Concerning Antifash Gordon: A Torch Statement In Solidarity With Victims Of Abuse

Today, a group of antifascist activists anonymously published a statement in which they describe harmful and exploitative patterns of interpersonal and organizing behavior from the individual known in the antifascist community as “AntiFash Gordon.” See this statement here: https://antifashgordon.noblogs.org/


As a network we have spoken to the authors of that piece and multiple people who have been harmed by Gordon. The accounts from those individuals show a clear pattern of emotional and financial abuse. We have supported some of those individuals through their process of writing the statement, linked above, relating their experiences and concerns. As members of the Torch Network, we believe that abuse has no place in our organizing community. In addition to supporting the affected individuals, we wanted to address specific issues we have seen and experienced with Antifash Gordon’s brand of antifascist activism, since we believe these issues to be directly related to his abusive patterns of behavior. 


To the best of our knowledge, Gordon’s abusive patterns of behavior do not compromise the accuracy of information on fascist activity published by the Antifash Gordon account. Antifascist organizing would be much less complicated if abusive individuals were always bad at practical tasks related to activism. It’s important that antifascists are able to acknowledge when exploitative behavior and useful/advantageous skills coexist, without getting derailed by claims that any one individual is too “important to the movement” to be subject to public critique or censure.


Interpersonal and Partner Abuse Overview


For a more in-depth account of many of Gordon’s harmful interpersonal behaviors, please see the statement linked above. The following is meant to offer a brief summary, based on both the contents of that statement and our own information-gathering efforts.


AntiFash Gordon’s harmful and/or abusive patterns of behavior towards housemates/partners have included, but were not limited to, the following:    

  • Repeated boundary violations and manipulation/coercion 
  • Ableist and demeaning treatment
  • Treating housemates and/or partners also involved in antifascist research as a labor source while they’re under his individual “tutelage”–often prescribing them work he deems “basic” or menial labor, and then berating them for endangering the “social capital” of his personal brand if they fail to finish those tasks correctly or as fast as he demands
  • Financial abuse of housemates/partners:
    • Utilizing his ability to provide financial assistance/resources as a tool for isolating vulnerable people from their other support networks, from possible sources of income that are independent of him, and so on.
    • Changing the terms of this financial assistance, often when his relationship with the individual in question changes, i.e. asking to be repaid for financial assistance that he originally described as “mutual aid” or a gift. 
  • Misrepresentation and exploitation of his influence within the online antifascist scene to silence those he’s harmed:
    • Exaggerating his influence and position within antifascist circles in conversations with victims of his abuse, to convince them that they aren’t safe talking to other antifascists about his treatment of them.
    • When blocked or cut off from contacting people he’s harmed/pressured, utilizing his networks to inundate those individuals with requests/demands for contact, for explanation, or for the targeted individual to do what he demands.

It’s our job as organizers to ensure that survivors of interpersonal abuse feel safe and heard in antifascist spaces. No one individual is inherently entitled to a position of authority/influence within the antifascist community, regardless of their other behavior and history. No one individual is innately invaluable or necessary to antifascist organizing. Groups, collectives, or individuals with substantial public followings should be held to a higher standard of responsibility and care with regard to their online and offline conduct. It’s similarly important to be especially critical of, and have high standards for, any person or any group attempting to serve as a conduit for connecting new or less-experienced/connected individuals interested in antifascism with ongoing activism. The power imbalance within those organizing relationships make them particularly ripe for abuse.


Harmful and Unethical Organizing Tactics


During the course of our own work as antifascists, as well as in our conversations with individuals harmed by Antifash Gordon, it has become obvious that he operates as an activist in ways that parallel his patterns of interpersonal abuse. Our decision to write and publish this statement was due in part to our desire to clarify the problematic nature of Antifash Gordon’s organizing model for people who may be less familiar with activist circles and community antifascist work. The following sections outline a few relevant examples:


1. AntiFash Gordon claims to personally hold and operate in terms of antifascist, liberatory principles. Simultaneously, he behaves (both on his public social media, and in private) in ways that directly contradict said principles and reinforce his own status.


