May 26, 2021
From It's Going Down
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Welcome fellow antifascists!

We have an action packed column for you this week! From analysis and reports on violent threats from the far-Right, information on continued collusion between fascist forces and the GOP, an antifascist action roundup, updates on antifascist prisoners, brand spanking new doxxes, and so much more!

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in!

News

Leaked Documents Shine Light on Post-J6 Surveillance

In leaked documents made available to The Guardian by transparency organization Distributed Denial of Secrets, records show that Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department obtained information of credible threats toward lawmakers in the days following the January 6th attempted pro-Trump coup at the Capitol. The hack was done via ransomware by the group Babuk and has led to several revelations around MPD’s increased surveillance of far-Right organizers in the wake of the ‘White Riot.’ According to The Guardian, MPD stepped up its efforts in surveilling social media accounts, rioters travel and lodging information, other planned actions and any signs of additional attacks being planned by participants or organizers.

One if the bulletins sent throughout MPD’s network indicated frustration in monitoring efforts after the shut down of Parler and an acknowledgement of Parler’s users’ migration to Gab and Telegram. Other bulletins show that members of the far-Right were stopped and searched for weapons and in one instance, another man’s vehicle was searched after he was found parked outside of supreme court justice Sonya Sotomayor’s home. Follow the link to the article for the full story.

Neo-Nazi Paramilitary Group The Base Continues Recruiting

VICE news reports that according to sources familiar with the inner-workings of neo-Nazi accelerationist group, The Base, that despite heavy crackdowns from antifasicsts and the FBI, they appear to be recruiting again. According to VICE, the groups de-facto leader, Rinaldo Nazarro, has reinvigorated his recruitment efforts via the groups Telegram channel from the comfort and safety of his home in St. Petersburg, Russia. VICE references a new manifesto, written in the winter of 2021, that:

…establishes both “Virtues” (which has a header that includes a weightlifting image) and gestures towards its terrorist goals (that it denies in the same breath), ultimately promising to “accelerate the breakdown of civil society in the West.”

However, Nazzaro, in a series of emails to VICE, indicates that he did not write the manifesto and that it is not applicable to the current iteration of the neo-Nazi group. The manifesto includes instructions to not speak online or in real life about any illegal activities, among other things. According to Nazzaro, he isn’t under formal investigation by the United States but indicates he is on a US no-fly list. For now, he continues to pull strings as the groups “lead network administrator” from Russia. Head over to VICE for more details and the full story.

Ammon Bundy Runs for Idaho Governor

Right-wing militia leader Ammon Bundy has filed to run for governor of Idaho in the Republican primary in 2022. Bundy is best known for leading the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation in 2016. He was also involved in the 2014 armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada, which was lead by his father, Cliven Bundy.

In August of last year, Ammon was arrested two days in a row at the Idaho State Capitol for resisting arrest and criminal trespassing. He was banned from the building for a year following these arrests, which were connected to an anti-lockdown protest. In March of 2021, Bundy was arrested yet again for failure to appear in court, when he refused to wear a mask inside the courthouse. He was then arrested twice more in April for tresspassing at the Capitol.

According to Newsweek, Bundy filed the paperwork necessary to solicit donations for the campaign on Friday. So far, five other Republican candidates have entered the race, including Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin.

GOP Connections to Proud Boys in Nevada Show Growing Fascist Influence

According to the Washington Post:

The leaders of the Nevada Republican Party are facing an internal revolt after an avowed Proud Boys member said he was invited with friends to attend a state party meeting last month and cast the deciding votes in the censure of a state official who concluded that the 2020 election in the state was not tainted by fraud. In the past week, the Nevada Senate GOP caucus and the chairmen of the two largest Republican county organizations have called for an audit of an April state party vote to uncover who cast ballots as seated party members and proxies for a resolution against Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske (R). The Republican state chairman, Michael McDonald, a close ally of former president Donald Trump, has so far declined to release those details, other Republican officials said.

“We need to find out who attended, who paid for them to attend, and what impact they had on this censuring of Barbara,” state Sen. Carrie Buck (R) said in an interview. If the claims of the self-described Proud Boys member are true, she said, “of course the current leadership of the state [party] should resign.”

