Meet Zac Johnson: Hitler-Loving “Alt-Right” Propagandist in Alpharetta, Georgia

Summary

For years, Zachary Johnson of Alpharetta has quietly but constantly worked for the white nationalist cause. Zac Johnson is mostly active in writing, social media, and especially graphic design for the racist movement. He also travels to white nationalist conferences and organizes with “Alt-Right” circles regionally. Using an online alias, Johnson is clear that he admires Adolf Hitler, who he refers to as “uncle.” When promoting his custom bird house business or trying to rent his vacation cabin in the North Georgia mountains, Johnson is less upfront about his beliefs. We believe that key players in the white power scene deserve public scrutiny. Zachary Van Johnson is one such figure.

Zac Johnson portrait
Zachary Van Johnson

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Richard Spencer Gets a Not-so-Warm Welcome at Auburn University, Alabama, April 18, 2017

Introduction

On Tuesday, April 18, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer (of the National Policy Institute and Altright) gave a speech at Auburn University in Alabama, which is less than two hours away from Atlanta. Anti-racists mobilized against this event and, shortly after the end of Richard Spencer’s talk, students angrily escorted Spencer’s white power followers off campus and chased some of them through the streets of Auburn.

In the run-up to the Tuesday event, Spencer’s forces blatantly organized for violence on campus, using scarcely veiled language of assembling “safety” squads, and urging racists and far-Right anti-communists to travel from far and wide to invade the campus. On the actual day, the far-Right ended up having a hard time, with their attempts at aggression met with compelling responses from students and other anti-racists. While white nationalists predictably declared a victory, this verdict was informed by delusional claims about the day. For example, racist claimed that their members were not really chased off campus so much as followed, and that their forces “drastically outnumbered” anti-racists. Such messaging from white nationalists, combined their focus on waging war on anti-fascists in the aftermath of Tuesday, suggests that they are in fact unhappy about how the day went.

the chase for story

Spencer’s Visit Approaches

Richard Spencer used a Youtube video to announce that he would be speaking at Auburn just under a week before he was scheduled to appear on campus. Before Spencer’s announcement, an Alt-Right “White Student Union” for Auburn had launched a website and begun circulating antisemitic flyers on campus, attempting to cultivate a climate of intimidation on campus. Anti-racists including our organization began circulating news of Spencer’s visit to Auburn soon following his announcement – since events at Auburn were part of regional coordination by Alt-Right white nationalists, we believed that anti-racists should likewise treat this event as a regional concern since a victory at Auburn would affect all of us as people living in the South. While the state-friendly anti-extremists of the Southern Poverty Law Center urged students to avoid and not confront the racist mobilization, several Auburn students shared our view that fascist organizing prospers when left unopposed. A Twitter account was established by Auburn students opposed to racist organizing, and a call for loud, vocal opposition to Spencer’s visit was released. Atlanta Antifascists solicited endorsements from other anti-racist and leftist organizations for the call to action. At this point, the situation began shifting rapidly.

The first change came on Friday when Auburn University canceled Spencer’s booking, citing concerns over student safety. While we were happy that white power organizing had hit a roadblock, it was also clear that actions of the sort taken by the University, could just as easily be used against leftists and anti-racists in the future. For this reason, appeals to cops, courts, or other authorities have never been at the center of our work as anti-racists.

Richard Spencer issued a furious response to the University, claiming that Auburn would “rue the day” they made this decision, and stating that he would fly in key white nationalists for the Auburn event as well as organize squads equipped with “safety gear.” (Shortly before Spencer announced his Auburn visit, he had discussed the formation of a “white bloc” to take on anti-racist opponents.)

Denied a room on campus, Spencer stated that he would hold a rally of some sort anyway, the constant subtext of his statements being that organizing far-Right forces to go after enemies on campus would be a fine alternative to a speaking engagement. Amongst those Spencer flew in for his event was Mike Peinovich AKA “Mike Enoch,” operator of TheRightStuff website as well as “The Daily Shoah” podcast. In the days to come, other far-Right formations mobilized to descend on Auburn: Identity Evropa, Brad Griffin’s “Alt-South” network, Anti-Communist Action, the Traditionalist Worker Party, and the League of the South (who took on a security role.)

