Atlanta, November 4: Far-Right Counters “Antifa” Uprising of its Own Imagination

On November 4, the Leftist anti-Trump organization Refuse Fascism held protests in several major US cities, including Atlanta. Refuse Fascism is a national mobilization spearheaded by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a Maoist group that dates to the 1970s. Through building on widespread disgust towards the Trump regime, Refuse Fascism has engaged some numbers beyond the RCP’s cadre of organizers. Peaceful mass rallies on November 4 were supposed to usher in a wave of protest to “drive out the Trump/Pence regime,” although the details of getting from A to B were hazy.
 
In the end, the November 4 call to action captured the imagination of the far-Right just as much — if not more — than it did working class people fed up with Trump’s rule (or even other Leftist organizers.) On widely-circulated social media posts, YouTube videos and stories on Right-wing websites, the November 4th protests were portrayed as an “antifa” plot to usher in civil war, with likely mass violence that day. As nonsensical as November 4 conspiracy theories were, many on the far-Right paid attention and believed them. Just as the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory led to a true believer firing shots in a restaurant, some observers began to worry that “antifa” “civil war” hype could lead to real violence from people determined to play hero against an imaginary threat.
 
While “Refuse Fascism” and “antifascists” include variants on the same term, “antifa” groups such as our organization were generally not involved in November 4 planning or promotion — a point that seems to have been missed by portions of media, even though a quick glance at our social media could have cleared up any confusion. 
 
In Atlanta on the evening of the 4th, Refuse Fascism rallied in Little Five Points, attracting several dozen to their protest. Large amounts of police staged nearby. A group of counter-protesters waved an American flag catty-corner from the Refuse Fascism event. Other Right-wing individuals moved within in or infiltrated the Refuse Fascism crowd. Heavy rains brought the entire spectacle to an early end. There were no clashes. 
 
The remainder of this article sets out which far-Right forces did and did not show up for the anticlimactic “civil war” in Atlanta. 
 

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Far-Right counter-protesters plus cops aplenty, catty-corner from Little Five Points “Refuse Fascism” protest

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Racists Menace Tennessee Church Reeling from Mass Shooting

Update 11/08/17: The fifth and final participant in the Burnette Chapel protest (who gave the name of “Leah” to media) has been identified as Florida resident Haley Olivia Copeland.

Justin Burger (Douglasville, Georgia), Ian Booton (Gibson, GA) and University of Central Florida Student Simon Michael Dickerman in Far-Right Flash Protest at Burnette Chapel
 
On Sunday, October 29, white nationalists held a five-person flash protest outside the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee (about twenty minutes from Nashville.) A month earlier, gunman Emanuel Kidega Samson targeted Burnette Chapel, killing one congregation member and wounding seven more. A note left in the shooter’s car allegedly mentioned Dylann Roof, the white supremacist responsible for 2015 massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. White nationalists have now seized on the Burnette Chapel shooting for propaganda purposes, for a couple of reasons. First, the mention of Dylann Roof in the note left in Samson’s vehicle could be used to build a “revenge” narrative around the Antioch shooting — a narrative which is helpful to white nationalists. Second, Emanuel Samson was born in Sudan but spent most of his life in the United States. Far-Right commentators such as Alabama-based League of the South publicist/“Alt-South” blogger Bradley Dean Griffin have seized upon the Antioch shooting to increase racist and anti-immigrant sentiment. The shooting is also useful to white nationalists because it can be used to draw false equivalencies and to deflect attention from their own movement’s role in radicalizing Charleston murderer Dylann Roof.
 
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White nationalists outnumbered in Shelbyville, Tennessee, October 28, 2017
The Burnette Chapel attack was referenced frequently by the Nationalist Front –- a racist umbrella grouping involving the National Socialist Movement, League of the South, Traditionalist Worker Party, Vanguard America and others –- as it organized for its “White Lives Matter” demonstration in Middle Tennessee on Saturday, October 28. Apart from flash mobs, the “White Lives Matter” rally was the first major street demonstration by white nationalists in the US, since the bloody and disastrous “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia this August. Nationalist Front organizers had initially planned to demonstrate in both Shelbyville and Murfreesboro on Saturday the 28th, but after their forces were outnumbered in Shelbyville, Nationalist Front organizers abruptly canceled their second demonstration in Murfreesboro, where a large counter-protest awaited them. On Saturday night following the dismal Shelbyville rally, members of the racist and fascist Traditionalist Worker Party assaulted an interracial couple at a pub in Brentwood, Tennessee.
 