According to VICE:

Self-affirmed Proud Boy Matt Anthony, from Las Vegas, said in a recent podcast interview with conservative host Johnny Bru that he got involved in politics via the “Fight for Nevada” movement, which emerged in response to COVID-19 quarantine orders and lockdowns. Anthony, who is now the vice president of Fight for Nevada, said that he and about 30 people went to a GOP committee meeting in Carson City on April 10, where they were planning to vote to censure Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske. Anthony and his cohort ended up helping swing the vote in favor of censure, which passed 226-212

Meanwhile in the Las Vegas area:

The Clark County GOP canceled its Central Committee Meeting Monday due to security concerns. Representatives say a group reportedly affiliated with the Proud Boys has made several threats to female elected officials.

The GOP also says the group was attempting to elect several leaders to the county party. A threat assessment was elevated to the Domestic Terrorism Division. While they waited for results into the investigation they decided to cancel the meeting.

This news comes only a week after members of the violent far-Right, pro-Trump group were hired as security for a GOP in Portland, Oregon, which saw armed and drunken members of the Proud Boys menace the surrounding neighborhood. For a deeper drive on the situation in Nevada, check out Antifa Reno.

One America News Reporters Fundraise for Arizona Election “Audit”

According to Sarah Mimms for Buzzfeed News, Christina Bobb of the One America News Network (OAN) is the founder of Voices and Votes, a 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to raising funds to allow the Arizona senate to complete its farcical audit of the Maricopa County election. OAN reporter Chanel Rion and her fiancé Courtland Sykes also help run the group, serving as chief marketing officer and chief operations officer, respectively.

As a 501(c)(4), the organization is not required to publish its financial records or donors’ names. Cyber Ninjas, the firm conducting the audit, initially quoted the senate at $150,000, but would not respond to Buzzfeed News to confirm whether they received any money from Voices and Votes. Buzzfeed also notes that the state of Arizona already conducted an audit of Maricopa County’s election, and no issues were discovered. This is on top of two clean independent reviews of the county’s ballot tabulation equipment. Even the county’s largely Republical Board of Supervisors objects to the audit, calling it “a threat to democracy.” Because legitimate audits have already been conducted, there is no chance that the results of this review will effect the outcome of the election.

Christina Bobb has used her platform on the network to promote the audit, promising her audience that it would expose election fraud. She also continues to use her Twitter account to share donation links for her organization, while dedicating segments of her show to coverage of the audit. OAN recently began livestreaming the audit, with cameras running around the clock. So far, the auditors have spent their time testing absurd conspiracy theories, searching for bamboo particles in the ballots in response to a racist theory that fraudulent ballots were sent in from Asia, and shining UV lights on the papers due to a QAnon-related claim that the real ballots were watermarked.

Doug Logan, the owner of Cyber Ninjas, has promoted conspiracy theories about election fraud extensively on social media. Lin Wood, Mike Lindell, and Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock, have contributed money toward the audit. The Arizona Senate is limiting media access to the audit, requiring reporters to sign up for long volunteer shifts and still prohibiting them from reporting on events. Local news outlets are now allowed to report due to legal intervention, but their access is still limited, whereas far-Right conspiracy peddling websites like OAN and the Gateway Pundit have permission to report more freely.

Florida Governor’s Press Secretary’s Ties to Fascists Exposed

An anonymous blog has emerged documenting Florida Press Secretary Christina Pushaw’s efforts to organize against the Black Lives Matter movement in her home country of Georgia, which involved collaborating with neo-Nazis.

Pushaw played a key role in spreading disinformation and stoking unfounded fears of rioting and destruction when a Black Lives Matter solidarity protest was organized in Tbilsi, Georgia in June of last year. Thanks to this social media outrage, a pro-Trump counter-demonstration turned out on the day of the protest, with Pushaw in attendance alongside Georgian neo-Nazis.

The author of the blog post writes:

Flirting with ethno-nationalism, neo-conservatism and other positions on the spectrum of the ultra right is dangerous. It is especially dangerous when done by those claiming to represent the USA and the West (though not officially) in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Throughout this region, xenophobic, right wing populism and ethno-nationalism, like elsewhere in Europe, maintain a degree of popularity and influence. Such politics should be challenged, not promoted.

For all the lip service Pushaw gives to “civil society” promotion and development in her articles, on her Facebook and in her lectures, it is clear this is not the essence of her intention. Rather, her goal is to promote a right wing political agenda locally in Georgia, and help develop an image of the West and the United States that compliments this image.