The other major escalation took place on the other side of the country, where on Saturday the 15th far-Right forces (including open white supremacists) clashed with anti-fascist protesters in Berkeley, California. This event, portrayed by the far-Right as a victory, emboldened more far-Right and white nationalist forces (including some of the groups listed earlier) to pledge to be at Auburn with the hope of routing their enemies in a brawl. Just as in Berkeley where organized far-Right forces used “free speech” as a pretext to organize violence and attempt to control territory, in the days as Spencer’s Auburn visit drew near, his coalition was increasingly brazen about wanting to control the turf with violence.

(A war of posters and counter-flyers also broke out on campus, with anti-racist flyers against Spencer’s visit being countered with fake “Antifa” flyers as well as White Student Union materials portraying militant anti-racists as troublemakers willing to attack random bystanders.)

While Spencer’s forces organized for a physical fight, Richard Spencer also pushed through legal channels for his event to go ahead. On Tuesday afternoon, mere hours before the event began, Spencer announced that he had obtained a court order compelling Auburn University to allow his speaking event to proceed as initially scheduled. Spencer’s case had been argued by Atlanta white nationalist attorney Sam Dickson – a fixture on the racist scene nationally — on behalf of Cameron Padgett, a student who had made the booking for Spencer’s visit using a Georgia State University (Atlanta) email address.

Foy booking exhibit from lawsuit
Foy Hall booking, exhibit in Sam Dickson’s lawsuit

Tuesday Afternoon and Evening

The court order changed the scene. Had Spencer held an outdoor rally in defiance of his cancelled booking, our expectation was that this mobilization would be combined with bands of white power/“Alt-Right” militants ready to street fight and to target those they saw as enemies (for example, people of color, Jewish students, or leftists.) Alabama “Alt-South” organizer Brad Griffin later wrote that Spencer’s court victory was in some sense also disappointing for him, because with the changed situation “I wouldn’t get a chance to fight and win a bit of glory for myself […] in […] an epic throw down.” Griffin’s claim clarifies what the far-Right forces mobilizing for Spencer had in mind shortly before the court made its ruling. With the court ruling, however, they’d have to queue to go inside a room, being scanned with a metal-detecting wand beforehand.

Students came out in large numbers in response to Spencer’s speaking event, with some protesting outside, some attending Spencer’s talk to press him, some by contrast taking a “no platform” approach, and others merely checking out the scene. Into this situation, leftists and anti-racists from several parts of the South also arrived. The fascists who from mid-afternoon onward were spotted in bands around campus, took position at the venue for Spencer’s speech, separated from protesters by police and barriers.

It was a solid week of organizing by anti-racists — students of various political persuasions as well as “outsiders” to Auburn like our organization — which enabled a powerful response to Spencer’s assembled forces. From our perspective, some things went far better than others. At Auburn, the black bloc – a tactic originating from radical Left and anarchist movements in Europe during the second half of the 20th Century – was generally a shit-show, although the fact that networks activated and anti-fascists traveled to attend was itself a positive. Auburn Police were extremely aggressive in targeting anti-racists who were wearing masks or bandanas (to guard against later harassment by the far-Right.) By contrast, white supremacists obscuring their faces were occasionally told to remove masks but overall, were not aggressively targeted. It is to be expected that the police, whose unions overwhelmingly endorsed Donald Trump’s right-wing populist presidential campaign and who generally protect a racist status quo, will typically side with organized racists over anti-racists.

Anti-racists — from Auburn and from elsewhere — maintained a lively presence outside Foy Hall during the time people entered for Spencer’s speech, as well as during the event itself. This anti-racist presence played some role in stopping people from drifting away before Spencer’s speech was over and racists filed out. Chants of “Fuck Richard Spencer!” were popular. However, there was also friction between some anti-racists who had travelled to Auburn, and other parts of the student body. For example, some “outsiders” were at first annoyed by Auburn pride chants, since they seemed to be an attempt to replace more pointed chants against the white supremacists gathering on campus. In retrospect, the situation was complicated than we initially understood; the Auburn spirit chants may have also communicated collective confidence in the face of adversary: “We’re proud to be Auburn, we’re going to stick together and see each other through this situation.”

