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Friday, December 28, 2018

ALL WEST COAST “ALPHA MARCHES” CANCELLED EXCEPT FOR LAS VEGAS

Screenshot of III% militia supporter and MAGA Girl member Erin Gooch's Facebook post announcing Alpha Marches "on the west coast is now in Las Vegas only!"
 By ABNER HAUGE|LEFT COAST RIGHT WATCH

Denise Ruiz, self-identified III% member and official MAGA Girl store owner, announced a change of plans recently.

In the description of a livestream interview Sunday, fellow III% supporter Erin A. Gooch said that the only west coast rally for the nationwide “Alpha March” on January 19th would be in Las Vegas. In the livestream, Ruiz said the march will meet at 11AM at Circus Circus and plans to march to the Trump hotel about a mile away. There will be a brunch beforehand at Ameribrunch and a “networking and cocktail hour celebration” sponsored by the Las Vegas Proud Boys and Nevada MAGA Girls chapter.
 

Flyer for Las Vegas Alpha March pre- and post-events sponsored in part by the local Proud Boys chapter. Found on organizer Alexis Davis's "Patriot Lexi of the Wild West" page.



Other West Coast rallies were previously scheduled in Portland and Fresno.

The “Alpha March,” according to Ruiz, is an “ongoing” counter-protest to the national Womens’ March.

“MAGA Girls will be making it a permanent thorn in the pussy hats back!” Ruiz said, referring to the pink hats protestors wore at the Womens’ March in response to President Trump’s now-infamous “grab them by the pussy” comment.

Ruiz did not give a reason for cancelling the other west coast marches.

Gooch said the interview was about how the “MAGA Girls” organization was “evolving” and asked Ruiz about its “new vision.”

Ruiz said the group was started as a pro-Trump “women’s support system” that particularly encouraged activists. She said it’s now expanding by adding a “MAGA Men” branch. Both organizations will be under the umbrella of what she called “American Alphas.”

Ruiz contrasted the “Alphas” in her organization with “beta males” with “man buns” and “skinny jeans.” She has a history of ranting about deviations from traditional gender roles online and making transphobic remarks. One meme she posted on the Alpha March event page read “The bulge in the pants of a conservative woman is a pistol. The bulge in a liberal woman’s pants is a dick!”

Beyond the restructuring and new men’s wing of the group, Ruiz and others in the video imply the “new vision” involves changing tactics. A recurring theme in the almost 45-minute video was going beyond left/right politics. It seems the group is pivoting towards organizing non-partisan charity events as well as right-wing rallies.

“The idea is if you love God the way you say you do, it’s time to make a difference. It shouldn’t matter if you’re left, right, blue, brown, green, caca-color” Ruiz’s husband, Geo, said.

“I’d rather get a positive answer than get a label from people across the street,” he added.

Ruiz and her husband said they participated in such charity events for years before the Trump presidency, but a toy drive they organized for the Ronald McDonald foundation last year went poorly because of their political affiliations.

“A lot of people didn’t show up because they found out we were Trump supporters,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz and her husband said they’re organizing five events for 2019. One will be April 27th and will fund work with autistic children. Another will be the Las Vegas Alpha March on the 19th next month.

Ruiz and the other activists spent much of the video rambling about putting “God back into schools” and other talking points common with the Christian far-right.

“Our college professors, they’re so liberal, they don’t want God in anything. But they’ll gladly teach Islam, Satanism, Atheism,” MAGA Girl activist Rosanna Gonzales said.

“They're trying to make it we actually have a Muslim president majority House and Senate Muslim,” a viewer named Ronnie Gilmore wrote in the comments.

“What sets us apart from the other religions is that Christians will live peaceably among you, where other religions will not. They will rape, they will kidnap, they will torture. They bend all the rules and they twist the rules and try to say ‘oh but according to our religion, this is okay,’” Gonzales said.

Numerous members of the III% militia, which Ruiz and Gooch both identify with, have been charged with hate crimes against Muslims, including firebombing a mosque.

One of the organizers of the Las Vegas march is Lexi Davis, whose partner Jourdin Davis is a regular at far-right protests in the Bay Area and beyond. Jourdin Davis has gone on multiple anti-immigrant rants. In a video on his since-deleted Facebook account Jourdin Davis said that American citizens might have to gun down any who came across the border.

Ruiz, during the conclusion of the video, said “Make America Christian again.”

Sunday, December 23, 2018

UPDATE–THE YELLOW VESTS AND FAR-RIGHT INFILTRATION

By ABNER HAUGE|LEFT COAST RIGHT WATCH
Screencap of the first post by @yellow_vest_america on Instagram. The post rants about New World Order conspiracies and "droves of Arabs."
This is an updated version of an article that ran on December 21st. It includes comment from a Maine-based organizer with American Yellow Vests (AYV) who did not give a name.