Gordon has noted more than once that “[s]ome cis white dude who creates this hero figure out of himself is exactly what we [presumably antifascists] don’t need”. He acknowledged in interviews that the research published on the AntiFash Gordon account is generated by an entire team of researchers, of which he is only one. At any point in the last few years, Gordon could easily have re-named and re-framed his original Twitter account so that it no longer presented itself as the account of a white cis man publishing solo doxxes of fascists while using a cartoon-superhero-pun pseudonym. Similarly, it would be a simple matter to edit that account’s “Bio” section so that the collective labor behind its prolific publication of individual doxxes was acknowledged, or even emphasized. If Antifash Gordon knows that white cis male activists using antifascist work and community to cultivate their own personal brands on social media is the opposite of what antifascism needs, it remains unclear why he hasn’t stopped doing that.In addition to continually centering himself despite benefiting from collective labor, Gordon often treats public critiques of his online persona, choices, and statements as personal attacks warranting vitriolic reactions. For someone who claims to hold long-time antifascist organizers and community-based self-defense in high esteem, Antifash Gordon spends an unusual amount of time and energy treating any critiques of his social media account as though they are fascist attacks against antifascism as a movement. 


As has already been outlined in the statement we linked to above, Antifash Gordon has repeatedly reacted to accusations–and even subtle implications–that he has engaged in abusive or harmful behavior by immediately professing his willingness to engage in formalized accountability processes. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing bad–and much that is commendable–about people actively taking steps to repair harm that they’ve caused, and unlearn abusive or toxic patterns of behavior. That said, the type of formalized accountability processes that take place within radical organizing spaces are intended as a kind of final resort for addressing complex, extensive, or particularly stubborn interpersonal conflicts and abuses. The first and most basic step in halting and eventually undoing harm is for the perpetrator to listen to and respect needs of the person they have harmed.Consequently, when a person reacts to someone bringing up their harmful behavior by immediately requesting a formal accountability process, it is, in a sense, the radical activist equivalent of demanding to speak to someone’s “manager.” The perpetrator is making clear that they are only willing to work on repairing what they’ve done if someone other than their victim(s) decides that such work is really necessary. It’s a clear assertion of power, particularly in situations where the perpetrator has substantially greater social capital and personal resources than their victim(s). In one fell swoop, a man like Antifash Gordon who is accused of abusive behavior can polish his “good ally” reputation and force his accuser to choose between entering into a process their abuser is already dictating, or refusing to engage with said process and subsequently losing substantial “credibility” as a victim. 


2. The antifascist “celebrity” persona that Gordon has continued to cultivate for himself runs counter to numerous long-standing antifascist principles, and he regularly uses his privileged access to media figures and resources to manipulate and exploit other antifascists.


Antifash Gordon has, for a long time, implied that his role as a publicly-identified “antifa celebrity” is a kind of burden that he chooses to bear so that he can be of service to more marginalized antifascists. He has, for example, recently stated that part of his reasoning behind forming a non-profit organization was that it seemed like the best way for him to use his newly exposed real identity to help further the antifascist cause.  This “Don’t worry, I’ll use my power to uplift others!” routine is a classic misdirection tactic often used by privileged individuals who want to appear equitable and self-effacing without actually relinquishing any of the power or resources they have accumulated. 


The logic behind that argument is usually that by acting as a respectable (usually white and/or moneyed), well-connected representative of their community/movement, this privileged individual will be able to funnel the resources and opportunities they can access to those who need them more. In Antifash Gordon’s case this involves him acting as the arbiter and distributor of research information, media opportunities, and financial resources to other antifascists, often those in his “inner circle” of close friends and allies. But no individual needs to occupy this kind of a role within any radical community; instituting hierarchy simply in order to appeal to mainstream biases and respectability only benefits those who end up on top. 


Gordon’s position of power and influence allows him to frequently pressure other antifascists into engaging with social media, the public, and press in ways that they aren’t comfortable with security-wise, and that make them feel unsafe. Gordon typically dresses up his violations of other activists’ boundaries as “expert advice” on antifascist practice, or as rare opportunities for press attention or income that he’s passing on to less prominent researchers. But as time passes, his coercive tactics typically turn out to instead be part of a larger plan for developing those individuals as labor sources, or “brands,” that will help boost Gordon’s own profile and projects. Activists who Antifash Gordon has exploited in this manner describe him initially flattering them, providing them with needed personal/financial support, and then convincing them to start working on a project or learning the research trade from him. Once fully on-board and emotionally and/or materially dependent on Gordon to some degree, these activists found themselves in a deeply unequal working relationship, where their operational security concerns, personal needs, and core principles were regularly dismissed or minimized by Gordon in pursuit of his own personal ambitions. 