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Traditionalist Worker Party shields, Shelbyville October 28 
Throughout the weekend of the “White Lives Matter” rally, rumors swirled that Nationalist Front members would show up in Antioch and hold a protest outside Burnette Chapel. However, no such protest occurred on Friday. On Saturday in Shelbyville, racist organizers announced an evening presence at the Antioch church, but this event was eventually cancelled just as the Murfreesboro demonstration had been earlier. However, the next morning, a handful of militant racists showed up outside Burnette Chapel with a banner, until the arrival of police shooed them away. The flash protest was documented by Newsweek correspondent Michael Hayden. By showing up at a church that had already experienced trauma and violence, the white nationalists made it even plainer that their movement does not care about the Burnette Chapel congregation. The racist movement just hoped to exploit a tragedy for its own agenda. 
 
The five white nationalist protesters outside Burnette Chapel on Sunday stated to Newsweek that they were part of Identity Evropa, a racist organization that focuses on college-aged recruits. However, Identity Evropa leader Elliott Kline (AKA “Eli Mosley”) has denied that the five demonstrators in Antioch were members, claiming instead that they were “trolling” by mentioning Identity Evropa as their organization. Surprisingly, Kline seems to be correct. One of the white power protesters outside Burnette Chapel has been identified by Nebraska antifascists as Daniel Kleve of the Vanguard America, which unlike Identity Evropa is affiliated with the Nationalist Front. Although one of the Antioch, Tennessee protesters (who gave her name as “Leah”) remains unidentified, we have identified the remaining three as Justin William Burger of Douglasville, Georgia; Ian Mathis George Booton of Gibson, Georgia; and University of Central Florida student Simon Michael Dickerman. Similarly to Daniel Kleve of Nebraska, Burger, Booton, and Dickerman traveled from out-of-state to participate in the “White Lives Matter” demonstration.
 
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Justin Burger (L) and Ian Booton (R) outside Burnette Chapel in Antioch, Tennessee, October 29, 2017. Photo courtesy of Michael E Hayden.
 

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Alt-Right Operational Document Shows Planning for Richard Spencer’s Gainesville Visit, Involvement of Would-be Murderers

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.
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Small numbers of white power militants sitting in front rows at Richard Spencer’s University of Florida event before rest of audience admitted
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L-R: Tyler Tenbrink, William Fears and Colton Fears
 
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.

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Update: Evan Thomas Anderson, Atlanta Property, and May 13 Charlottesville White Power Rally

In late August, we published “‘Right-Wing Gentrification Gangs’: White Nationalists and Atlanta Property Development.” In the article, we discussed several white nationalists involved in the Atlanta property market. One of these figures is Evan Thomas Anderson AKA Evan Thomas Kuettner, a leader in the racist Identity Evropa organization. Anderson’s company Sun Rising LLC owns property in Atlanta.

In particular, our article drew attention to a building and adjacent lots owned by Anderson in the Lakewood neighborhood.

Lakewood

On Saturday, September 2 — days after the “Gentrification Gangs” article was published — Evan Anderson was seen at his building in Lakewood, removing the “For Sale or Lease” sign with his phone number. Anderson was assisted at the building by someone resembling Casey Jordan Cooper, another Identity Evropa leader and second-year law student at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. (Our article also mentioned Casey Cooper’s hope to invest in Atlanta property.)

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Sept 2, 2017: Evan Anderson removes sign at his building in Lakewood, assisted by someone resembling local white nationalist Casey Jordan Cooper
Within a week from the sign being removed, Evan Anderson sold his building in Lakewood. Sun Rising LLC/Anderson still owns nearby lots in that neighborhood as well as other property in Atlanta.

Evan Anderson and the May 13, 2017 Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia

We have also discovered that Evan Anderson did not just speak at the May 13, 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — a racist gathering which set the stage for the bloody “Unite the Right” event there this August — but that Anderson himself booked the park used for the May gathering. Anderson reserved the space under the guise of a “Marketing Network Group Dinner.” 

Charlottesville Evan Anderson May email

Charlottesville Marketing Network Group Dinner may 13 2017
Evan Anderson books Pen Park in Charlottesville for a “Marketing Network Group Dinner” — actually a white power rally.
It is unsurprising that Evan Anderson supplied an Alexandria, Virginia address on this paperwork, since Anderson has posted to social media about spending time near Washington, DC (and has helped with National Policy Institute conferences in DC.)
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August Twitter post from “Evan Thomas” about spending time in Washington, DC (picture now deleted.)
 