For over a month now, the gilets jaunes or Yellow Vests, a popular uprising in France that started in response to a gas tax, has captured international attention. Protests have been violent, with police often firing less-lethal munitions at demonstrators. Like the Arab Spring and Occupy movements before it, the Yellow Vests have spread across the globe. Yellow Vests protesting high unemployment in Iraq and high living costs in Israel while Egypt has banned the sale of hi-vis safety vests out of fear of an uprising.



And now it’s come to the United States.



Saturday, a nationwide “YellowVest Movement American Action” took place. The event seems to be coordinated in part by the same people who organized the May Day Anonymous March, though an American Yellow Vests (AYV) page also organized the event.



The AYV Facebook page says they are a “nonpolitical peoples movement” who “aim to remove corruption in all areas and maintain and perfect our system of governance so it operates for the people and not the interests of the 1%.”



During a Facebook livestream by AYV activist Adam Rice the account commented “End neoliberalism and its wars! We demand self-governance through the right to referendum and healthcare for all! No more precariat class!”



The spokesperson for the group said it is against destruction of public and private property and that “[a]nyone committing violence immediately disassociates themselves from AYV by doing so.”



One of the AYV Facebook page’s former moderators, according to the representative that spoke to LCRW, was linked to the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) movement. The AYV page is full of MMT memes. The movement is based around the ideas of University of Newcastle, New South Wales Economics professor Bill Mitchell. MMT economics are premised on the idea that governments spend money into existence and destroy it through taxes. MMT activists argue for policies like the federal job guarantee. They often try to frame their arguments outside of left versus right political dynamics.



The gilets jaunes protests in France and abroad aren’t organized strictly along left/right lines. They’re broad working class responses to dissatisfaction with the way centrist governments like Emmanuel Macron’s craft policies. The yellow vests in France demand less taxes, more subsidies for hiring young people, and ending austerity politics–the style of governing associated with neo-Liberalism and the Washington Consensus. Under austerity, government spending is reduced and taxes are hiked so government budget deficits can be reduced. Social welfare programs are typically cut first.



One event in Sacramento organized by AYV started at 10am didn’t give a meeting point. The other two events were in San Diego at an unspecified location and at the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles.



According to an Instagram account called @Yellow_vest_america, the protest was to take place at Sacramento City Hall.



Boston area-based Resist Marxism, an organization started by Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman of Proud Boys and Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights fame, posted a list of Yellow Vest protests happening last Saturday on its Facebook page.



“We're co-opting the Boston protest, wouldn't be surprised if we're the only ones there,” the group’s account commented on the post.



The Maine-based Yellow Vests spokesperson said before the event that they were aware of the Resist Marxism’s planned attendance.



AYV’s account asked a viewer of the Boston livestream to refer to the group specifically as ‘American Yellow Vests’ or AYV.



“We are trying to identify ourselves as one and stay away from right-wing fascist groups who are/may be trying to usurp our movement,” AYV’s account said in the comment.



The livestream shows Resist Marxism holding its banner on the top of a staircase. A Resist Marxism member said over a microphone that “We need to end the War on Terror” to whistles of approval from Rice. The Resist Marxism speaker called the war “an excuse to stick our fighting youth in places it does not belong to perpetuate the failing system.”



A common talking point shared by the pro-Trump right and the alt-right is objection to U.S. wars abroad on the basis that American troops being needlessly killed to fight others’ wars for them. Leftists tend to argue against U.S. wars abroad because they kill civilians abroad, not just U.S. soldiers.



The other prominent speaker ranted vaguely about globalists before the livestream ended.



The term globalist is shorthand for global elites such as politicians, bankers and heads of industry. The term was popularized by far-right talk show host Alex Jones. While some use the term interchangeably with terms like “the 1%” that just mean the wealthy and powerful, it’s often a dog-whistle for fringe groups. In different far-right and conspiracy circles ‘globalists’ are secretive people or groups who control the world from the shadows. ‘Globalist’ also serves as a dog-whistle for Jews in white nationalist and other anti-Semitic circles. Anti-Semitic conspiracies are typically premised on replacing malign elites’ influence over the world with Jewish influence.



Rice’s Facebook photos of the event show people wearing III% militia gear and waving III% flags. Members of the III% Militia have been tied to multiple hate crimes including firebombing a mosque.


Protestors with III% militia gear from Yellow Vests America activist Adam Rice's publicly viewable Facebook page.


“Witness before your eyes the Left and the Right sharing a megaphone to publicly condemn globalism as part of the yellow vest peoples movement. we all shook hands at the end, so glad we went! You won't catch this on msm!” Rice said when he posted the livestream to his personal Facebook page. MSM is shorthand for “mainstream media.”



This isn’t the first time far-right organizers have tried to use yellow vests for their own causes. Haley Adams, an associate of the Pacific Northwest’s Patriot Prayer, began wearing a high-visibility vest to her events this month. One of the Saturday YVA events was slated for Portland City Hall.



