The Alt-Observer Weekly Summary highlights activities from revolutionary communist, radical anarchist, fascist and other ‘alternative’ political groups that fulfill our intelligence requirements for both the Alt-Left and Alt-Right groups. This report is available for Alt-Observer subscribers.
Special Note: The most recent battle in the Alt-Right/Alt-Left fight occurred on Sunday afternoon in the vicinity of Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan. While trying to attend a 5:00pm speech by Richard Spencer, some members of the Traditional Workers Party (TWP), a national socialist organization, were blocked from entering the facility by antifascist protestors. Some scuffles broke out between TWP leader Matthew Heimbach, other TWP members, and the protestors, while antifascists allegedly threw rocks at the TWP members. [source] At some point during the fighting, Alt-Right member Greg Conte was arrested. [source] Apparently the campus police struggled to maintain order before the event, but finally built a corridor to allow the Alt-Right members into the speech pavilion. Various reports say that around 30-50 Patriot Front and TWP members were present in the face of a couple hundred protestors. A total of 24 activists on both sides were arrested by campus police. [source] Later that evening, Richard Spencer shows up to the police station to meet with and collect Greg Conte and others who were arrested, where he is then confronted by more antifascist organizers.
The day before, on 05 March, a white nationalist conference hosted by Spencer and other Alt-Right organizations was shut down after the location was apparently leaked. Calls from protestors poured into the venue and, upon learning about who they were hosting, the venue cancelled the event. In another instance away from the venue, an Alt-Right supporter was arrested after brandishing a pistol during a scuffle with protestors outside of Ann Arbor, MI. [source]
Analyst Comment: This sounds pretty typical of Richard Spencer’s events: Lower than expected turnout among the Alt-Right, outnumbered by protestors, and ends up speaking to a small crowd of mostly journalists. There are so many points to unpack here:
- MSU campus police knew well in advance of the Richard Spencer speech, but were severely outnumbered by protestors before the speech. Videos of scuffles show campus police struggling to maintain control over the situation and in some cases are pushed by by protestors. The campus police on scene had to call for back up to deal with the protestors, and only then could they allow Alt-Right activists passage into the facility. We’ve seen before that when law enforcement is prepared and serious about maintaining order, violence is limited although the situations are always volatile. The Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville is demonstrative of what happens when law enforcement doesn’t enforce order, and so I’m left to believe that either MSU was not prepared to handle the situation or that MSU wanted to allow the hundreds of protestors to confront the outnumbered Alt-Right members. Either case is feasible.
- Why do these Alt-Right events have such poor attendance? The day before a white nationalist conference was scheduled to be held in Detroit, so antifascist activists expected around a hundred or more attendees at yesterday’s speech. Around 30 showed up. The answer is that the Alt-Right is a small fringe group. Antifascist activism severely limits a large turnout because Alt-Right members know that they may be identified and doxxed (have their personal details published on the web) and that their employers will receive hundreds of calls and constant harassment until they fire the Alt-Right member. That limits the number of people who show up to only the most committed activists, who also understand the risk of showing up to a crowd of protestors. So far, the antifascist activist side is winning this conflict because there are no consequences for their activism. In the event that an antifascist is arrested, bail is usually posted or a fundraiser is started to help out with legal costs. If the Alt-Right wants to ‘turn the tide’ and achieve some parity, they’re going to have to compete by getting activists into positions of power and using the state to prevent violence against them.
- Richard Spencer adopted the strategy of speaking at public universities so he could be assured a venue and a reasonable level of protection during the event. The tactic of “de-platforming” has plagued many on the Alt-Right — including more recently an event in Phoenix, AZ held by Milo Yiannopoulos, who is decidedly not Alt-Right — and events have been routinely cancelled by venues after a deluge of calls and threats from antifascist protestors. By using public institutions, Spencer ensures that he can’t be de-platformed and he also forces Leftist campuses to comply with federal law. Spencer is also under the impression that attacks against Alt-Right members gain the movement some sympathy and support, and that may have been true in 2016 and into last year. More recently, Spencer chose to publicly ally his movement with national socialist and neo-Nazi groups, and he’s alienated a large part of his base: young white men who don’t like the idea of becoming minorities in their own country. Had Spencer led with that as his message and forgone the commitment to socialism and promotion of national socialist groups, then he would probably be enjoying higher levels of popular support. Spencer is not an effective leader of the Alt-Right movement and his inability to bring significant numbers to these events and prevent being accosted by protestors shows that.