This information was first published last fall in a Change.org petition calling on Pushaw’s collaborators to cease cooperation with her, but it was deleted from the site without explanation. In addition to serving as press secretary for Governor Ron DeSantis, Pushaw has written for New Europe and has spoken at the Warsaw Security Forum. Antifascists in Florida should spread the word about Pushaw.

Member of the ‘Fresnecks,’ a Neo-Nazi Skinhead Gang, Charged with Murder

Brandon Engelman of Coarsegold, CA has been charged with the murder of Pacer Hampton of Fresno, CA. Hampton’s body was found in his car on April 13th, and Engelman’s vehicle was identified in camera footage provided by neighbors. Engelman was taken into custody after a search of his home turned up weapons and other evidence. Authorities say that he will also be charged with other violent crimes against family members and other individuals, including domestic violence, elder abuse, and kidnapping, but further details were not provided.

Engelman has ties to the Fresnecks, a violent, neo-Nazi street gang with connections to the Aryan Brotherhood. Both groups made headlines last November after over 100 of their members were arrested following an investigation called “Operation Lucky Charm.” According to the District Attorney, Engelman also had faced prior convictions for criminal threats home invasion, and burglary.

He was very likely radicalized and indoctrinated into white supremacist ideology while in prison, as most members of the Fresnecks are individuals who allied themselves with the Aryan Brotherhood and similar gangs while incarcerated. While law enforcement officials celebrate this arrest and claim it has prevented future acts of violence, we must remember that prisons themselve are breeding grounds for white supremacist violence.

Citizen App Tests Private Security Force

VICE reports that the crime and neighborhood watch app Citizen is on track to deploy it’s new private security team to neighborhoods near you. VICE obtained access to leaked documents from the private security company that indicate a major expansion in Citizen’s services. VICE reports:

It is currently an app where users report “incidents” in their neighborhoods and, based on those reports and police scanner transcriptions, the app sends “real-time safety alerts” to users about crime and other incidents happening near where a user is located. It is essentially a mapping app that allows users to both report and learn about crime (or what users of the app perceive to be crime) in their neighborhood. The introduction of in-person, private security forces drastically alters the service, and potential impact, that Citizen may offer in the future, and provides more context as to why a Citizen-branded vehicle has been spotted driving around Los Angeles.

A privatized security force is just the latest in problematic Citizen-related news. Recently, Citizen offered a bounty of $30,000 to find a person who, through the app, was falsely accused of setting a wildfire. Internal communications suggest that private security firm Securitas has provided the in-person response to requests through the app.

Currently, Citizen offers a subscription product called “Protect,” which costs $19.99 per month. Protect sends a user’s location to a Citizen employee when it’s turned on, can stream video to a “Protect agent” when activated using a safeword, and is pitched to users as a “digital bodyguard.” Protect also advertises “Instant emergency response to your exact location,” and says “Live monitoring means you never have to walk alone.” It is not clear if the private security response would be tied to Protect or another service.

As VICE reports, critics of the app have some pretty real concerns that the app will lead to racial profiling, false accusations and other unintended consequences inextricably linked to private security and community policing.

Antifascist Action Roundup

Proud Boys Confronted at Midwest Meetup by Community

On May 22nd in Omaha, Nebraska, community members mobilized outside of a local restaurant who was hosting a regional meet up for the pro-Trump gang, the Proud Boys. According to Nebraska Antifascists, the demonstration against the Proud Boys was successful, with only about 13-15 Proud Boys materializing while anti-racist protesters talked to restaurant workers as well as community members, handing out flyers, and generally standing their ground against continued threats.

Dallas Area Antifascists Removing Neo-Nazi Graffiti

According to Left Coast Right Watch:

There’s a graffiti war going on in North Texas right now between Nazis and antifascists. Most of it, according to Dallas-area antifascists LCRW spoke to is just Patriot Front, the spinoff of Unite the Right marchers Vanguard America and a bit from the constantly failing White Lives Matter rallies. The group is well known for putting up stickers and not doing much else these days.

Antifascists LCRW spoke to called spreading propaganda stickers and graffiti like this “optics”—posturing to make it seem like there’s more of them out there than there actually are and therefore looking good to other Nazis who might join their cause. They said covering it up and making sure to deprive it of oxygen is and reducing their ability to recruit.

