Why the bungled “Unite the Right” rally will continue to damage movement bigotry and American Nazis
There is not doubt that the organizers of the catastrophic “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville – a chaotic catastrophe that was shut down after a homicidal terrorist attack on a counter-protester – were looking to unite bigots, neo-Nazis, and White “Nationalists”.
Not only did the entire enterprise backfire in horrific fashion; it is serving to destroy a unified racist movement, for a number of reasons:
- The organizers failed to factor in the visual media. Video footage of a menacing crowd of brownshirts chanting Nazi slogans and carrying torches was, to say the least, pretty bad optics.
- The organizers invited violent confrontation, acting as if blowback were irrelevant. The murder of Heather Heyer was the top story to emerge from Charlottesville, and American movement fascism will forever be tied to the murder.
- The organizers forgot the liberals are much-better organized – and unafraid to name names.
- Opponents of racism, fascism, and latter-day American Nazism will never let the nation forget that Heather Heyer was killed by violent right-wing rage.
It is that last point that has caused the most havoc to the racist right.
GoDaddy was flooded with complaints against one of the biggest online promoters of the event, neo-Nazi web site dailystormer.com after they posted a vicious article mocking Heyer – and gave the site 24 hours to pack up and move out. They were briefly hosted by Cloudflare – and then booted again. And it’s not just that their web site was banished – their domain name has been removed from registration, and they have been unable to re-register it, which means that their public web site is, in effect, completely dead for now. Even an attempt to start a “dark web” version of Daily Stormer – which would have given them a tiny fraction of the traffic they had – failed miserably. Their tech administrator, Andrew Aurenheimer, has been making noise on racist chat site Gab about buying a registrar, but it’s clear they don’t have the money or infrastructure to do it.
This means that the stooge crowd lost one of the most powerful online organs for their hate – but worse yet, they are still being named and shamed by online activists, and feeling the consequences of their un-American, undemocratic, intolerant hate-filled views.
An 18-year-old who attended the white supremacist rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va., says he is not returning to Boston University in the fall, in part because of death threats he has received for his political views.
“It’s becoming very dangerous,’’ Nicholas Fuentes said Tuesday in a phone interview.
He said he has received 15 death threats over the past week via e-mail and social media.
Charlottesville white supremacists ‘terrified’ of being exposed online
Neo-Nazis concerned after anti-fascist vigilantes name and shame them on social media
Gabriel Samuels @gabs_samuels 6 hours ago
White supremacists involved in the Charlottesville violence are reportedly “terrified” about being publicly exposed, in case they lose their jobs or receive abuse online.
On Monday it emerged anti-fascist vigilantes were naming and shaming white supremacists on social media, after clashes between the two sides overwhelmed the city over the weekend.
“If you recognise any of the Nazis marching in Charlottesville, send me their names/profiles and I’ll make them famous,” one Twitter user requested.
Following the campaign, a man was fired from his job at a hot dog restaurant in Berkeley and another has allegedly been disowned by his family over his involvement in the violence.
— Yes, You’re Racist (@YesYoureRacist) August 12, 2017
Keegan Hankes, an analyst at South Poverty Law Centre’s Intelligence Project, said the neo-Nazi protesters were well aware it was “hard to make a living, hard to have a normal social life when all your friends and family know you believe in ethnic cleansing”.
“When you see those articles that say, ‘We can come out of the shadows now and we don’t have to hide our identities,’ that’s pure bluster,” he told Vice.
“That’s them trying to embolden their supporters or bring more people into the fold who would otherwise be casual observers or just stay away, because they’re afraid of the consequences of being involved. The truth is, they’re terrified.”
Hundreds of photos of white supremacists appeared online in the wake of the violence. Most of the nationalists are known to use pseudonyms and masking techniques to conceal their identities online, but the photographs have made this problematic.
One forum user, who identified himself as a white supremacist, conceded that the thought of being outed and losing his job was a “horrifying prospect”.