- We’ve also observed a number of damaging leaks by the Alt-Right. There have been tens of thousands of messages leaked from Vanguard America, Patriot Front, and other Alt-Right/fascist Discord servers, in addition to other documents and chat logs (including Facebook groups). For instance, the security planning document from Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida was leaked (as one Alt-Right source told me, “It’s real.”). That document was prepared in the format of an Army operations order, so veterans are likely involved in security planning for at least some of these Alt-Right events. In other instances, names, social media profiles, phone numbers, and a number of other personal information has been stolen by antifascist activists who have likely infiltrated a number of Alt-Right groups. The movement overall has serious security problems and Alt-Right leadership has been ineffective at addressing those needs.
- On the opposing side, we’ve observed Alt-Left activists and counter-demonstrators using technology to communicate. That includes the use of smartphone apps like Wire or Signal, in addition to radios. We know that in some instances, antifascist activists have used police scanners to listen into radio traffic, and yesterday we observed an antifascist activist doing that. Below are a number of tweets from @antifa_ne, an account that was ‘live tweeting’ scanner traffic.
— nebraska antifa (@antifa_ne) March 5, 2018
Cop 1: “getting ticketholders inside is top priority right now”
Cop 2: we have no ticketholders at checkpoint #StopSpencerMSU
— nebraska antifa (@antifa_ne) March 5, 2018
[Another demand to stop using open scanner channel] possible escalation to separate TWP from the crowd #StopSpencerMSU
— nebraska antifa (@antifa_ne) March 5, 2018
- Conclusion: Richard Spencer can’t be proud of his latest event, but he’s been committed to this strategy. Last I checked, Spencer and the National Policy Institute have an appearance pending at the University of Cincinnati. Previously, Spencer focused on holding events at Southern colleges where he might experience more support (UF, Auburn, Texas A&M), and now he appears to be testing a more northern strategy. – MS
Priority Intelligence Requirements
- PIR1: What indicators describe the Alt-Left movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, and capabilities?
- PIR2: What indicators describe the Alt-Right movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, and capabilities?
- PIR3: What are the new indicators of future politically-related violence?
- PIR4: What is the current threat index score for the Alt-Left movement?
- Culture War Roll-Up
PIR1: What indicators describe the Alt-Left movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, initiatives, and infighting?
