of members whose job was, as he put it, “taking care of business.” In the words of one federal agent, this meant killing rival gang members by “using explosives and also using Colombian hit men.”
In 2011 Warlocks member James Madison Bedsole was sentenced to life in prison for the 2009 murder of a man who accidentally knocked over a motorcycle outside of a central Florida bar. And in 2014, a Warlock named Victor Amaro was found guilty on two counts of second degree murder in connection with a deadly shootout at a Winter Springs VFW.
Kessler’s links with the Alt-Right and neo-Nazis have also caused him to be fired from his position at the The Daily Caller (run by none other than Tucker Carlson), after he wrote an article about a white nationalist rally headed by Richard Spencer which he attended and spoke atearlier this summer.
Kessler has also been a regular contributor to a wide variety of white supremacist websites, shares a wide variety of neo-Nazi articles and memes, appears on various white supremacist podcasts, and has also been a regular poster on online forums favorited by the Alt-Right.
But while Kessler may be the public face of Unite the Right, those that he is bringing to town are much, much more frightening.
Despite Claiming to Bring Together Different Sections of the Right, Most of the Groups Organizing the Protest Are Part of White Supremacist and Neo-Nazi Groups
The original idea behind the Unite the Right protest was that it would bridge the gap between Trump supporters, ‘Alt-Lite’ groups such as the Proud Boys, and the hardcore white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the Alt-Right. This would essentially take the hodge podge of people who have been attending the various “Free Speech” and pro-Trump rallies across the US since March, and bring them out to a demonstration under Alt-Right leadership. By and large this effort has been a total failure, and instead the protest has sought to draw more and more from outright neo-Nazi elements with long and violent histories in order to bring in more shock troops.
Here’s a look at some of the groups attending:
Identity Evropa: Formed by ex-Marine Nathan Damigo who after attacking a cab driver, became ‘racialized’ in prison from reading the works of KKK leader David Duke. Once out, Damigo transitioned the neo-Nazi group the Nationalist Youth Front (NYF) into Identity Evropa in order to appeal to a more upper-middle class and college educated demographic, largely borrowing from ‘white identity’ groups in Europe that took the language of identity politics and used it as a way to obscure neo-Nazi ideology.
Identity Evropa member giving Nazi salute at protest in Minneapolis, 2016.
Since Identity Evropa began in 2016, the group has been linked to racist harassment and threats of violence against a college dean with biracial children, numerous violent clashes at protests, and white supremacist vandalism across the US.
In May of 2017, a neo-Nazi associated with Identity Evropa was outed as a known pedophile. IE members have also been documented giving Nazi salutes at demonstrations and using white supremacist symbols. Damigo has referred to IE as the “SS” of the Alt-Right and claims that they have 450 members operating across the US, primarily based out of colleges. IE’s goal is to transition their members into leaders in positions of authority in order to further their white supremacist goals.
From the Facebook page of the band, Negro Terror
In recent months in Florida, Identity Evropa members have disrupted several liberal events and racial justice trainings, and according to the African-American punk band, Negro Terror, in late July IE leader Nathan Damigo threatened to violently turn one of their shows into a “boot party.”
Vanguard America: After accusations of snitching and pedophila destroyed the group American Vanguard, which itself was a split from the “IronMarch” neo-Nazi web forum, Vanguard America (VA) was born. VA is much like Identity Evropa in that it tailors to a younger and internet based Alt-Right audience and spends much of it’s time putting up posters and stickers. However unlike IE, much of VA’s aesthetics borrow more from classical neo-Nazism and make more open reference to it. For instance, it’s website “Blood and Soil” is borrowed from the slogan of the Nazi Party, and their logo shows an eagle carrying the fasces, a weapon most associated with fascism.