It’s unclear who runs the Instagram account that Resist Marxism and AYV both sourced the image from. The AYV spokesperson said the group is “not linked” to the Instagram account.



The AYV spokesperson said they’re linked to Maine Yellow Vests on Twitter, the Facebook page, an AYV Facebook group, and the Yellow Vest Dank Meme Stash Facebook group.



The Instagram account is clearly run by someone who gives credence to far-right conspiracies. The first post on the account was five days ago. It depicts the back of a yellow vest with a pair of scissors stabbing an Eye of Providence. The caption on the picture rants about how global warming is a “fraudulent narrative” and claims the protests in France are “anti-New World Order” and against “open borders and droves of Arabs being brought into their country by their traitorous leaders.”



Another picture of the French protests is captioned “Guess who doesn’t fluoridate their water? France,” referring to fluoride-in-the-water conspiracies made popular in part by Alex Jones.



Number 15 in the ‘Demands’ section on the Instagram page says “Award the right of vaccine exception to every American citizen, period.”



A future rally in Sacramento is being planned for January 7th by a group called Yellow Vest Protest Sacramento. The group also seems to be linked to the broader Anonymous movement.



LCRW will continue to follow far-right involvement in the United States Yellow Vest Movement as it develops.

Friday, December 21, 2018

THE YELLOW VESTS ARE COMING TOMORROW–AND FAR-RIGHT ACTIVISTS ARE LOOKING TO JOIN


Screenshot of @yellow_vest_america account's first post on Instagram. The Facebook group apparently organizing the protest hasn't posted a date for the Sacramento rally, but this Instagram account is claiming they're meeting in front of City Hall tomorrow.


By ABNER HAUGE|LEFT COAST RIGHT WATCH
  
For over a month now, the gilets jaunes or Yellow Vests, a popular uprising in France that started in response to a gas tax, has captured international attention. Protests have been violent, with police often firing less-lethal munitions at demonstrators. Like the Arab Spring and Occupy movements before it, the Yellow Vests have spread across the globe. Examples include Yellow Vests protesting high unemployment in Iraq, high living costs in Israel, and Egypt has banned the sale of hi-vis safety vests out of fear of an uprising.

And now it’s coming to the United States.

Tomorrow, a nationwide “YellowVest Movement American Action” is taking place. The event seems to be coordinated in part by the same people who organized the May Day Anonymous March, though an American Yellow Vests (AYV) page seems to also be organizing.

The AYV Facebook page says they are a “nonpolitical peoples movement” who “aim to remove corruption in all areas and maintain and perfect our system of governance so it operates for the people and not the interests of the 1%.” They claim they have “strict adherence to nonviolence.”

The AYV Facebook group appears to be linked to the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) movement based around the ideas of University of Newcastle, New South Wales Economics professor Bill Mitchell. Many of the AYV posts promote MMT ideas. MMT economics are premised on the idea that governments spend money into existence and destroy it through taxes. MMT activists argue for policies like the federal job guarantee. They often try to frame their arguments outside of left versus right political dynamics.

The gilets jaunes protests in France and abroad aren’t organized strictly along left/right lines. They’re broad working class responses to dissatisfaction with the way centrist governments like Emmanuel Macron’s craft policies. The yellow vests in France demand less taxes, more subsidies for hiring young people, and ending austerity politics–the style of governing associated with neo-Liberalism and the Washington Consensus. Under austerity, government spending, usually first on social welfare programs, is reduced and taxes are hiked so government budget deficits can be reduced.

One event in Sacramento for tomorrow organized by AYV starts at 10am but doesn’t give a meeting point. The other two events  are in San Diego at an unspecified location and at the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles.

According to an Instagram account called @Yellow_vest_america, the protest tomorrow may be at Sacramento City Hall.

Boston area-based Resist Marxism, an organization started by Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman of Proud Boys and Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights fame, posted a list of Yellow Vest protests happening tomorrow on its Facebook page.

“We're co-opting the Boston protest, wouldn't be surprised if we're the only ones there,” the group’s account commented on the post.

This isn’t the first time far right organizers have tried to adopt the yellow vest for their own causes. Haley Adams, an associate of the Pacific Northwest’s Patriot Prayer, began wearing a high-visibility vest to her events this month. One of the YVA events tomorrow is slated for Portland City Hall.

It’s unclear who runs the Instagram account that Resist Marxism sourced the image from or if they’re tied to the AYV Facebook page. Today, the AYV Facebook page linked to the same image as Resist Marxism. The Instagram account is clearly run by someone who gives credence to far-right conspiracies.

The first post on the account was five days ago. It depicts the back of a yellow vest with a pair of scissors stabbing an Eye of Providence. The caption on the picture rants about how global warming is a “fraudulent narrative” and claims the protests in France are “anti-New World Order” and against “open borders and droves of Arabs being brought into their country by their traitorous leaders.”

Another picture of the French protests is captioned “Guess who doesn’t fluoridate their water? France,” referring to fluoride-in-the-water conspiracies made popular in part by Alex Jones.

