On October 19, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer held a speaking event at the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. Spencer was met by a large anti-fascist mobilization organized by the #NoNazisAtUF coalition and supported by anti-racists from throughout the South. The event was a clear victory for anti-racists. Spencer was jeered and frequently drowned out from inside the venue, and ended his event ahead of schedule. Two thousand protesters simultaneously rallied outside, with many in the crowd confronting and chasing the white supremacists who showed up for Spencer. The University of Florida spent approximately $600,000 to protect the white power leader; the Governor declared a State of Emergency ahead of time; but a broad-based anti-racist/anti-fascist coalition nevertheless won the day.
After Spencer’s event had ended, a vehicle containing white nationalists from Texas provoked, then fired a shot at protesters waiting at a bus stop just outside of campus. Nobody was hit. William Fears, Colton Fears, and Tyler Tenbrink were eventually found and charged with attempted homicide. According to police, it was Tyler Tenbrink that fired the shot.
A planning document for Richard Spencer’s visit — which anti-racists accessed and which we are now publishing in full — suggests that the would-be killers from Texas were not mere supporters of Richard Spencer, but traveled to campus as part of Spencer’s operational plan for the day. The operational document also reveals details such as there being an after-party for Alt-Right militants who assisted with the Gainesville event, and that Spencer and other “VIPs” planned dinner with donors while visiting the city.
The operational plan developed for Gainesville by Richard Spencer’s closest associates reveals coordination with both the University of Florida and police, with both parties described by the Alt-Right racists as “cooperating.” According to the plans distributed to staff at Spencer’s National Policy Institute, The Patriot Front, an openly fascist organization, was a key organization participating in the racist “Task Force” for Gainesville. The planning document appears to have made plans for larger numbers of white nationalists than showed up, again pointing to Gainesville as a flop for Richard Spencer’s movement. This defeat happened at a time when the racist “Alt-Right” is desperate for any sort of win, in the aftermath of the bloody and disastrous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville this August.
The “Operation Gator” document mentions that white nationalists had plans for a “flash mob” in the event that University of Florida cancelled Spencer’s speech — with racists showing up elsewhere on campus or in Gainesville to make their presence felt (with predictable intimidation and likely targeted violence). In actuality, Spencer did not have his speech cancelled by the University but rather cut it short himself after being humiliated by the student/community mobilization. The “Operation Gator” plan stated that participants ought not bring guns. However, it was in the context of political defeat (but not any University cancellation) that some of Spencer’s allies attempted to settle scores with anti-racists, nearly committing a murder.
Patriot Front Texas
The “Operation Gator Operation Order” for Gainesville lists the Patriot Front as one of the main organizations — along with Identity Evropa and “The Florida Gators” — comprising the Alt-Right “Task Force” for the day. Patriot Front is a split-off from Vanguard America, the fascist organization that Heather Heyer’s murderer stood with in Charlottesville. As a new white power organization, Patriot Front is best known for its attempt at storming the Houston Anarchist Bookfair this September.
As well as mentioning Patriot Front as an organization, the operational order also states that “Texas guys” would be bringing a van to Gainesville. A Twitter post from days before Spencer’s visit to Florida explicitly stated that Patriot Front was sending a “delegation” from Texas.
William Fears, one of the individuals now facing attempted homicide charges in Gainesville, led the Patriot Front attack on the Houston Anarchist Bookfair according to one published account. In addition, one of Fears’ Facebook accounts (under the name “Rance Mason”) posted the Patriot Front flag, again signaling his allegiance to that organization.
In Gainesville, William Fears was photographed wearing the “White Bloc” uniform used by Spencer’s forces and described in an appendix to the Gainesville operational document. William Fears’ uniform further indicates that he was an invited and approved part of the Alt-Right operation, which was put together by Spencer’s closest associates. Hours later, William Fears shouted encouragement for Tyler Tenbrink to shoot anti-racists.
After a shot had been fired but before arrests, the Texas branch of Patriot Front stated on Twitter that all its members were “safe and having a blast in Gainesville.”
Executive Officer for the Alt-Right Mobilization: Gregory Conte AKA “Greg Ritter” of Maryland
The Alt-Right planning document for Gainesville mentions “Greg Ritter” as the “XO” — a military abbreviation for “Executive Officer” — for the operation. Ritter is responsible for the “Alt-Right Politics” podcast on AltRight.com, which is billed as “An insider take on Washington in a political roundtable format.” According to an article on AltRight.com, Ritter was also a planner of and participant in a September flash mob outside the White House by Richard Spencer and Identity Evropa.
By providing a phone number for “Ritter” the Gainesville planning document also revealed his actual identity. The same number is listed on the website of a technology staffing company, as the number for Equal Employment Opportunity Officer Greg Conte. Greg Conte is based in Maryland. His LinkedIn profile lists him as a staffing consultant for a different company.
“Gregory Conte” is also listed as translator for a piece published in 2015 on the white nationalist/antisemitic Occidental Observer website.
These could all be a series of coincidences, except that “Gregory William John Conte” of Maryland is also listed as a co-organizer of the “Tyr 1 Security LLC” company, registered in Wyoming this year. (The company name is a pun on “Tier 1 Security”; Tyr is a god in Norse mythology.) The other organizer of “Tyr 1 Security LLC” is Brian Christopher Brathovd, who is Richard Spencer’s bodyguard. Brathovd is also listed in the Gainesville operational document under his alias “Caerulus Rex.”
While Gainesville went poorly for Richard Spencer, the operational document for the day highlights what Identity Evropa leader Elliott Kline (AKA “Eli Mosley”) described in a recent podcast appearance as the “professionalization” of the Alt-Right, which according to Klein started with Richard Spencer’s appearance in Auburn, Alabama earlier this year. White power militants are divided into units with clear roles, a detailed plan, and a chain of command. The Gainesville document indicates that Spencer’s forces coordinated closely with UF campus police for their visit.
The Gainesville organizational document was approved by Gregory Conte/”Ritter,” who does podcasts on Spencer’s Alt-Right.com and has a “security” business with Spencer’s bodyguard. The planning document, which was distributed to National Policy Institute staff, was approved by Spencer’s closest associates and almost certainly Spencer himself. Patriot Front — the fascist organization that recently tried to storm the Houston Anarchist Bookfair — had trusted roles in Spencer’s Gainesville mobilization, as did the white nationalists of Identity Evropa. After Spencer’s Gainesville event flopped, racists from the Texas delegation tried to murder someone.
“Operation Gator Operation Order”: Complete Document
As well as the images below, you can download the complete document as a .pdf file here.