Antifascists have been figuring out ways to get what they need, support each other, and shut shit down since long before “Antifash Gordon” even existed. Communities do not need the help of a celebrity in order to advocate for and defend themselves. If anyone, even someone who presents themselves as an authority on antifascist work, tells you that organizing with “radicals” who treat you like an expendable employee is a necessary step in becoming “an activist,” they are lying. 


3. Gordon has a pattern of using radical language and processes as tools to pressure less-prominent groups and individuals into doing what he wants rather than what they have decided on autonomously.


Over a period of a few months during the past year, Antifash Gordon contacted numerous smaller antifascist crews, at the request of an abusive individual organizing on the other side of the country, whom those crews had privately cut ties with. Gordon suggested to each crew that they undergo a mediation process–facilitated by him–so that they could resume working with this individual. When he contacted the crews in question, he stated that he had no idea what their reasons had been for cutting ties with the individual he was advocating for. Over the first few weeks of his efforts, multiple groups told Gordon about this individual’s abusive behavior. Despite receiving these accounts of abuse from multiple groups, Gordon contacted additional antifascist crews with the same suggestion for at least another month. The primary goal of Gordon’s proposed mediation process was, in each case, to get people to “start sharing intel again” with the individual who had harmed them–whom Gordon just happened to work and share information with himself.
Gordon only stopped this private pressure campaign after he tried contacting an antifascist group with a significant degree of community presence and respect. That group ended up responding and telling Gordon that it was unethical for him to use his position as a supposed antifascist “authority” to advocate on behalf of a toxic and abusive activist. To us, Gordon’s actions throughout this series of events show a fundamental disregard for, and misunderstanding of, both effective accountability processes and autonomous, non-hierarchical organizing. 

Conclusion:   

Based on the contents of the recently-published statement on Antifash Gordon we linked at the beginning of this piece, our various experiences with Gordon in antifascist spaces, and our own information gathering from affected individuals, Torch has come to the following decisions regarding Antifash Gordon going forward:    

  • Torch Network chapters will not knowingly collaborate with AFG on research or other projects.
  • Torch Network chapters will no longer share, retweet, or promote any of AFG’s social media profiles or posts.

The choice to not share/promote an individual or organization’s work is one that we take very seriously, and make for specific reasons. In this case, we made this choice because:        

1. Antifash Gordon is engaging in antifascist work in a way that we consider to be directly antithetical to our shared principles, and    

2. Antifash Gordon has repeatedly used his prominence as an antifascist researcher to enable/excuse him causing harm to vulnerable individuals. We do not want to contribute to his ability to abuse anyone or cause harm to our community.    

Signed,

Torch Network

Inside Patriot Front

Throughout the past year, the Torch Antifascist Network has been monitoring the internal communications of Patriot Front, an American fascist organization. The leaked documents reproduced below reveal an organization incapable of moving beyond furtive flyering sessions and photo opportunities, and falling under the increasingly centralized and heavy-handed control of Thomas Rousseau as other longtime leaders step back. Despite their attempts to present an intellectually respectable and professional image, Patriot Front chat logs reveal a group defined by crude fascism, neo-Nazism, and misogyny.  

As well as the leaked communications, we’re providing an analysis of Patriot Front and a collection of article links profiling PF members past and present.

Study these contents to your heart’s (dis)content and submit additional identifications to TorchAntifa[at]riseup[dot]net to be included. 

Continue reading →

Tell Brannen Law Firm: Stop Enabling Far-Right Threats, Bigotry, and Violence

Update: due to indications that Hill has been fired, we are removing workplace contact information from this post.

Since March 2015, the Brannen Law Firm in Morrow, Georgia has employed far-Right militia leader Christopher Hill as a paralegal. During this time, Hill’s III% Security Force militia led anti-Muslim campaigns, organized alongside white supremacists despite claims of being non-racist, and was linked to a bomb plot in Kansas. A III% Security Force ally committed a brutal attack during 2017’s “Unite the Right” event in Charlottesville, Virginia. Most recently, Hill’s “Georgia Security Force” – our state’s wing of III% SF – assaulted unarmed anti-racist and anti-fascist counter-protesters in Atlanta, with Hill boasting about the gang attack afterward.

