UC-Berkeley says ‘Free Speech Week’ is canceled. Milo Yiannopoulos says he’s coming anyway.

By Susan Svrluga

The student group planning to hold a “Free Speech Week” at the University of California at Berkeley canceled the event Saturday, the day before it was expected to begin.

The plans had been closely watched because a controversial speaker, writer Milo Yiannopoulos, had been shut down by violent protests in February and had vowed to come back. In the months since, the school faced continuing fights over free speech, hate speech, politics and political correctness, and the surrounding community had bloody clashes between extremists on the far left and the far right.

“We will not be deterred,” Yiannopoulos said in a news conference Saturday afternoon. Without the support of the student group, he and the other speakers could not hold an official university event. But they would hold an unofficial one, he said, “come hell or high water.”

He said he and other speakers would be exercising their constitutional right to free expression Sunday at Sproul Plaza on campus, the site of the historic Free Speech Movement protests of the 1960s that made the flagship school a symbol of First Amendment rights. That iconic setting, and the school’s reputation as a politically liberal campus, have made it a magnet for controversial speakers this year.

Yiannopoulos also made his intentions clear on social media.

When Yiannopoulos tried to speak on campus in February, the reaction was intense. About a thousand people protested peacefully outside until 150 or so masked anti-fascist extremists joined the crowd, smashing windows and setting fires. University police shut down the event, leading Yiannopoulos to claim that the campus was continuing to stifle all but left-wing views, and President Trump to suggest that the school did not deserve federal funds.

At attorney for students from Berkeley Patriot, the student group that invited Yiannopoulos, wrote in a letter to campus officials that the students had been “subjected to extraordinary pressure and resistance, if not outright hostility,” from university officials since announcing their intention to host the event.

The group was canceling plans for the events, which had been expected to begin Sunday and end Wednesday, solely because of the actions of the university, Marguerite Melo wrote.

The group filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice this week, claiming that the university had engaged in a pattern of First Amendment violations, including imposing “arbitrary and irrational bureaucratic hurdles on student groups which seek to exercise their First Amendment rights by holding public debates.”

University spokesman Dan Mogulof said, “It is extremely unfortunate that this announcement was made at the last minute, even as the University was in the process of spending significant sums of money and preparing for substantial disruption of campus life to provide the needed security for these events.

“Claims that this is somehow the outcome desired by the campus are without basis in fact. The University was prepared to do whatever was necessary to support the First Amendment rights of the student organization.”

He said that claims that the university had sought to put speakers in harm’s way were unfortunate. “We were in the process of spending what could have amounted to a sum well in excess of one million dollars to make these events safe.”

Yiannopoulos had promised days of speeches about controversial ideas, and speakers who have sparked protests at other campuses. In recent days, problems with securing large indoor venues prompted even greater concerns about safety, as events would be much more difficult for police to control if they had to be held outdoors.

Confusion about speakers — some who were announced said they had never even been invited, and some who had planned to attend changed plans in recent days — added to last-minute uncertainty this week.

This morning, Melo said, she and the students concluded they could not ensure the safety of the remaining speakers. “They made the decision on the side of safety and having their free speech rights stifled,” she said. “We are extremely saddened.” As an alumna, she said, she could not have imagined that administrators would act in such a way.

“It looks like the university had its way, and won, over free speech.”

Mogulof pointed to a successful event this month, when the Berkeley College Republicans hosted conservative writer Ben Shapiro, “and numerous prior events with conservative speakers” as evidence that the university is deeply committed to freedom of speech.

“We want to send the strongest possible message that we will continue to work constructively with campus organizations to host their speakers on our campus.”

Melo said students were concerned that they were being investigated after the university’s chancellor, Carol Christ, sent a message to the campus community condemning some “hateful messaging” that had appeared on campus targeting certain groups, and said university police were investigating whether they were hate crimes. She said her clients in Berkeley Patriot “heard the threat loud and clear.”

In an email, Mogulof said that chalkings were found around campus, as well as posters naming students and faculty and describing them as terrorists. But he said the attorney’s claim was “another in a long line of false statements.” He said the police had not identified any suspects, were not looking at any particular group or individual, and has no reason to suspect anyone from Berkeley Patriot was involved.

The university cannot stop conservatives from speaking on campus, Yiannopoulos said Saturday, no matter what they try. He announced plans for a seven-month college tour, and promised “nice surprises” for people joining him at Berkeley Sunday. 

Mogulof said the events that had been proposed, if not backed by a student group would need to comply with guidelines for outdoor campus events.

Those include a requirement that the events be “academically driven.” Yiannopoulos’s plans, Mogulof said, would not meet that standard.

He is, however, allowed to speak on the public campus as a private citizen.

Edited for mb3-org.com

Failures of Capitalism Put Fourth by the Democratic Party Enabled Fascism in the U.S. — Its (All) a Social Construct(?)!

“Behind every fascism there is a failed revolution.” – Walter Benjamin. This rings true nowadays, and especially more-so as deaths perpetrated by the far-right begins to increase with each passing day. I write this in the background of the two deaths by fascist Jeremy Christian, killing two Americans and injuring a third who confronted him […]

via Failures of Capitalism Put Fourth by the Democratic Party Enabled Fascism in the U.S. — Its (All) a Social Construct(?)!