Alexandria, Virginia is also the current base of operations for white power leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, whose efforts Anderson assists.

If you have more information about Evan Thomas Kuettner/Evan Thomas Anderson or other racists operating in our region, please contact us.

 

“Right-Wing Gentrification Gangs”: White Nationalists and Atlanta Property Development

Update 10/11/2017 here.

Introduction

Since the early 2000s, Atlanta white nationalist attorney Sam Dickson has been accumulating property in Atlanta, making a profit from gentrification and rising property values in our city. Dickson has built a “multi-million dollar business” from purchasing unpaid tax debts, then using them as leverage to obtain properties at bargain prices. Dickson has focused on property in South Atlanta, often in neighborhoods that are historically Black and working class. Dickson has been accused of “bullying” tactics to gain title.

Dickson’s moneymaking from the Atlanta property market was highlighted in a 2006 article published by the state-friendly, anti-extremist Southern Poverty Law Center. Other white nationalist and far-Right figures — currently or recently involved in the Atlanta property market — have received less attention. This article discusses some of these figures, showing how organized white nationalists gain both politically and economically from gentrification in our city.

Sam Dickson

Georgia attorney Samuel Glasgow Dickson has been a major figure on the racist far-Right since the 1970s. In 1978, Dickson campaigned for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia on a segregationist platform, receiving 11% of the vote. A lawyer since 1972, Dickson was known for representing Klansmen. Dickson participated in organizations such as the World Anti-Communist League (which included war criminals and far-Right terrorists) as well as the Council of Conservative Citizens (which traces back to the segregationist White Citizens’ Councils.) Dickson was active in Holocaust-denial circles – he published “Revisionist” materials and hosted events in Atlanta. Holocaust-denier David Irving spent time at Dickson’s property in Key West, Florida while facing criminal charges in Europe.

In 1994, Dickson gave a talk at the first American Renaissance conference, a suit-and-tie-style white nationalist gathering. Dickson has presented at every American Renaissance conference since then. He is also a regular speaker at the “Alt-Right” gatherings of the National Policy Institute. Predictably, Dickson was a speaker at the “Atlanta Forum” gathering in Marietta, Georgia this January, which brought together racist Southern nationalists and “Alt-Right” white nationalists. When Auburn University in Alabama tried to cancel an appearance by white power leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, Dickson filed a lawsuit so the event could go ahead. Dickson gave a talk when white nationalists assembled in mass in Charlottesville, Virginia on May 13, 2017 – the white nationalists’ evening event was reminiscent of Klan ceremonies. Sam Dickson was again in Charlottesville for the bloody “Unite the Right” far-Right rally on August 12, 2017, where white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. murdered anti-racist Heather Heyer and wounded over a dozen more in a car attack.

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Sam Dickson holding megaphone at white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, May 13, 2017. “Alt-Right” leaders Richard Spencer, Nathan Damigo and Mike Peinovich (“Mike Enoch”) also visible in photo.

While staying active on the white power scene, Dickson has spent over a decade and a half buying up land around Atlanta, frequently using tax liens he has purchased to encourage property owners to sell low. When areas are redeveloped, Dickson stands to profit. Predictably, other white nationalists and far-Right figures now have their names on Fulton County property records, operating at various degrees of proximity or separation from Dickson himself. Continue reading

Dossier: White Power Organizer and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Student Casey Jordan Cooper

From Casey Cooper Information:

In March 2017, Atlanta Antifascists exposed Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School student Casey Jordan Cooper (AKA “Phoenix Reich”) as one of the most active white power organizers in the Metro Atlanta area. We documented that Cooper made a death threat against a Black activist in our city and that he published racist comments about others at his law school. In May 2017, yet more information about Cooper came to light, revealing that Cooper is affiliated with the white nationalist organization Identity Evropa and that he organized other racists to paste propaganda such as “Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men” around Georgia campuses. Since Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School seems unconcerned by their student’s behavior, we are releasing this dossier with over 500 pages of documentation on Casey Cooper and his white power agitation. Download the dossier here.