“The difference between Charlottesville and other public events is that the organisers were saying ‘Do not come to this event without the expectation of being doxxed,'” Mr Hankes added.
“They had some inkling [that they could be outed] given the furore in the weeks leading up to the event, where you saw things ramp up between some of the anti-fascist groups and some of the alt-righters online.”
Mr Hankes also confirmed that alt-right supporters had been known to doxx each other in the past. “It is a group of malignant contrarians so they’re constantly bickering with each other,” he said.
On Tuesday President Donald Trump defended his response to the racially-charged protests, attacking what he called the “alt-left” and saying blame should be shared by both sides.
More than 30 people were injured and a 32-year-old woman died when a car allegedly driven by a white nationalist ploughed into a crowd of counter-protesters.
Many fear being outed from photos, but now the real cyber game against “alt-right” begins.
In the wake of the violence and repugnance of the “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, Virginia last week—and the vehicular murder of a woman by a neo-Nazi connected to the event—the quest to identify and out those who marched with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups last Friday and Saturday is in full swing.
In short order, people started sharing photos of the event on the Internet to “crowdsource” identifying members of the groups, with fairly rapid results. One marcher from Berkeley, California lost his job at a hot dog restaurant as a result of being identified, as complaints poured in from customers. Another from Fargo, North Dakota was disowned by his family. One person posted to the now-offline Daily Stormer that he would not attend future rallies, because “The thought of getting outed as ‘white supremacists’ to our employers and possibly losing our jobs is a horrifying prospect, ” as Steve Blum reported in Broadly. Many of the identifications have been coordinated through a Twitter account called Yes You’re Racist.
— Yes, You’re Racist (@YesYoureRacist) August 12, 2017
There have been misfires. As the New York Times reported, Kyle Quinn—an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas’ School of Engineering—was mis-identified as a marcher, resulting in a torrent of threatening social media messages.
But that’s just the start of a growing online campaign mounted by members of an Anonymous collaboration called OpDomesticTerrorism and others. With sites like the Daily Stormer being driven offline and having their social media accounts suspended, Andrew “weev” Auernheimer warned followers of his Gab account that they might become targets of phishing attacks using lookalike social media accounts. “The Daily Stormer status account on Twitter got suspended,” he wrote. “There are some impersonating accounts made now. Don’t click on any links they give.”
Daily Stormer moved to a Tor hidden service this week after GoDaddy pulled the site’s domain name.
We informed The Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service.
— GoDaddy (@GoDaddy) August 14, 2017
[Wednesday], the site was brought back up with a Russian domain, but within just two and a half hours it was down again when Cloudflare cancelled the site’s service. Andrew Anglin, the man behind Daily Stormer, posted an image of Cloudflare’s cancellation of his account on his Gab feed. So as of this afternoon, Anglin and Aurnheimer were scrambing to restore the site on Tor while they looked at another way to host the site that would protect it from attacks.
The Tor site may come under attack as well. Currently, the placeholder page for the “dark web” version of the site is a hand-encoded HTML page that doesn’t betray much about the system it is hosted on. But a hacker claiming to be involved in the Anonymous operation told Ars that they were attempting to launch a denial of service attack over Tor on the Daily Stormer’s .onion hidden service.
Additionally, the Stormer’s web discussion board, which was hosted on a service based in Belize, was taken offline after being exposed by attackers.
— New World Hackers (@nwhownz) August 16, 2017
IRC discussions among Stormer supporters also were targeted:
— New World Hackers (@nwhownz) August 15, 2017
The group contacting Ars has previously claimed responsibility for setting off warning sirens in Dallas, which could not be verified, and has made other dubious claims in the past. But these details appear genuine.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant – and activists in the reality-based world do not fear exposing latter-day Nazis. The right git united, all right – as a faction whose supporters are going to be identified publicly. Let these regressive hatemoingers face the consequences of their actions.