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Expect More Hate Leaflets

After nearly 200 incidents of white supremacist propaganda on college campuses last year, Anti-Defamation League warns that one group is ramping up its activities.

September 11, 2017
 
Identity Evropa poster

A swastika was carved into an elevator wall at Georgetown University Tuesday. The next day, two swastikas were painted in an elevator.

About 800 miles away, the same day as the first swastika was found at Georgetown, fliers for a white supremacist organization were found at Webster University, just outside St. Louis.

Such events could be commonplace this academic year.

Although the incidents haven’t been connected, the Anti-Defamation League says the white supremacist group Identity Evropa, whose fliers were found in 65 incidents on college campuses last year, is ramping up its “Project Siege” campaign, “targeting campuses just as students arrive for the fall term.”

The group’s fliers have already appeared on a dozen college campuses in the first few weeks the 2017-18 academic year.

Identity Evropa is “newly emboldened” after white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., the ADL said in a news release issued today. In Charlottesville, white supremacists -- a few of whom were college students -- gathered for a rally dubbed “Unite the Right.” They chanted racist and anti-Semitic slogans, including “You will not replace us,” and “Jews will not replace us.” The former is associated with Identity Evropa, whose members were present.

“Identity Evropa is actively targeting campuses, and their actions are extremely disruptive and unsettling to students,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement. “The message is explicitly racist and anti-Semitic. They know they’re going to get a reaction when they show up on campus. Fortunately their message is near universally rejected by students and faculty. ADL is monitoring these actions and will continue to provide support and resources to campuses and students.”

The ADL has tracked 188 instances of white supremacist propaganda on 126 college campuses in 39 states since September 2016.

Identity Evropa often avoids explicit white supremacist language -- telling white students to “protect your heritage” and “serve your people” -- which the ADL says is part of its strategy to recruit young white college students.

“IE’s slogan ‘You will not replace us’ reflects its belief that unless immediate action is taken, the white race is doomed to extinction by an alleged ‘rising tide of color’ purportedly controlled and manipulated by Jews,” the ADL’s newly updated report on Identity Evropa says. It said it expects an increase in activity, based on fliers distributed so far in the current school year, new leadership, as well as "outlined plans for a yearlong effort targeting college campuses with racist fliers, posters and stickers."

The group itself was founded by Nathan Damigo, while he was a student at California State University, Stanislaus.

While the First Amendment prevented Cal State Stanislaus from taking any punitive action against Damigo for his white supremacist activities -- including distributing fliers on another CSU campus -- he later found himself in trouble after he was filmed punching a woman during protests in Berkeley, Calif. The encounter occurred during a “Patriots Day” rally, organized by far-right groups and billed as a free speech event.

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