The only arrests of the day occurred while Spencer’s speech was happening. Ryan Matthew King — who has subsequently been identified as a Montgomery, Alabama tattoo artist and “compatriot” of the racist/secessionist League of the South — was stationed outside and tried to attack an anti-racist in the crowd. King’s assault did not go as planned, with King promptly landing on the ground after misdelivering a blow, and receiving a stern physical rebuke from the crowd. King and two anti-racists were arrested as the police rushed in.

Ryan King story photo
League of the South “compatriot” Ryan Matthew King at Auburn University before starting fight

Tension grew in the crowd as it got later and darker outside, with the tide of opinion moving even further against Richard Spencer after he made the mistake of attacking college football and Black athletes. As white nationalists filed out, they received an angry escort from campus by the assembled crowd. Matthew Heimbach’s troopers of the Traditionalist Worker Party and other white supremacists attempted a poorly-conceived charge on students and other protesters, but soon realized their mistake. Some of the departing white nationalists were chased by students and protesters. A few racists ended up worse for wear.

Conclusion

Ultimately, Spencer’s event at Auburn showed that wherever ideological racists try to organize on campus, they should expect determined opposition, even at campuses such as Auburn with a reputation as conservative. The events at Auburn demonstrate how closely Far-Right organizing for violence accompanies the “free speech” activity of white power leaders like Spencer. On the 18th, white power activists were restrained in their violence compared to what they had threatened in days beforehand. Combined students and Southern anti-racists gave every racist-instigated act of violence an unmistakable response. Further, despite some concerns from Auburn students about militant anti-racists arriving on campus from elsewhere, Auburn students themselves chased and confronted “Alt-Right” racists at the end of the evening.

Since white nationalists can be slow learners, we expect that the “White Student Union” at Auburn may drag on for some time. For information on opposition to this White Student Union and other racist activity in and around Auburn, check out twitter.com/no_nazi_auburn

Photo galleries of Alt-Right, racist and far-Right activists at Auburn University on April 18 are available here, here, and here.

More Georgia State University “Alt-Right” Racists

On September 10, 2016, white nationalists of the Georgia “Alt-Right” had a gathering at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta. Over a dozen white nationalists were recorded by a visitor to the Park, as they chanted “Alt-Right, Alt-Right!” and addressed her with sexist and antisemitic jeers (e.g. “Christ killer,” “Jews don’t wear panties.”) Two leaders of the “Alt-Right” group, Patrick Sharp and Casey Cooper, wore shirts for The Right Stuff, a far-Right racist website.

In the Metro Atlanta area, white nationalists associated with the “Alt-Right” have had a wave of activity in recent months, seemingly energized first by the Trump campaign and then by Trump’s presidential victory. Racist stickers and posters have appeared on Atlanta-area campuses; there have been several local networking events; and on January 28, 2017, “Alt-Right” white nationalists and Southern secessionists gathered for the larger “Atlanta Forum” regional gathering in Marietta.

Core activists of the energized local “Alt-Right” were caught in action at Stone Mountain on September 10 last year. While typically local “Alt-Right” racists meet in secrecy, this time they got recorded. Three of the white nationalists who appeared on Stone Mountain in September are discussed below. All three are Georgia State University students. (Patrick Sharp, one of the leaders of the “Alt-Right” group on the Mountain, was also until recently a GSU student — we have discussed Sharp extensively elsewhere.)

stone mountain MAIN IMAGE
McKinley Witzler, Chase Carroll and Chaz Neugebauer (all circled) at “Alt-Right” white nationalist get-together on Stone Mountain, September 2016