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Cooper Charlottesville for blog

Casey Jordan Cooper at white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, May 2017

White Nationalist Joshua Hitson Resigns from Whitewater High School (Fayetteville, GA)

The Fayette County Board of Education has confirmed that Joshua David Hitson resigned as a teacher at Whitewater High School on Friday, August 18. Hitson had been under investigation after anti-fascists released an extensive dossier on Hitson’s white power agitation and his pro-Nazi statements. Whitewater High School had known of this issue since at least May. Even after begrudgingly launching an investigation, Fayette County Board of Education denied that they had seen “legitimate evidence.” The school and the Board of Education should now apologize. Someone who promotes white nationalism and antisemitism cannot be put in charge of the education of our youth. In the end, it appears public pressure caused Hitson to leave Whitewater. The school and the Board of Education had plenty of time to ensure students were kept safe and treated fairly. Yet they allowed Hitson to leave on his own terms. They have not yet directly addressed that they employed a white nationalist for years.

hitson resigns whitewater

Dossier: Joshua Hitson, White Power Agitator & Teacher at Whitewater High School, Fayetteville GA

Repost from Joshua Hitson Information.

In May 2016, Atlanta Antifascists exposed Whitewater High School (Fayetteville, Georgia) teacher Joshua David Hitson as a Hitler-admiring, white power agitator. Since Whitewater High School currently lists Hitson as a staff member and seems unconcerned by this situation, we are releasing this dossier with 180 pages of documentation on Joshua Hitson and his racist allegiances. Read it online or download it here.

Please spread the word, especially to Whitewater High School students and parents. Feel free to contact Whitewater High School or Fayette County Public Schools with concerns.

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Joshua Hitson at election night 2016 white power gathering. Also visible in photo are racist leaders Sam Dickson and Patrick Nelson Sharp.
contrariangent celebrates neo-nazi murderer EDITED
As “Contrarian Gent,” Hitson likes a post by neo-Nazi organization National Action, hailing Thomas Mair’s 2016 murder of British politician Jo Cox.

Analysis: Leaked Information Details Atlanta’s “Alt-Right” White Nationalist Scene

Introduction

Recently, screen-captured messages from Atlanta-area white nationalist leader Casey Cooper were published on Its Going Down, an anarchist and anti-racist website. This leak of white nationalist communications also included an email invitation list for the Atlanta Forum, a white power gathering in our region earlier this year. Taken together, the leaked materials show Casey Cooper’s transition from an “Alt-Right” sympathizer in the beginning of 2016 to a prospective state leader for the white power movement by the end of that year. The information from Casey Cooper’s accounts reveal how “Alt-Right” racists organize regionally, especially how the white nationalist organization Identity Evropa operates. The screen-captures establish that Cooper was a member of Identity Evropa, and engaged in activity on their behalf.

The newly-public online conversations also provide detail on how “Alt-Right” racists coordinated to hit multiple Georgia campuses with white power propaganda in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s electoral victory. In our analysis of the leaked white nationalist communications, we first discuss what the leak reveals about specific white nationalist figures; we then discuss the mid-November 2016 white power propaganda run coordinated by Casey Cooper; and we conclude with some notes about what this new information reveals about “Alt-Right” organizing more generally.

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Atlanta-area white nationalist leaders Casey Cooper (standing on left) and Patrick Sharp (right), November 2016

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Breakfast-Cereal Bigots: The “Proud Boys” Have Arrived in Atlanta

White supremacist and far-Right nationalist movements are nothing new, especially in the American South. Since Trump’s induction into the oval office, however, the US has seen these movements evolve into something younger and more contemporary.

Far from the stereotype of old, cantankerous Klanners, the “Alt-Right” and its organizations such as Identity Evropa advance their cause with approaches that are modern, polished, and deceptive. They use memes and retro aesthetics to make their hateful message more palatable. Prioritizing anonymity and information security, until recently the “Alt-Right” has relied on its internet presence combined with occasional public speaking events by white-collar “leaders” such as Richard Spencer to advance its cause. (The movement was also helped by the existence of the watered-down “Alt-Lite” and figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos, which helped popularize Alt-Right themes without explicitly signing off on white nationalism.) For most of its existence, what the Alt-Right’s internet trolls and “Identitarian” white nationalists had in terms of propaganda reach, they lacked in street presence and physical interaction. This is where one of the Alt-Right/Alt-Lite’s strangest offshoots comes in–Cue the “Proud Boys.”

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Proud Boys Georgia Twitter page

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