December 12, 2020: Chris Hill celebrates gang attack in Atlanta by his followers.

Since Hill is a highly visible public face of the militia movement and frequently makes inflammatory statements to the media, Joseph Chad Brannen’s firm must be aware of his employee’s activities. Chad Brannen nevertheless enables Hill’s far-Right organizing by keeping the militia leader employed. After half a decade of harm to communities, it is time for the Brannen Law Firm to fire Hill.

Contact the Brannen Law Firm and express your concern about how it enables violent far-Right militia organizing. We provide a sample script for calls below. Remember that if concerned about privacy, you can use *67 when calling. After the script, we provide notes on some of the violence and campaigns of intimidation linked to Hill, while he worked at the Brannen Law Firm.

Contact:

Brannen Law Firm 
[removed]

Sample call script:

I am deeply concerned about your employment of Christopher Sheldon Hill. Hill is a far-Right leader who stokes hatred and division with his anti-Muslim organizing. He has been repeatedly linked to acts of violence and recently boasted of a gang attack his followers committed in Atlanta. By keeping Hill employed, your firm has enabled Hill’s organizing and violence. It is time to fire Hill and apologize for the harm already done. I will speak out about your firm until this happens. Thanks for your time.

Continue reading →

Doghead Division

Doghead Division (formerly known as “Cult of the Doghead”) is a group based primarily in Texas. It bills itself as a network of veterans, first responders, and reformed criminals working towards self-improvement. This itself is an amiable goal, but something more sinister lies beneath the surface. The group is closely tied to Operation Werewolf (OPWW), a pagan neo-fascist group operating across America. All of the members of Doghead Division we identify in this article are also members of OPWW.

Continue reading →

Christopher Carl Young, Proud Boy and Neo-Nazi of Galt, CA

Odin, AKA Christopher Carl Young at a Sacramento rally 11/7/2020
Odin, AKA Christopher Carl Young at a Sacramento rally 11/7/2020

Christopher Young has been front and center at many of the far-right rallies and events in Northern California since early this summer. Operating under the online pseudonym “Odin,” (his dog’s name) or “Odin Young,” he has affiliated himself with several far-right populist and supremacist groups including the California State Militia and the Central Valley Militia. Young is the Vice President of the Central Valley Proud Boys and has a Proud Boys tattoo on his right forearm. Young told J. On November 28 that he is a former Muslim and now Christian. However, several of Young’s tattoos signal a relationship to Paganism, as does the name he gave to his pet (Odin). Every single video on Young’s TikTok account is also centered around this theme. For more details on the overlap between certain pagan groups and fascism, see our article on a racist local pagan here.

Continue reading →

Nephew of Tennessee Candidate for US Senate is “Patriot Front” Racist Militant in Georgia

Summary: Twenty-year-old Michael Patrick Hagerty, II is a member of two racist organizations, Patriot Front and Revolt Through Tradition. This year, he placed stickers for those organizations throughout Atlanta. Hagerty even wears clothes designating himself as a “National Socialist” – in other words, a neo-Nazi. His uncle, Bill Hagerty, is a Trump loyalist campaigning as the Republican candidate in Tennessee’s US Senate race, which he will likely win. Bill Hagerty vilifies Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists. Meanwhile, his nephew works with white supremacists to build a climate of intimidation against people of color, Jewish people, Muslims, leftists and LGBTQ communities.

Introduction

Michael Patrick Hagerty, II is a twenty-year-old white nationalist who belongs to two different fascist organizations, Patriot Front (PF) and Revolt Through Tradition (RTT). Over the last year, he has covered Atlanta with stickers for these organizations, trying to give the impression that they have a strong presence in our city. Hagerty has also traveled to meet with other PF and RTT members and posed in photos as they trained together for fighting. Hagerty even wears a t-shirt identifying himself as a “National Socialist”: in other words, a neo-Nazi. One of Hagerty’s associates in Patriot Front is “John GA” (alias), who targeted synagogues in Columbus, Georgia, last year with another PF member, Chris Brooks. 