Charles (Chaz) Neugebauer

Charles Neugebauer is a Criminal Justice major at GSU and is the President of the University’s Boxing Club. On Twitter, Chaz Neugebauer uses the handle “Chud”/@chaz_nuke. This account follows local “Alt-Right” profiles plus better-known national ones such as TheRightStuff and Richard Spencer. On this Twitter account, Neugebauer portrays immigration in Europe as an “invading army” and further signals his far-Right worldview in comments such as: “Your ancestors didn’t fight and die for you to chose [sic] their adversaries over your own people.”

chaz neugebauer 2017 edited
Chaz Neugebauer
Chud accounts following
Local “Alt-Right” accounts followed by “Chud”/@chaz_nuke

One string of Twitter comments complains about being “called a racist” in one of his current classes. We can only guess what led to that.

chud classroom woes jan 2017
Classroom woes for chaz_nuke

Chase Carroll

Chase Riggs Carroll is another GSU Criminal Justice student, friend of Chaz Neugebauer, and a participant in the GSU Boxing Club. At the September 2016 “Alt-Right” gathering in Stone Mountain Park, Carroll carried a Confederate Battle Flag. At the time, Carroll’s hair was long, but he has since shifted to a stricter, shorter style.

chase carroll FB sept 23 2016
Chase Carroll

Chaz Neugebauer and Chase Carroll have been seen conferring with Spencer Madison, another far-Right militant attending GSU. [1]

McKinley Witzler

Finally, McKinley Witzler is listed as a Political Science student on GSU’s MeritPages site. Witzler has a Security job with Georgia State, and has been spotted working nights around campus.

mckinley witzler FB jan 5 2017
McKinley Witzler

Witzler’s radicalization towards the Right seems to have occurred last year. On June 15, 2016, Witzler attended a Trump campaign stop at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Also in June, Witzler started his (now gone) “12thCenturyShitlord”/@USBarbarossa Twitter account, which he used to argue that BlackLivesMatter protests should be “crushed,” that voting rights for women should be repealed, and that “jews run the media, finances, schools, governments, and blame everything on Whites.”

We believe that McKinley Witzler followed his “12thCenturyShitlord” Twitter account with one named “9thCenturyDeplorable”/@USCharlemagne which has recently been reactivated.

On November 13, 2016 — the day after white nationalist posters and stickers were placed on Atlanta-area campuses as part of a coordinated propaganda campaign — USCharlemagne Tweeted “There’s some naughty goyim in Atlanta.” This suggests the user’s approval of and possibly involvement with the white power action, which was coordinated nationally by TheRightStuff and which hit GSU as well as other campuses in Georgia.

uscharlemagne from twicopy nov 2016 naughty goyim original likely had photo of powers
Archived tweet by USCharlemagne, November 13, 2016

The “9thCenturyDeplorable”/USCharlemagne account was relaunched on March 22 of this year. The first post of the reborn account was a Holocaust reference: “Rev up those ovens, I’m back!” The profile currently lists its “dislikes” as “Saracens” — a term for Muslims from the time of the Crusades — as well as “Jews.”

While McKinley Witzler was photographed on Stone Mountain with long hair, Witzler has now adopted the undercut short hairstyle favored by the Alt-Right — perhaps an attempt to fit in with his militant racist pals.

Conclusion

“Alt-Right” racists are slowly moving from internet posting to concrete activity on campuses and in communities. We highlighted three participants in the local “Alt-Right” scene who were filmed at a 2016 white power gathering. At Georgia State, one of them could be your classmate, the security person in your building, or the person instructing how to throw an efficient punch. We believe that white power activists such as Neugebauer, Carroll and Witzler should be taken seriously. Any attempts they may make to organize against people of color, Muslims, Jewish people, sexual minorities, or other targets must be opposed. It is essential that anti-racists build active networks and broader coalitions that are up for the task.

As always, if you have information about white power and fascist organizing in Atlanta, please contact us.

NOTE

[1] Memo from Georgia State University student, in records of Atlanta Antifascists.