Russia: American anarchists are calling for a day of solidarity with their Russian comrades. This is just weeks after an international call for solidarity with the Russian anarchists that took place from February 7-12. The anarchists claim that their international solidarity action week “exposed wide reaction of the anarchist movement worldwide to these repressions and made considerable media effect in Russia.” According to the anarchist blog website Enough Is Enough, the Russian FSB secret service has been interrogating the captive anarchists and torturing them with electric cables, and they have called for a day of solidarity against the Russians on March 18th, which is the day of the presidential elections in Russia. In the call for solidarity, the anarchists are pleading for aid from their comrades, “We urgently and desperately call to all anarchist, leftist, antifascist and democratic groups and communities all over the world to organize actions of protest and resistance of any kind against tortures and repressions in Russia: by the embassies, consulates and other official offices of Russian Federation in your countries.” (Source: https://enoughisenough14.org/2018/03/05/call-for-solidarity-actions-with-russian-anarchists-on-march-18/)
BLM: Black Lives Matter released a video this week about their networking, chapters, and how to expand their movement. The movement claims that they are working to shift the narratives away from them being an unpatriotic movement, and they want to make it clear that “Black activism has not only helped to build the foundation of democracy in this country, but has actually been the vanguard to protect what power the people have.” This is followed by a call to action: “Now is the time to step into action; everyone can be involved in the profound change that will come. Join us. It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”(Source: https://blacklivesmatter.com/black-lives-matter-global-network-releases-powerful-new-video-centering-blacktivism/)
Ontario: A mob of about 30 masked anarchists took to the streets in Hamilton, Ontario to protest police brutality on Saturday where they vandalize local stores, vehicles, and homes. According to Hamilton Police, the damages totaled about $100,000, however, no injuries have been reported. In a video the anarchists can be seen carrying banners that said things like, “We are the Ungovernable,” “Cops, Pigs, Murderers,” and “Who do you call when the police assault you?” An officer with over 28 years of experience who is investigating the case stated that “I’d say it’s uncommon for any community in this province. We’re going to utilize every aspect of our investigative services … We’re going to leave no stone unturned.” (Source: https://www.thespec.com/news-story/8297097-locke-street-bounces-back-after-terrifying-masked-mob-attack/)
Ontario: Hundreds of protestors showed up to Dr. Jordan Peterson’s speech at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Protestors chanted things like “no freedom for hate speech” and “shame on you,” carried signs that said things like “Lobster man is a dork,” and handed out transgender information pamphlets. Video from inside the event shows protestors trying to break the stained glass windows of the cathedral where the speech was taking place in an attempt to get inside. In response to the protests Dr. Peterson tweeted saying that the experience “was absolutely surreal…. The mob neglected to bring torches and pitchforks, but the sentiment was there: ‘Lock them in and burn it down’.” Jordan Peterson is going on a tour for his new book in 12 cities across the U.S. and Canada this spring.(Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7wOPt4ovdY) (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3RilH1oyrI) (Source: https://www.dailywire.com/news/27891/watch-sjw-protesters-besiege-jordan-peterson-talk-james-barrett)
Ontario: The protestor who was attempting to break into the cathedral by breaking a stained glass window where Dr. Jordan Peterson was giving his speech was arrested later that evening. The 38 year old woman has been charged with mischief, assaulting police, possession of a deadly weapon for a dangerous purpose, and for carrying a concealed weapon. Police say that she fled the scene after cutting her hand trying to break the window, and was stopped by officers who attempted to arrest her, however, more officers were needed when she became violent. Police also say that the woman attempted to kick out the window of the police cruiser as she was being transported to the police headquarters. After the arrest, a garrotte was found in the woman’s backpack, which is a wire with handles that is used for strangulation. (Source: http://canoe.com/news/national/ont-woman-arrested-after-rally-against-jordan-peterson)