Understanding Richard Spencer’s Holodomor Denial

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Richard Spencer is at the center of controversy again after his recent tweet denying that the Holodomor was an intentional genocide. This time, the controversy is not so much with the public at large (who have largely never heard the word), but within in his own white nationalist swamp. Almost immediately, Spencer’s credibility with many fash-fans dropped even lower than it had been after his repeat retreats in the face of antifa, as neo-Nazis everywhere cannibalized each other and labeled him as either a savvy nationalist or a tool of “the Jews”.

The Holodomor is the engineered starvation of the Ukrainian people in the 1930’s Soviet Union. Stalin and other members of his government viewed Ukrainians as a reactionary and recalcitrant population prone to spark a nationalist rebellion. When resistance to the dysfunctional collectivization of agriculture and unrealistic quotas induced starvation, authorities doubled down with even harsher demands and punishment for non-compliance in a way that was not mirrored in Russian-majority regions.

The Holodomor is a deeply politicized issue in both Russia and Ukraine. Ukrainians largely accept it as genocide and view it as a continuation of centuries of Russian oppression, while Russians — in identification with Stalin’s legacy and the continuity of broader Russian civilization under a red flag — claim it was incidental policy failure or environmental in origin. This is also the heart of a longstanding division between fascists: one that would be hilarious if it weren’t still killing people.

After the Holodomor, much of the resistance to Soviet authority occurred under the banner of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, a fascist guerrilla force that collaborated with the Nazis. To this date, Ukrainian fascists still venerate them as national heroes, and either tacitly or explicitly embrace the conspiracy theories that Bolshevism was a Jewish plot, the Holodomor was a Jewish genocide, and Putin’s Russia is still in thrall to the Elders of Zion. Russian and Novorussian fascists, influenced by Alekandr Dugin’s neo-Eurasianist ideology, slander Ukrainians as a fictional “bastard race” and pawns of NATO. Spencer has joined them, labeling Ukraine a synthetic nation in appearance at Auburn University and elsewhere on Twitter.

All of this has served to make Spencer’s comments and the fascist response somewhat inscrutable to outsiders, who don’t understand what the positions really signify. Putin’s United Russia party has been the architect and sponsor of far-right movements across Europe over the past decade, attempting to weaken NATO and the EU and construct the “multi-polar world” in which a Russian sphere of authority sits apart from foreign “Atlanticist” influence. To side with Russia is to signal allegiance to this Traditionalist International over the more explicit, but Western-aligned, Ukrainian Nazis.

The priorities here are telling. His pragmatism of alliances with other far-right groups overwhelms concern for more pedigreed Nazis, which has left the old school white supremacists howling. People often wonder how different kinds of fascists can ally with each other. The answer is that they all believe in nationalism, not globalism. Hence they can work together for conditions of mutual isolation, in which each group gets to “be itself” in its own homeland, violently protected from free individuals making their own transgressive choices.

This priority is mirrored on the tankie left, who are now coming to a more positive evaluation of Spencer. So eager to uphold the glorious state communist tradition of allying with Nazis, they embrace the Traditionalist International out of resistance to Western capitalist imperialism, echoing the European New Right author Alain de Benoist’s sentiment that it is “Better to wear the helmet of a Red Army soldier than to live on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn.” They, like Spencer and other white nationalists, also defend Putin’s support of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Ba’athist (Arab national-socialist) regime.

Noting that the far-right and authoritarian left hold similar priorities and sneer just as glibly at “globalism” is often derided as “horseshoe theory”: the idea that extremist views all tend toward the same totalitarian horror and truth lies in the sensible centrist middle ground. This is a misunderstanding. The common thread is not extremism but authoritarianism. All authoritarians promote closed societies and esteem them more than open ones because all authoritarians benefit from being able to insulate people from subversive outside influence, denying access to novelty and exploration. Freedom is inherently caustic to nation and tradition. They all intuitively recognize this, and that is why they get along so well.

As libertarians, we are inherently globalists. Not the capitalist and state “globalism” of the EU or other such half-measures, but the alter-globalism of a world without borders, bound together by peaceful cooperation and freed markets. Richard Spencer’s move should be taken an indication of exactly where libertarians should not go, and what practical alliances we should not seek. The world we seek is undiscovered country, and not to be found among the fascists.

Alt-right crowdfunding site disappears

Where's the money gone?

Posted By Jim

A major alt-right crowdfunding site has gone offline, raising questions about where the money has gone.

Before disappearing from the net WeSearchr.com had raised over $120,000 to support neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer.

WeSearchr.com was an alt-right website which used crowdfunding to pay bounties to people who sent information to the site.

The website had also been raising money to identify the anti-fascist hero who created the most meme-worthy event of 2017.

A Twitter account claiming to belong to former chief technology officer Pax Dickinson claims the server bill has not been paid.

In other posts on social media Dickinson appears to tell users who have donated money they “might have reason for concern”.

UPDATE: WeSearchr is now back online.



Dictionary.com Adds “Alt Right” as New Word

Normalization comes in a variety of forms, from the mainstreaming of white nationalist narratives about race to the demonization of Muslims. The term Alt Right is well-coded white nationalism, and a term that has become so well-known on Internet message boards that Hillary Clinton even used it as a sledge-hammer (unsuccessfully) against Donald Trump. Now […]

via Dictionary.com Adds “Alt Right” as New Word — Anti-Fascist News