Documentation: No-Show from North Mississippi White Knights, Assorted Racists Stay Low Key, Douglasville GA March 5, 2017

On Sunday March 5th, 2107, over a hundred locals gathered at the Douglas County Courthouse in Douglasville, GA to counter a protest announced by the North Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The North Mississippi Klan was a no-show, but a handful of unaffiliated racists did show their faces, including Randall Wiley Smith, a leader of the Villa Rica, GA-based Aryan Nations Worldwide, as well as Douglasville white nationalist Kenneth Whitman.

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The protest was announced Friday March 3rd by Steven Howard, Imperial Wizard of the North Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, in response to the sentencing of Jose Torres and Kayla Norton for terrorizing an 8-year old boy’s birthday party with Confederate flags and brandished guns.

From the outset, Howard’s call for a protest in Georgia was curious, since Howard currently resides on the West Coast. (This did not stop Howard from attending the Nationalist Front white power gathering in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on November 5, 2016.)

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Meet Casey Jordan Cooper: “Alt-Right” White Power Organizer and Atlanta Law Student

Summary

Casey Jordan Cooper, a student at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, is the white power organizer behind the “Alt-Right” Twitter account @BigButternutJoe. Over the last year, Cooper participated in white nationalist events in the metro Atlanta area and posted racist propaganda on local campuses.  Until recently, Casey Cooper’s Twitter account issued a stream of racist and homophobic slurs, some of them about his fellow students at John Marshall. He was recorded as part of a white nationalist group jeering a Stone Mountain Park visitor with sexist and antisemitic remarks. Cooper is responsible for a death threat against a prominent Black activist in Atlanta.

The Death Threat

In July 2016, a series of large protests raged in Atlanta after police shot and killed Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. While protests disrupted business-as-usual in response to these high-profile police killings of Black men, Georgia white supremacists tried to counter-mobilize.

The Atlanta-area Twitter user @BigButternutJoe wrote on July 12 that “Whites […] are arming ourselves to the teeth” and that the Black Lives Matter movement will lead to a “massive wave of anti-black action in it’s [sic] wake.” This Twitter user earlier sent a private message to a local Black activist, which simply contained a picture of a noose. (The activist was also tagged in the “arming […] to the teeth” post by BigButternutJoe.)

death threat
Death from BigButternutJoe account (at the time this account used the name “Phoenix on the Right” and had a profile picture of Sam Hyde)

When this Black activist publicly drew attention to the Twitter death threat, BigButternutJoe retweeted the post speaking out about the threat. BigButternutJoe followed with another statement, suggesting that the activist was exaggerating the death threat problem to “rent seek” (i.e. profit).  BigButternutJoe clarified: “This is why you hang.”

repeats death threat
BigButternutJoe repeats death threat

The person responsible for this online death threat has had a busy year, participating in Atlanta-area Alt-Right organizing, placing white power propaganda, and harassing enemies. For much of the same time, “BigButternutJoe” AKA Atlanta resident Casey Jordan Cooper has also been working towards a law degree at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, where he began as a 1L in August 2016. Atlanta’s John Marshall, a private law school in midtown Atlanta, states that almost 70% of its student body are of a “minority” population; more women than men also attend. Unsurprisingly, Cooper/”BigButternutJoe” doesn’t have pleasant things to say about fellow AJMLS students.

cooper ajmls
Casey Jordan Cooper at Atlanta’s John Marshall new student orientation, August 2016

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Alert: Far-Right Militant at Georgia State University Seeks Information on Leftists and Anti-Racists

A Georgia State University (GSU) student who has been requesting information about leftist and anti-racist organizing may not be who he appears. In many conversations, especially as he hangs around the Library Courtyard, GSU student Spencer Madison provides the name “Lukas.” When talking with people who he thinks may be left-leaning, “Lukas” has attempted to steer the conversation towards leftist organizing projects and especially anti-fascist work. According to one source, “Lukas” was “probing for information” particularly intensely during late February of this year [1]. We suspect that “Lukas” is not motivated by genuine curiosity, but is trying to gather intelligence for use against political opponents.