Michigan: A video from the protests at Richard Spencer’s event at Michigan State University on Monday shows protestors attempting to prevent Spencer and his followers from getting to their venue. In the video Spencer and his followers can be seen marching together. Meanwhile, the protestors – some of whom are dressed in all black with face coverings – are attempting to prevent the white nationalists from proceeding. One of the white nationalists throws a protestor to the ground, but is immediately rushed by a protestor brandishing spiked brass knuckles. The white nationalist backs off from the threat, and the protestor can be seen attempting to hide the weapon so that it isn’t caught on camera. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/anarchocommunists/posts/566892367021783) (Source: https://mobile.twitter.com/jonathanoosting/status/970788293360185349)
Chicago: A group called Chicago Action Medical, which provides support and grassroots medical care for protestors, had medical teams on the ground for the StopSpencer protest at Michigan State University on Monday. The official Twitter account for the group created a Twitter thread to keep the groups followers updated on the status of the protest and their team on the ground. Included in the thread was a number to subscribe to to get “on-the-ground logistical updates” via text message, a phone number to call for jail support for people who have been arrested, witnessed an arrest, or experienced police brutality, tips on how to stay hydrated and focused during the protests, photos from the protest of banners that said things like “Good night white pride” and “Feminism not fascism,” a link to bail fund for their arrested comrades, updates on how many people were arrested, what jail they were being held in, and when they would likely be bailed out of jail, and finally a video of protestors confronting Richard Spencer and two of his associates inside of a jail as the two groups were attempting to bail out their arrested comrades. In the video the protestors can be seen harassing and screaming at the white nationalists, which led to a few officers asking the protestors to leave. (Source: https://twitter.com/ChiStreetMedics/status/970442046795403265)
Redneck Revolt: In response to the recent push for gun control after the school shooting in Parkland Florida, the anarchist militia group Redneck Revolt has taken up defense of the 2nd amendment, saying that America’s mass shooter problem “cannot be fixed with legislation that will have no effect on the culture of the nation or the lived circumstances of everyday people.” The group posits two main arguments against gun control. The first is that when someone is set on mass violence, “removing a particular firearm from the equation will not stop them, or dramatically decrease the damage they can do in a short time. A determined shooter could be just as deadly with a deer rifle as with an AR15, and most of us have potential bomb making supplies under out kitchen sink.” Their second argument is that firearms are a “deterrent or line of last defense for poor people, people of color or other oppressed populations,” claiming that in the past, oppressed Native Americans and African-Americans have used guns to defend themselves from the KKK and other oppressive groups. The group also claims that there has been a resurgence in liberatory gun clubs, community defense groups, and militias across the country that aim to defend oppressed peoples. The following is a list of clubs, militias, and community defense groups that Redneck Revolt claims use the 2nd Amendment to defend oppressed peoples:
John Brown Gun Club
Black Women Defense League
Indigenous Defense League
Huey P. Newton Gun
Brothas Against Racist Cops
The Pink Pistols
Socialist Rifle Association
National African American Gun Association
Black Guns Matter
Tennessee: The Nashville Antifa Twitter account tweeted a call to action to their followers asking them to show up to the Tennessee General Assembly on March 14th where there will be a meeting to discuss a new bill that will “denounce white nationalists and neo-Nazi groups as domestic terrorist organizations.” In the tweet, the Antifa asked their members to “Pack the courthouse, to put an end to Fascist organizing in Tennessee!” (Source: https://twitter.com/NASHAntifa161/status/971856525731028998) (Source: https://legiscan.com/TN/bill/HJR0583/2017)
Oregon: During the March 4 Trump rally at the capitol in Salem, Oregon on Sunday, members of Antifa vandalized the vehicles of three members of the fraternal organization the Proud Boys. The antifascists smeared grease on the vehicles, painted swastikas on them, and used some type of chemical that ate the paint off of the vehicles. Among the Proud Boys whose vehicles were vandalized was a Jewish Proud Boy and the Common Sense Conservative, who is a tv host for Liberty One. Salem police are investigating the vandalism and are working it similar to a hate crime due to their affiliation with the Proud Boys and the media. According to police, the vandals did at least a few thousand dollars in damage.