“If you’re able to do something about it then and there, do it. A can of spray paint to cover it, keep some carburetor cleaner to remove it, keep a razor blade scraper to remove stickers,” they said. “If it’s too big to deal with then reach out.”

Check out this IGD guide to tracking and taking down neo-Nazi stickers and propaganda here.

Neo-Confederates Shouted Down in Graham, NC

Anti-racists in Graham, NC mobilized against a rally called by neo-Confederates in support of a contested Confederate monument, outnumbering and drowning out the the far-Right. There has been some great coverage recently about the anti-racist struggle in Graham and how police have worked to support neo-Confederate groups while cracking down on Black Lives Matter and anti-racist organizing. Check out this recent ProPublica article here.

Doxxes

John “Jack” Jerman, DezNat Neo-Nazi of Salt Lake City, Utah

Comrades Deznat Exposed have dropped the dox on Deseret Nationalist John “Jack” Jerman, 23, of Salt Lake City, Utah. Deseret Nationalists are a far-Right offshoot of Mormonism, who’s values are typically deeply violent, queerphobic, misogynistic, racist, and anti-immigrant though according to DezNat Exposed, exceptions to these values exist and context ought to be taken into account when exploring or discussing DezNat organizing. Follow this link for a comprehensive look at Deznat.

Of those values listed above, Jack Jerman certainly embodies several. DezNat Exposed indicates that Jerman has been a part of the original DezNat Discord server called “Bunch of Latter Day Saints.” In the chat, Jerman posts violent, vile, antisemitic, racist, misogynist content including fantasies of carrying out racially-motivated attacks on his former high school. Jerman makes clear his propensity and obsession with violence against women and minorities.

Jerman is currently serving at the California San Bernadino Mission. The person who supervises the missionaries is Mission President Marshall McKinnon. Those inclined to participate in a call to action are asked to kindly contact Marshall McKinnon and let him know that one of his missionaries is a virulent neo-Nazi and a danger to the community.

You can leave a comment on their Facebook page and link to the DezNat Exposed blog or Twitter thread.

Serafin J. Perez, Fascist Provocateur and Supposed “Antifa Infiltrator” from Petaluma, CA

Last month, ABC7 aired a segment featuring a Trump supporter claiming to have infiltrated an “antifascist group” (in reality, a left-wing Instagram account with few followers) called Sonoma County Radical Action. After gaining access to the group’s Wickr chat, he saved their messages and meeting recordings and leaked them to the media. These messages were shown and played during the segment, hosted by Dan Noyes, with the voices of the supposed antifascist members unobscured. Now, this infiltrator has been identified as Stephan Perez, a far-Right videographer and “gamers’ rights activist” with a penchant for sharing racist and fascist memes “ironically.”

Serafin Perez, who goes by the name Stephan, runs the social media accounts titled “Golden State Nationalist,” which uses Alt-Right aestietics, celebrates the attempted Trumpian coup in DC and despises antifascists and the Left. Perez posts tradwave and vaporwave memes, GIFs of Adolf Hitler, and content praising mass shooter Elliot Rodger. He also likes and shares posts depicting swastikas and other Nazi symbolism.

Dan Noyes has not responded to any inquiries about his reporting since his source was revealed to be a Nazi sympathizer and right-wing troll. For more information, including a detailed breakdown on how Perez was identified, read Chad Loder’s full thread.

Benjamin Welton, White Nationalist Journalist of Boston, MA

Anonymous Comrade Collective, Partisan 161, and Utah 161 have identified Benjamin Welton, a.k.a. “The Spooky Nationalist.” Welton is a prolific far-Right author who has written for The Daily Caller, The Weekly Standard, VDare, American Renaissance, Counter Currents, and many other key white nationalist websites. According to his Muck Rack profile, his witing has even appeared in The Epoch Times, The Atlantic, and VICE. He also reviews books about Hitler for the New York Journal of Books. His most recent book was published by Antelope Hill, a neo-Nazi publishing company.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Welton is a teacher at Star Academy in Watertown, MA, and also works part time as a security guard. He is a PhD candidate at Boston University, and previously taught classes at the University of Vermont.

Welton recently deleted his Substack and his blog, “The Lovecraftian Conservative,” but the most damning content appears on his Poast account. The content on his profile reveals his viscious racism, antisemitism, and misogyny. In one post, he writes that the United States fought the wrong European enemy in WWII.

For a deep dive, go here.

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