Number 15 in the ‘Demands’ section on the Instagram page says “Award the right of vaccine exception to every American citizen, period.”

A future rally in Sacramento is being planned for January 7th by a group called Yellow Vest Protest Sacramento. The group also seems to be linked to the broader Anonymous movement.

This story will be updated.

Friday, December 14, 2018

FAR-RIGHT ACTIVISTS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR WOMENS’ MARCH COUNTER PROTEST IN FRESNO


BY ABNER HAUGE|LEFT COAST RIGHT WATCH
   
On January 19th the “Alpha March” is set to counter what its organizers call the “Anti-American haters” of the nation-wide Womens’ March.

“They might be a women's organization that is paid & funded by leftist foundations but we have the man power to march along side our real women's National Community of Alpha's who know how to respect our American Constitution & do not need to indoctrinate our youth to get our point across!” the description of the event reads.

“If they’re doing it nationwide–great. We’ve yet to hear to much about it,” said Kim Slavan, lead organizer of the Fresno Womens’ March.

The march is being planned by San Bernardino-based “Official MAGA Girl Store” owner Denise Ruiz. MAGA is an acronym for President Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”

Ruiz, in her Facebook post, said she intends to make the event “ongoing,” saying “MAGA Girls will be making it a permanent thorn in the pussy hats back!”

Ruiz claims to be part of the III% militia movement. III% members have been linked to numerous hate crimes against Muslims, including the firebombing of a mosque. Members of the militia were the perimeter guard for the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, although they publicly distanced themselves from white nationalism in its aftermath.

Ruiz’s MAGA Girl organization also previously rallied with the Oath Keepers militia in Los Angeles in July. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the Oath Keepers “one of the largest radical antigovernment organizations in the United States” and claims they have over 30,000 members. The Oath Keepers acted as security on April 15th, 2017 in Berkeley for a rally that quickly turned bloody. During that rally their leader, Stuart Rhodes, denounced the white nationalists of Rise Above Movement (RAM) and Identity Evropa (IE) who brawled in the streets with counter-protestors. After the event, however, Rhodes continued to voice support for Kyle Chapman of the Proud Boys’ now-defunct paramilitary wing, the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, who fought alongside RAM and IE members that day.

On Thursday the 6th, Ruiz announced on the Facebook page that Ben Bergquam would be a co-organizer of California’s Alpha March.

Bergquam is the host of AM 1680’s “Frontline America.” His show airs at 4pm-5pm, right after Alex Jones. According to the Sacramento Bee, he is a “self-identified Proud Boy.” Bergquam says on his ‘about’ page bio that he “believes that abortion is murder, homosexuality is sin, and transgenderism is insane.” He also claims “[w]e are in the midst of a cultural civil war” whose enemies are Black Lives Matter, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Antifa, La Raza, the Democratic Party and “godless cowards on the right.” Bergquam claims these groups are part of a “force for evil” that is attempting to “destroy America from within.” Bergquam is a frequent attendee of far-right rallies across California, including the bloody April 15th, 2017 event in Berkeley.

“Ben makes his presence known at every event in Fresno,” Slavan said.

Bergquam isn’t the only one attending to express transphobic and homophobic views. Ruiz herself posted derogatory memes on the event’s Facebook page, including one which read “The bulge in the pants of a conservative woman is a pistol. The bulge in a liberal woman’s pants is a dick!”

In a December 7th livestream, Ruiz said the “whole reason behind” the Alpha March was as a way to bring men into the fold of far-right womens’ organizations like hers.

“We MAGA girls are the backbone to America, and we are the backbone to our men” she said, adding “Men, M-E-N.” as emphasis.

Ruiz in the video said her “main focus” for the march is the perceived deterioration of traditional gender roles–a long-time hobby-horse on the right. She complained, among other things, about parents allowing their children to express doubts about their gender identity. Ruiz said one of her daughters claims to be gay, but “she’s gonna dress like a girl, because she’s a girl.”

“We have these men that are confusing everybody–they confuse the hell out of me,” she said.

“We are going to take that rib that God has made us from and we are going to be after all you betas,” Ruiz continued.

The “Alpha” in “Alpha March” refers to the online-right term “alpha male.” It means traditional dominant, muscular definitions of masculinity. “Beta males,” the foil to this in online right lingo, are deemed as effeminate or otherwise not performing traditional masculinity.

In the video Ruiz also decried “the indoctrination” in schools, saying she took her third grade daughter out of school after “they were talking about the whole immigration thing.”

Ruiz’s daughter made a brief appearance in the livestream, saying “I hate you. I hate being homeschooled. I hate this.” Ruiz said her daughter is still adjusting to homeschooling, adding that her other two daughters were homeschooled and they “turned out fine.”

Lindsay Grathwohl, a prominent figure in Bay Area far-right activism, announced plans to attend and help organize the event on her Facebook page.