Madison Feb 2017
Spencer Madison wearing hoodie with German eagle insignia, February 2017

On his Facebook page, Spencer Madison is upfront about his far-Right, anti-immigrant and Islamophobic beliefs. There have been no public posts on the page since mid-2016, but it is unlikely Madison’s political commitments have shifted radically since that time. Madison’s Facebook “likes” include three for the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands / National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), which is generally considered a neo-Nazi political party. Spencer Madison also follows “This is Europa,” a white nationalist project. He “likes” a couple of pages for Alternative für Deutschland / Alternative for Germany (AfD), a Right-wing political party which stresses hostility towards immigrants and Muslims. Madison also circulated AfD materials on his page. According to Facebook, Madison appreciates Identitäre Bewegung – Deutschland, the German branch of the “Identitarian” movement, a far-Right movement which couches its racism in language of “difference.” Finally, Madison “likes” the Right-wing “Anti-communist” page and reposted anti-socialist materials on multiple occasions. (Madison’s “likes” for the state-friendly anti-extremist Southern Poverty Law Center and deceased Cuban leader Fidel Castro are incongruous with the overall politics promoted on his Facebook page.)

In the aftermath of a July 2016 terror attack in Germany, Madison commented: “Just wondering how long it will take to domesticate these people [presumably Muslims and/or immigrants] into German civilization.” Not exactly subtle stuff.

Madison Nov 2016
Madison in GSU Library Courtyard, November 2016

Such words and endorsements would be enough to make us question the motives behind “Lukas’” newfound interest in anti-racist and leftist organizing. But there’s more.

While white nationalist organizer Patrick Sharp was completing his final semester at GSU (Fall 2016), Sharp met regularly with Spencer Madison in the Library Courtyard. (Sharp is best known for trying to form a “White Student Union” at GSU in 2013; Sharp’s more recent racist organizing has been extensively documented on this site.) In one conversation with Sharp, Madison claimed that European culture is especially advanced, and that this justifies conquest of Native American peoples. [2]

madison sharp oct 2016
Spencer Madison (left, back turned) and white nationalist leader Patrick Sharp meeting for a discussion in the Library Courtyard, October 2016, during Sharp’s last semester at GSU

And there’s even more. White nationalist propaganda has appeared several times at Georgia State University (and other campuses) in 2017 despite Patrick Sharp’s graduation.

Here’s an account from someone who was approached by “Lukas”/Spencer Madison this February:

On the night of Monday, February 6th, I was out with some friends by GSU’s campus in Downtown Atlanta off Hurt Park. We were putting up some flyers for a club night we were promoting when a young man […] with blond hair approached us. He asked us “Hey, are you all from I.E.?” Not knowing what that group was, I responded “Sorry, don’t know what that is” and then he said, “Oh, never mind.” Five seconds later it dawned on me that he may have meant “Identity Evropa,” a fascist organization whose stickers have been springing up on campuses around the country over the past few years. [3]

We confirmed with the author of this statement that the person they talked with was Spencer Madison/“Lukas.” (Madison’s hair had a blond tint at the time – see February 2017 photo above.) The exchange does not prove that Madison has placed white nationalist materials at GSU. However, it seems likely that Madison was referring to Identity Evropa. On the same week as the brief conversation occurred, materials from Identity Evropa appeared at Georgia Tech campus plus GSU.

In a further development, on Wednesday March 8, “Lukas” showed up to GSU campus on crutches. When speaking with some students, he stated that he had been viciously attacked by knife-wielding antifascists. To others, he told the much more plausible story that he was simply attacked for his property [4]. We believe that “Lukas’” reason for spreading the first unlikely story was to harm the reputation of anti-racists.

Since Spencer Madison has been linked to far-Right organizations and bigoted politics, we do not think that “Lukas” should be provided any information about leftist or anti-racist organizing. Rather, students should know about Spencer Madison’s identity, actual commitments, and the far-Right agenda he serves on campus. We live in a time of heightened racist and far-Right militancy; students should organize to keep each other safe, especially because campus authorities have proven unreliable at best.

While students organize to resist the far-Right locally, Atlanta Antifascists will help with research, analysis, and other practical measures. If you have information on racist or fascist organizing on Atlanta campuses, please get in contact.