LA: For International Women’s Day, the violent revolutionary Communist group Red Guards LA called for a stronger female defense for revolutionary action on their blog-site. The following is a quote from the post: “We have to initiate offensive attacks, as part of a larger defensive stage in our preparatory sub-stage of war. We have to hit. We have to hit hard. Women have to hit. Women have to hit hard. It is through severe punishment – but a revolutionary kind which we call revolutionary violence – that the enemy is subdued, even momentarily, or completely neutralized.” This is followed by an announcement that the group will be starting a “Women’s Guerrilla Defense Unit” that will be open to all genders, but focus on “proletarian oppressed nationality women.” According to the group, “The unit will be one part internal self-defense training for women, one part external (public) self-defense training for women, one part political development – all united principally under the philosophy that only through revolutionary vengeance/violence is it possible for proletarian women and their allies to be transformed and emancipated from patriarchal capitalism-imperialism.” Later on in the blog-post the group explains that this revolutionary action must be taken because the, “Patriarchy cannot be simply unlearned. We must literally arm ourselves and go to war with U.S. capitalism.” (Source: https://redguardsla.org/2018/03/08/long-live-international-working-womens-day-build-the-womens-guerrilla-defense-unit/)
Dallas: The Dallas chapter of Black Lives Matter posted an update on Facebook about their recent activity and upcoming plans. The group claims that they have been “extremely busy behind the scenes putting together some very powerful and impacting events, marches, rallies and protests coming up in the next few weeks and months.” According to the group this is all in reaction to “military terroristic threats” by local police departments across the U.S.. The group also claims that they have the right to fight for their freedom and that there will not be peace unless there is justice. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/blmdallaschapter/posts/554737278241068)
Austin: At least two people were arrested during the March 4 Trump in Austin on Saturday. A video by Fox 7 shows a few men in black shirts attacking and hitting a man. In an interview the victim stated that, “As I was standing there holding my sign and the confederate flags walked by a man runs in from behind and hits me in the back of the head grabs me by the hair starts punching me in the face upwards of 10 times and starts kneeing me right to the face splitting open my eyebrow and attacked me simply because of my activism.” (Source: http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/arrests-made-saturday-during-downtown-parade-and-march-for-trump-in-austin)
Austin: The Communist student group Revolutionary Student Front vandalized the University of Texas again by putting red dye in a large fountain on campus and spray painted “This is the blood of survivors that UT ignores” with a hammer and sickle on a nearby wall. The anti-capitalist group posted pictures of the vandalism in a Facebook post for International Women’s Day on Thursday. In the post the group condemned the university saying that, “On International Working Women’s Day, we condemn the University of Texas and President Greg Fenves for their role in endangering and perpetuating violence against women and all survivors of patriarchal abuse, assault, and harassment…. We uphold the idea that reclaiming violence for women in their fight against patriarchal capitalism is a central element of proletarian feminism. We will shatter the walls that stand between women and the necessity of revolutionary violence; our success is not an option, but a necessity.” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/RSFAustin/posts/1380398015398842)
Austin: In response to the announcement by Red Guards LA that they would be building a stronger female defense for revolutionary action, Revolutionary Student Front praised the announcement saying that, “This is the type of organizing that we need to begin doing to protect women and survivors of sexual violence. Long live the LA Women’s Guerrilla Defense Units! Their work is an inspiration to us all.” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/RSFAustin/posts/1380813292023981)
PIR2: What indicators describe the Alt-Right movement’s strength, capabilities, sentiment, initiatives, and infighting?
Florida: A Florida middle school social studies teacher has been removed from the classroom due to her alleged white nationalist beliefs. Dayanna Volitich, age 25, has a white nationalist podcast where she brags about teaching her white nationalist beliefs in the classroom. The executive director of educational services for the school district stated that they “will be looking into the statements she made, checking the validity to see if they violate our code of ethics and policy.” (Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/florida-public-school-teacher-white-nationalist-podcast_us_5a99ae32e4b089ec353a1fba)
Michigan: A picture from within Richard Spencer’s event at Michigan State University shows only a handful of supporters in attendance for his speech. (Source: https://twitter.com/NYCAntifa/status/970789672317345792/photo/1)
PIR3: What are the new indicators of future politically-related violence?
16-18 MAR: MAGACON 2018
17 MAR: CopWatch Orientation hosted by Black Lives Matter Sacramento
24 MAR: March For Our Lives: Boston
24 MAR: March For Our Lives: Portland
PIR4: What is the current threat index score for the Alt-Left movement?
Indicators of Revolutionary Activity
Strong Indications: 7
Weak Indications: 5
No/Negligible Indications: 8
We remain at 12 of 20 total indicators, and there’s been no change in the last week.