“Excited to help Magagirls with this march!!” she wrote on her public figure page on Facebook.

Notable Bay Area organizers Amber Cummings and Jourdin Davis also marked themselves as “going.”

Other prominent far-right figures attending the march nationwide include Haley Adams of Patriot Prayer and the #HimToo movement. Adams said she’d attend the Texas march.

Patriot Prayer is a Proud Boys-linked far-right organization based in the Pacific Northwest. Patriot Prayer members and rally attendees have repeatedly engaged in violent confrontations during protests, particularly in Portland and Berkeley. While its leader, Joey Gibson, publicly disavows white nationalism, its rallies often attract white supremacists. One white supremacist who attended Patriot Prayer events, Jeremy Christian, murdered two men and wounded another with a knife on a Portland train. The three men had intervened after Christian launched a hateful tirade against two women of color.

“I will be at this event to show OFF my ALPHA FEMALE. I challenge Anyone to mutual combat. Ha,” Adams wrote on the page.

In reaction to national outrage and protest over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Adams organized the #HimToo Movementto combat a “war on men” in which men are “being falsely accused, slandered, attacked and harassed at their homes." Anti-fascist activists often accuse Adams of being a “rape apologist."

“Yes, we support the #HimToo movement,” Ruiz said in the December 7th livestream, also praising Adams multiple times.

False accusations of sexual assault and harassment against men have long been a hobby-horse for the online Mens' Rights Activism (MRA) movement­. MRA was one of the major political tendencies that went into the alt-right and current online far-right. False rape allegations are difficult to track but are widely believed to make up a small percentage of total allegations. A 2010 study concluded between 2 and 10 percent of total rape allegations are false.

The Alpha March in Fresno will convene at Woodward Park at 10am. The Fresno Womens’ March, with 229 listed as ‘going’ on Facebook as of this writing, will convene at 234 East Nees Avenue, about a mile away from the park.

The national Womens' March organization was founded in response to Donald Trump's presidential victory. The first annual Womens' March was set for the day after his inauguration and subsequent marches commemorate the date annually. Slavan said that the Womens’ March “organizes to hold our politicians accountable” and that the organization is for free speech.

“Their attendance at our event is actually supported as their First Amendment right,” she said.

According to the Facebook event page, Alpha Marches are also set for Buffalo, Las Vegas and Houston.

It is unclear how many plan to attend the Alpha March. 25 people as of this writing said they were going on the nation-wide event’s Facebook page while 77 people said they were interested.

Much of the organizing information will not be posted publicly “due to security purposes.” Security breaches have happened at past events. In the leadup to August 18th’s nation-wide “March Against Far-Left Violence,” a fake website promising free t-shirts doxxed people who gave the site their addresses.

The Alpha March’s description includes a link to an email form to RSVP and then join state-based closed groups for coordination. The Official MAGA Girls organization has groups set up for California, Kansas, Utah, Texas, Oregon, New York, Arkansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida, Alabama, Maryland, Virginia, Oaklahoma, South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee, and Pennyslvania. Some groups have as few as four members while the most populous, Arkansas, has 175 members as of this report. The California group has 71 members at press time. Some groups’ posts are hidden while others are publicly viewable as of this writing.

Membership in the MAGA Girls groups, according to Ruiz, is open to men.

Monday, December 10, 2018

ALLEGATIONS OF PROUD BOYS VIOLENCE LEAD BAY AREA VENUES TO CANCEL SHOWS


By ABNER HAUGE|LEFT COAST RIGHT WATCH

Screenshot of Berkeley Antifa tweet alleging White Lighter frontman Ollie Cline is a Proud Boy.


Ollie Cline’s band, White Lighter, is having some bad luck lately. Last month, they were booted from historic Berkeley venue 924 Gilman. Two other Bay Area venues cancelled their shows shortly after.



Why? It started with a hoodie.



White Lighter was on the bill at Gilman on November 3rd. They loaded their gear in and a Gilman volunteer named Tuesday, who was acting as security that night, heard from a patron that someone was wearing a Proud Boys hoodie.



The Proud Boys, founded in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, claim to be “Western Chauvinists” who believe Western civilization and values are superior to others. Despite a policy welcoming “all races, all religions, gay or straight,” the Proud Boys have drawn national attention for numerous members’ associations with white nationalism and other far-right extremism. Members of the Proud Boys and the now-defunct Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, their paramilitary wing, attended the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Several Proud Boys and associates, including at least one member of a racist skinhead gang, are on trial for an alleged October gang beating in New York. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels them a hate group.



Tuesday couldn’t find anyone wearing a Proud Boys hoodie inside the venue, but spotted Cline wearing it at nearby Gilman Brewing where he and his bandmates were drinking.



“I told him that if he was affiliated with the Proud Boys or the movement or white nationalism that he was not allowed back in my venue,” Tuesday says. “I didn’t want him near patrons who come to this place because it says on the door we don't tolerate racism.”