NOTES

[1] Report from GSU student, records of Atlanta Antifascists.

[2] Report from GSU student — early November 2016 conversation. (Different source than Note 1.)

[3] Eyewitness report with minor stylistic/copy edits. Original statement erroneously describes person as “in his early 20s” (phrase cut above). Spencer Madison is in fact slightly younger, although this matches his appearance.

[4] Documentation from multiple GSU students.

 

ALERT: Racist Heathen Gathering in Union Point, Georgia this Weekend — Ask Camp Swamp to Cancel Booking

pagans against fash

Note 3/28/2017: While Camp Swamp provided a venue for the racist Asatru Folk Assembly this year, they state they will not rent to the AFA in the future. Camp contact details removed from post.

Note 3/17/2017: Camp Swamp has clarified that they are concerned about litigation if they cancel, and that they do not share the values of the AFA. Our statement makes a political and ethical case for cancelling. However we note that racist organizers seem to be breaking agreements with the Camp, by tolerating weapons if kept hidden.

This weekend, the Asatru Folk Assembly — a racist neo-pagan/heathen organization — plans to hold its annual “Ostara in the South” gathering at Camp Swamp at Union Point in Georgia. The racist heathen gathering is set to begin on Friday March 17 and continue through Sunday March 19. Anti-racists ask that you contact the venue and demand that they cancel their booking for the bigoted Asatru Folk Assembly.

afa south 2017
Event Facebook page

The Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) was founded by Steven McNallen in 1994 (although its history traces to earlier efforts by McNallen from the ‘70s onward). The organization subscribes to a racist variant of Heathenry/Germanic Neopaganism that is exclusively for white people. Current AFA leadership have explicitly stated that people of color and sexual minorities need not apply. Over 170 Heathen organizations have signed a declaration rejecting the AFA’s clear racist and anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

The AFA is clearly intertwined with the organized white nationalist movement. A new video from AFA’s founder McNallen titled “What Stephen McNallen Really Thinks About Race” cries that whites are facing “extinction” and calls on others to say “I will fight for my race.” McNallen claims that the “system” is rigged against white people and he cites the Fourteen Words, a white power motto coined by terrorist David Lane. McNallen’s statement has been widely circulated in white nationalist circles. The Asatru Folk Assembly has not disavowed McNallen’s statement, because it also reflects their organization’s worldview. Before this, Asatru Folk Assembly members were found at the conference of the racist National Policy Institute, demonstrating the AFA’s overlap with political (rather than “spiritual”) white power organizing.

Identity Evropa AltRight Stephen McNallen
Recent statement by Stephen McNallen circulated by white nationalist projects Identity Evropa and Altright.com

The special guest for last year’s “Ostara in the South” gathering was Henrik Palmgren, who heads a far-Right media company named Red Ice Radio. Palmgren’s speech was on “Wotan, Jung, and Our Duty in this Age of Ultimate Degeneracy.” Palmgren is now a leader in the new Altright project, which unites key institutions of “Alt-Right” white nationalism.

At the time of writing, Camp Swamp in Union Point is allowing their venue to be used for the white power gathering. Camp Swamp is a private entity and does not face the same ‘free speech’ issues as a government body. Camp Swamp can cancel the event at its discretion, but so far it prefers to let the racist event go ahead. By helping the AFA organize, Camp Swamp is bringing committed racists into the community and tarnishing its own reputation.

We are also concerned that AFA event organizers are stating that they will turn a blind eye to violations of the Camp’s weapons policy, if the firearms carried by their attendees are not flaunted.

ostara in the south 2017 weapons discussion
Discussion of firearms at event

We believe Camp Swamp should the right thing and abide by their own mission statement — which stresses safety, respect and diversity as core values. They should  follow the example of the Minnesota venue that canceled its booking to the AFA last year due to concerns about organized bigotry.

[Contact information for Camp Swamp removed.]

Spread the word in your community! We also encourage you to learn more about opposition to racism in the Heathen community by visiting Heathens United Against Racism.