Culture War Roll-Up
Hollywood: The conservative street artist Sabo draped curtain-like overlays over three billboards in Hollywood, California to shed light on the rampant sexual abuse that takes place in Hollywood. This political stunt took place just days before the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday. The three billboards that were used were a few hundred yards apart and said, “And the Oscar for biggest pedophile goes to..”, “We all knew and still no arrests”, and “Name names on stage or shut the hell up!” In an interview, Sabo told Entertainment Weekly that “Instead of putting down Trump during the show, how about you hold your own industry’s feet to the fire?” (Source: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/28/sabo-calls-out-hollywood-sexual-misconduct-three-b/) (Source: http://ew.com/news/2018/02/28/three-billboards-hollywood-sexual-harassment/)
NRA: In response to the recent school shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida, a billboard has been vandalized in Louisville, Kentucky with the words, “Kill the NRA,” as well as the tag “Resist 45.” The NRA posted a picture of the billboard on their Facebook page saying “To all American gun owners, this is a wakeup call. They’re coming after us.” (Source: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/374650-billboard-vandalized-to-read-kill-the-nra-after-florida)
California: Teachers at a high school in Laguna Hills, California set up a piñata resembling President Trump for their students to hit with a baseball bat. A video of the teachers and students hitting the piñata emerged on a Facebook page called “Film Your Marxist Professors.” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/FilmYourMarxistProfessors/videos/187502825357115/)
France: Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French right-wing political party National Front, has been charged for a series of tweets in 2015 that exposed the brutality of the Islamic State killings. The tweets included uncensored killings by ISIS and a photograph of a dead American journalist named James Foley who was beheaded by ISIS in 2014. In response to the tweets, French prosecutors opened up an investigation into the former French presidential candidate due to a law that prohibits the “distribution of violent images” or “incitement of terrorism.” Le Pen is facing up to three years in prison for the tweets and has called the allegations against her “a violation of her freedom of expression.” (Source: http://www.newsweek.com/marine-le-pen-charged-tweeting-825782)
National: On Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Tucker Carlson discussed shocking statistics that have revealed a decline in American men. Among these statistics is the fact that the sperm count of American men has dropped by 60% since the 1970’s, that nearly half of young men fail the Army’s entry-level physical fitness test during basic training, that there are seven million working age men who are unemployed, that one in five boys is diagnosed with hyperactivity disorder, compared with just one in 11 girls, that 90% of inmates are male, and that 77 percent of suicides and 73 percent of overdoses are committed by men; all of which have heavily increased in the least few decades. Other statistics that were revealed were that young girls are doing significantly better in school than young boys, boys are dropping out of high school at a greater rate than girls, more women are graduating from college and from graduate school than men, and far more women are getting degrees in law and medicine than men. To help identify the causes of these problems and solve them, Carlson had Dr. Jordan Peterson, a psychiatrist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto on the show. When asked by Carlson what advice he would give to the parents of boys on how to fight against this trend, Dr. Peterson said, “Well I would encourage them, and I mean that most deeply. To encourage someone is to instill courage in them, to support their courage, and that doesn’t mean to protect them from what’s dangerous. It means to teach them how to be competent and teach them that they can rely on themselves to prevail even in the darkest of circumstances. That’s part of it. I would say as well, more specifically, and this is specific advice for parents, if you have your children in school and they talk about equity, diversity, inclusivity, white privilege, systemic racism, any of that; you take your children out of the class. They’re not being educated they’re being indoctrinated and there’s absolutely no excuse for it.” In response to this advice Carlson replied, “I agree with that completely. You might run out of schools pretty quickly though here in this country,” to which Dr. Peterson replied, “That would be just fine. The sooner the better.” (Source: https://www.facebook.com/TuckerCarlsonTonight/videos/vb.368557930146199/601957500139573/?type=2&theater)
The New York Times: The New York Times recently published a review of a new movie about the life of German philosopher and founder of Communism, Karl Marx, called “The Young Karl Marx”. The glowingly positive review describes the movie as a “buddy movie” that focuses on the founders of Communism Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who are described as “rock stars for the age of revolution.” Other descriptions of the pro-Communist film include “intellectually serious,” “engagingly free-spirited,” “remarkable,” and “exciting.” (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/movies/the-young-karl-marx-review.html?referrer=google_kp)