Cline says he made “sure to state that I was not a Proud Boy and had no intention of wearing the jacket anywhere on stage.”



Tuesday says Cline wanted the hoodie to be a “conversation piece.”



“He wanted to discuss with me about why ‘the Bay Area is like a liberal bubble,’ I think is what he said,” Tuesday recounts. He told Cline that “it wasn't really a debate,” that “the damage had already been done.” He told Cline to leave.



Tuesday says the “intention was to just drop them off the bill and have the show continue as normal.”



But it didn’t end there.



Cline says there were no issues getting their gear out of the venue. Yes Devil, the headliner that night, was using some of White Lighter’s equipment, so the band had to stick around. “We waited outside a little bit down from the venue to hear what would happen,” he says.



“The staff and the band were staring down the long block at each other,” says Christopher “Lexxx” Stanley, a local radio host and promoter who attended the event. Stanley is an acquaintance of members of White Lighter.



“The band came closer to ask if they could play after all,” Stanley continues. “Then it got out of hand.”



“They had told their friends and their friends had told their friends,” Tuesday recounts, “So there was a fairly large crowd who was now pretty upset with the venue’s decision.”



Tuesday remembers that in between sets, a large group gathered outside near the side door of the venue.



“So I go out there and it's only Tuesday and a bunch of these guys like yelling about ‘Oh it's just a shirt, this is stupid,’” Joey Miller, another Gilman volunteer who was working sound that night, says. “I was trying to tell them like it's not a shirt, it's an ideal. Like, we can't fuck with that here.”



“They were yelling at me and yelling at the patrons and yelling at other venue staff. They were yelling some things that were pretty difficult to tolerate,” Tuesday says. “The only response I ever gave them was that they just had to leave–that they weren't playing.”



Stanley says there was “some pushing, loud talking” and “emotions running a little high.”



“Not what I’d call a fight,” he added.



“Things escalated so quickly off of their words. It was their fans–I don't think their fans even knew what the Proud Boys shit was. They–all these people like, they're just yelling at us. Like, the band was egging them on and shit,” Miller recounts.



Miller says some who crowded around them boasted about fights they’d previously been in, saying things like “We got these guys. Fuck ‘em.”

“They ended up staying outside for so long. And I ended up staying outside and they would periodically regroup and I guess fire each other up and then come back and shout again,” Tuesday recounts. He remembers people in Cline’s group said “some pretty insensitive things” including homophobic remarks, although he doesn’t recall whether Cline made such remarks himself. 924 Gilman has a “No Homophobia” policy.



Tuesday says someone in the group told him “something along the lines of like, ‘if this was 10 years ago, a guy like you would've gotten his ass kicked.’”



Myles Klein, White Lighter’s manager, attributes the remark to a “friend who was not in any way violent that night” and says “The comment didn't spark any violence from either person and was more to do with [the] volunteer security guard trying to start violence than the other way around.”

Klein doesn’t recall hearing homophobic remarks, saying “If anything was said by anybody I can only imagine it was probably in retaliation to the way the staff was acting.”



Cline also denies egging the crowd on or heckling the staff himself.



“Any egging they thought we did came from the venue egging us on,” Klein says.



“Our fans got mad at the Gilman for being so unprofessional, not because they were following my lead,” Cline said.



According to Klein, Gilman staff “went much past their duties and were harassing everyone involved with White Lighter and people that aren’t.” Klein says staff were “yelling insults in peoples’ faces so close that spit was flying out,” calling people “racist, idiot, hateful, bigot.” Klein alleged that “[m]ultiple security guards didn't want us out of the building. They wanted a brawl.”



“Gilman security are trained in de-escalation, and the whole night I was attempting to deescalate the situation from violence,” Tuesday says, noting he was the only one assigned as security that night. Although Miller intervened at some points, he was working sound.



“It is deeply unsettling and unfortunate that Myles Klein and White Lighter wanted to make these accusations,” Tuesday says, adding “It would be deeply unprofessional of me or any Gilman staffer to act in that way described.”



“Myles's claims seem to just be lies,” Miller says. “None of us raised a fist or wanted a "brawl.””



Cline didn’t mention himself or those around him yelling at staff or ‘egging on’ patrons during his initial statement to LCRW, but says he “tried to initiate a discussion” with Gilman staff “to see how we could remedy the situation” and claims they “refused to have any kind of discussion or give any kind of further explanation.”



Tuesday remembers having to tell a large group who had wandered out to a nearby neighborhood to stop drinking around the venue. 924 Gilman has a ‘No Alcohol’ and ‘No Drugs’ policy that has to be enforced within two blocks of the building.



“No one under 21 was drinking that night” Klein says, adding that he doesn’t drink, do drugs or smoke. Klein said “no one was excessively drunk” and those who drank were “100s of feet away.” Cline said he had one beer at the bar and one outside the venue.



