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Lindsay Ayling @AylingLindsay
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THREAD: at #AHA2019, I will discuss conflicts between fascists/neoconfeds and anti-racists after the fall of #SilentSam. How should academics should react when confronted with the worst of the issues we study? I argue that UNC's response amounts to collaboration with fascism. 1/
First - let’s establish the presence of fascists on the side UNC describes simply as “pro-Silent Sam.” Activists have documented the participation of several groups who marched with Nazis in Charlottesville during the Unite the Right rally in 2017. I'll list a few examples. 2/
By 8/30/18, 4 members of NC Shield Guard had RSVP'd to an event organized by neoconfederate hate group ACTBAC. 3/
M confirmed seeing members of NC Shied Guard on 8/30/18, as well as members of League of the South, which infamously led the violent charge on Emancipation Park during “Unite the Right” 2017. 4/
On 8/25/18, @jordangreentcb saw 3 other Silent Sam supporters who had previously attended UTR “carrying shields and sticks, while confronting antifascists alongside the white nationalist groups League of the South and Vanguard America” 5/…
Mike Springle, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, regularly attends events in favor of Silent Sam. Here he is with secessionist group CSA II demonstrating at the Silent Sam stump in Sept 2018. 6/
James Stachowiak is a member of the III%ers, a violent group that provided armed security for Nazis at UTR. After attending an Heirs to the Confederacy vigil at the Silent Sam stump in Dec 2018, he called for “lone wolf” attacks against UNC. 6/
Stachowiak is one of several III%ers who were at the Silent Sam stump this year. Others were attending pro-Silent Sam events, but one was a Chapel Hill police officer. 7/
Police Chief Blue initially refused to take any action aside from asking the officer to cover his tattoo. But after mounting press attention, they placed the officer on paid leave. To the best of our knowledge, he remains on paid leave today. 8/
That brings us to UNC’s response. Admin officials condemned the Silent Sam toppling as “mob rule” and the #StrikeDownSam grade-withholding action as “outrageous.” Yet official statements have never acknowledged the presence of Nazis on campus. 9/
UNC has yet to condemn white supremacists who assaulted and pulled knives on UNC students during protests and counter-protests at the stump. 10/…
In this video, you can see a confederate punch a UNC undergraduate in the face. Although the student did not fight back, he was later arrested and charged with the same crime as his attacker. 11/
Students are recieving online threats from the fascist with whom synagogue shooter Robert Bowers most frequently interacted. UNC issued a vague statement that did not acknowledge the fascist nature of the threats or condemn the person issuing them. 12/…
UNC police facilitate the presence of racists on campus. They close nearby parking lots but give Silent Sam supporters free parking in the most convenient lot. Then, using a bike line, they form a protective barrier around racists, and use the bikes to beat back anti-racists. 13/
In this Daily Tar Heel video from 8/30/18, you can hear a police officer issue this order: “use your bicycles and hit them if you have to!” 14/
During the same rally, police pepper-sprayed anti-racists activists without cause. 15/
On 9/8/18, students held a “Nazis Suck Potluck” to protest the presence of neoconfed group CSA II. After again beating anti-racists with bikes to ensure the smooth exit of CSA II, police detonated pepper foggers, charged the crowd, and violently arrested several anti-racists. 16/
Here’s footage of police overturning a potluck table that same day. 17/
UNC police hold racists and anti-racists to different standards. Here’s me asking a police officer why they confiscated a canned food drive during the Nazis Suck Potluck, but allowed James Stachowiak to wear heavy chain links around his waist. 18/
Police issued no-trespass orders against most anti-racists (including students and professors) arrested in 2018. They are legally forbidden from rallying at the former site of Silent Sam, even though many charges have been thrown out. 19/
By sweeping up anti-racists in arbitrary arrests and then trespassing them, police limit our capacity to demonstrate. This creates a chilling effect on free speech because others hesitate to join an action that may be violently repressed. 20/
As part of the rejected plan to bring Silent Sam back to campus, the Board of Trustees proposed creating a $2million/yr “mobile force platoon” to respond to protests across the UNC system. It’s clear they want to intensify the tactics described above. 21/…
It should go without saying that the presence of white supremacist groups and militarized police pose a greater risk to students of color, Jewish students, LGBT students, and other communities Nazis typically target. 22/
In sum, UNC has used repressive tactics against anti-racists while facilitating demonstrations organized and attended by the same groups that marched under swastikas and confederate flags at the deadly Unite the Right Rally in 2017. 23/
During the #AHA2019 panel, my initial remarks will be limited to 5-7 minutes. I would love to discuss the issues I raised here in more detail, so please come with questions. I look forward to meeting other attendees in Chicago. 24/
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