One person got physically confrontational. Miller says one man had been drinking outside with the group White Lighter was mingling with. According to Miller the man “reeked of alcohol” and had gotten in his face once that night already. The man got in Miller’s face again and started shouting at him not to follow them around, he says. Miller informed him of the no alcohol policy. Then Miller says he refunded the man’s cover charge out of his own pocket and informed him that he wasn’t allowed back in the venue.



“As he got closer to the door, he said something along the lines of ‘I'm going in or you're gonna have to stop me,’” Miller recounts. He blocked the door and the belligerent person tried to force his way past him.



“I eventually had to pull him out and I accidentally ripped his shirt,” Miller says.



Alex Keppel, an attendee and friend of members of White Lighter and the person in question, says the belligerent person “had bruises and scratches everywhere” because of the altercation.



 “People started crowding around and yelling “even more threats of violence and shit,” Miller recounts. “The band was egging it on, still there with the Proud Boys shirt on.”  



Tuesday says the man “was looking for a fight” and complained dropping White Lighter from the bill was “censorship.” Tuesday got between the man and Miller and asked him to leave.



Cline says the aggressive person was not “our friend, our ally or our acquaintance.” Tuesday doesn’t believe the person in question was affiliated with the band.



Tuesday says Gilman staff decided to cancel the rest of the show. Every band except headliners Yes Devil had played at that point. Tuesday says the staff was afraid the belligerent man would incite violence among those outside and already upset.



“Our staff being endangered just wasn’t worth having the rest of the show,” Miller said.



Patrons and members of Yes Devil who didn’t know about the fight, according to Tuesday, were upset and decided to side with White Lighter and continued heckling.



“One of them comes in and hops on the stage and says ‘Fuck 924 Gilman! They don’t even do their job right,’” Miller recounted.



Tuesday says as a safety precaution, all staff waited inside the venue for the bands to pack up their gear and merchandise before leaving. In the end, Miller says, nobody was hurt or attacked, but Miller says a drunk friend of the band threatened to “beat [his] ass.” Miller recalls another intoxicated person “smashed his [own] head on the wall and broke his [own] hand” in an apparently unrelated incident. Tuesday says someone threw a glass bottle at the door as staff waited for everyone to leave.



Cline, in an email to LCRW, said “I talked to the person who I understood to be the manager for the night, and came to an understanding with him that everything was cleared up. EVERYTHING was cleared up. EVERYONE KNEW I was not a Proud Boy, and everyone KNEW I was in no way out to cause harm to anyone.”



“My take on it is the Gilman staff overreacted, then handled it poorly after that,” said Stanley.



Tuesday and Joey Miller both stated their accounts and opinions are their own and not representative of the 924 Gilman collective. This article will be updated to include an official statement from the venue.



A member of the Gilman community sent LCRW an uncredited and undated screenshot of a Facebook post about the incident that had been circulating online.


Screenshot of a Facebook post circulated in 924 Gilman community alleging White Lighter's Proud Boy affiliations, harassment and urination on cars outside of the venue. Its claims have been partially debunked.



The Facebook post alleges staff asked Cline to take off his Proud Boys hoodie and he refused. The post goes on to allege Cline’s “buddies who were also repping Piss Boys gear started harassing staff members and urinating on cars outside the venue.”



The term "Piss Boys" is commonly used to refer to the Proud Boys by opponents of the group, due to group members' purported fondness for claiming liberals threw urine on them at protests.



Tuesday says he didn’t give Cline the option of removing his Proud Boys hoodie and no one interviewed for this article remembers anyone other than Cline wearing Proud Boys attire.



Miller says members of the crowd, including White Lighter’s bassist Garrett Bell, were urinating on parked cars, however.



And White Lighter acquaintance Keppel said she remembers hearing about people “pouring beer on cars.”



Bell did not respond to requests for comment sent to him on Twitter and through White Lighter’s email at press time.



Klein says he saw “a couple guys pee at the other end of the block not on any cars” because security “wouldn’t let us in the venue whether they were a member of White Lighter or not.”



“I urinated on a fence down the street,” Cline says, but denies urinating on any cars and says he didn’t witness any such action from others.



“Even if they were kicked out of the venue they could have gone home,” Miller says, adding that close-by businesses also had open bathrooms.



Miller also says people urinated on the door of the venue while staff waited for the crowd to leave.



The day after the show, Dez Monroe of local band The Color Six posted a negative review on 924 Gilman’s Facebook page that concluded “Never coming back to this place, unless it's to piss on the front door.”



Monroe called his review “an empty threat,” adding “I would not even waste my piss on that place.” He says his only retaliation against 924 Gilman was the Facebook review.



“The only piss I saw was pissed off people,” he said.



The day after the show, Cline posted an Instagram photo of graffiti on the wall of 924 Gilman that read “kill Trump” and seems to read “kill all republicans.”



“Well... @924gilmanstreet looks like your #safespace needs a new motto. Clearly not safe to all. Republicans are people too! Shame Shame,” Cline wrote on the post.



In a since-deleted Instagram post, Cline said “@924gilmanstreet If you try to get @itswhitelighter banned from ANY musical venue for MY OWN AND EXCLUSIVE political beliefes [sic], you will loose [sic] extremely fast. ive [sic] got way to [sic] much on you.”



On November 24th, the anti-fascist activist (Antifa for short) account @berkeleyantifa tweeted a photo of Cline wearing a Proud Boys hoodie along with the number of Oakland venue Elbo Room. White Lighter was supposed to play there the next day.



Superior Booking, who was in charge of the show, cancelled it and stated that they “have decided to drop the band White Lighter from all of our Bay Area events moving forward.” This included their appearance at DNA Lounge in San Francisco on December 2nd.



Superior Booking received at least one threat in return. Rob Cantrall, a Proud Boy who has attended violent rallies in Berkeley and Portland and threatened to burn down a far-left bookstore in a viral video in March, replied to Superior Booking’s tweet, saying “I am free not to give a shit....or bring all my boys to your shows.”



Cline has repeatedly stated that he is not a member of the Proud Boys. Three attendees LCRW spoke to, all of whom know members of White Lighter personally, said he was not involved with the Proud Boys and that no members of the group were at the show.



Miller said he thinks it was important to kick Cline out even if he wasn’t a member “because he’s spreading the word of a hate group.”



 “If you’re not a Proud Boy, why are you wearing that shirt?” Miller said.



Cline says he thinks Proud Boys founder “Gavin McInnes is hilarious and misrepresented” and that his words are “taken out of context, even by people who are trying to agree with him.”



McInnes' white nationalist sympathies are well documented. He was a regular contributor to white supremacist website Taki's Magazine, and has also written for white-supremacist outlets VDARE and American Renaissance. All are publishers of Richard Spencer's work. He has been pictured with numerous white nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis, including members of the skinhead gang that participated in the assaults in New York City. And he once posted a video titled "10 Things I Hate About Jews," drawing praise from David Duke for the video's false claim that on balance Jews have killed more people than the Holocaust.



Myles Klein, White Lighter's manager, says he was aware of Ollie Cline’s “general opinions toward the Proud Boys,” but “didn’t have any clear understanding of what it was until after the event.” Klein says Cline’s political leanings came as a surprise to many who knew him from playing shows.



“Ollie has been going through major transitions in his beliefs in the past year or so. Figuring out who he aligns with politically. So I have to go more based on his actions than month to month opinions. I have never seen him do anything racist, sexist, etc,” Klein says.



“I have had lost many friends and respect from family members from my “coming out” as conservative,“ Cline said in a follow-up email.



Cline says he wanted to “start a conversation,” not “promote the group itself or affiliate myself with their actions.”



“I was living in a digital world that I thought was real and wanted to see what a non-digital response would be,” Cline adds.



“To actually admit that you wore that to provoke people like that–they got what they wanted,” Miller said when told of Cline’s motivation.



“No one's personal safety should be compromised so that we can have a discussion about whether or not this band deserves to, I guess, say that they want to provoke this reaction,” Tuesday says. “It comes at the expense of real people's safety and real people's comfort and real people's trauma. And we don’t tolerate that.”



“To me, this is the ultimate example of their blind faith to their progressive cult. A "Safe Space" if you will. My politics are not welcome, I see that now,” Cline said in his statement to LCRW.



“All of this chaos was never about my affiliation with the Proud Boys. ANTIFA could have easily asked the Gilman staff what had happened (Nov 3) and been clearly told that I was not a Proud Boy/had no malicious intent WHATSOEVER,” Cline continued in the email, stating that “This chaos they create is about targeting people who question the status quo. PROGRESSIVISM.”



“I've been fired from my Job, kicked out of venue after venue, and been called every Anti-White name you can think of. All within the confines of the "all inclusive" Bay Area,” he wrote.



In a follow-up, Cline says “I was not fired for the incident at 924 Gilman. I was fired later on for my political beliefs and the safety hazard of ANTIFA doxing me and my band a while later.” Cline declined to say where he was fired from.



Cline concluded his statement by saying “I am not a Nazi, I am not a White Nationalist, I am not Alt-Right, I am not homophobic, I am not Islamophobic, etc... All lies just propagated by the FAKE NEWS. And I am living, breathing proof of that.”



White Lighter has since been dropped from a January 6th gig at the Honey Hive Gallery in San Francisco.



“I understand why. It was a huge risk for a venue to take on for a variety of reasons,” Klein said.



Honey Hive Gallery did not respond to requests for comment at press time.



Cline stated he will not “be wearing/speaking about ANY conservative/nationalist ideology as long as I am still labeled racist, sexist and homophobic for my beliefs.” He emphasized that this policy is “in respect of my band members' (and only my band members) wishes.”
 '
Correction: Yes Devil previously appeared at Stanley's 'Lexxx Presents' live shows, not White Lighter. The article has been updated removing the previous incorrect claim.

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