William F. Hagerty campaign video

Hagerty’s uncle, William F. Hagerty, is currently campaigning in Tennessee as the Republican candidate in that state’s election for the US Senate, which he will likely win. As a candidate, Bill Hagerty has repeatedly attacked Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists. He characterized Black Lives Matter as aiming to “overthrow the government and usher in Marxism” and echoed Donald Trump’s characterization of anti-fascists as “domestic terrorists”, stating that they “must be stopped”. Through his aggressive public stance against anti-racist movements, Bill Hagerty shelters and emboldens white nationalists like his nephew while they prepare for violence.

Continue reading →

Ryan Saxer is Sean Battle: Florida’s Fascist Freemason

This article was originally published at cvantifa.noblogs.org

Ryan Saxer is a neo-Nazi from St. Petersburg, Florida who operates under the name “Sean Battle”. He is a member of several fascist organizations. Before we discuss Ryan’s neo-Nazi organizing and affiliations, let’s detail how we found him.

Ryan has lots of different social media accounts. Some are for his public persona, Sean Battle, where he censors his face and tattoos, and one for his close friends where he posts pictures of his face. Sadly for Ryan, some of those close friends aren’t too happy with him going behind their backs, and decided to send those photos our way. We were able to verify that these photos were of the same individual by comparing them to posts on his Sean Battle account.

Same outfit:

Same outfit:

Same hoodie:

We were able to verify that the man pictured on the right is Ryan Saxer from this old Facebook profile that bears his name.

RTT & RAM :

Ryan is the leader of the Florida chapter of Revolt Through Tradition(RTT). RTT is a white nationalist organization started by Michael Moura after the dissolution of Boston Free Speech. RTT’s organizing is centralized on the east coast, but there have been a notable instances of their propaganda popping up further west. Presently, their activity revolves around putting up stickers and physical training.

The Florida RTT chapter

Revolt Through Tradition is modeled after, and is closely associated with, the Rise Above Movement (RAM). RAM is an extremely violent organization, whose members have committed numerous assaults. They were a major part of the Unite The Right protest in Charlottesville in 2017, and have been lionized in fascist circles. Ryan is also a member of RAM. He authored a communique for the group in January, and posts pictures of himself wearing their shirts.

A Rise Above Movement communique authored by Ryan
Ryan wearing a RAM shirt and posing with his Nazi friends (more coming soon…)

International Conservative Community:

RAM and RTT are both closely associated with the new group, International Conservative Community (ICC). ICC is a massive coalition of fascist and far-right groups across the world that was started by RAM’s founder, Robert Rundo. RAM and RTT’s logos both appear on this wheatpaste orchestrated by ICC.

Screenshot from an ICC propaganda video

Groups that have participated in ICC demos include: RAM, RTT, Pro Patria, RME Crew, Tradition and Order, Action Zealandia, De Fria Sverige and more. So far, the organization’s activities have been limited to doing international solidarity campaigns with arrested RAM members and fascist murderer Kyle Rittenhouse. ICC demonstrations have been documented in 7 US states and 12 countries.  Ryan and the Florida RTT chapter posed with a RAM solidarity banner, and Ryan has advertised the group on his Sean Battle Instagram account.

A post written by Ryan about ICC

Currently, ICC’s activity is ostensibly benign. However, the formalization of white nationalist alliances across continents is incredibly concerning. We will continue to do work to document ICC in the future. We urge other antifascists investigating ICC to reach out to us with questions and information.

Patriot Front:

Ryan appears to be a member of the neo-Nazi group Patriot Front. Patriot Front is a rebrand of Vanguard America, the group responsible for the murder of Heather Heyer at the 2017 Unite the Right rally. Ryan can be seen sparring in propaganda posted by the organization this May. An uncensored photo from the same sparring session was sent to us by one of his former fiends.

Our Fight / Will2Rise:

Through his pseudonym Sean Battle, Ryan authored several posts on a blog belonging to the white-nationalist clothing company Our Fight. Our Fight sold merchandise for numerous fascist groups and bands from the US and Europe. The organization grew out of The Right Brand, RAM’s official clothing line. As of 9/26/2020, the company rebranded to Will2Rise (cringe tbh). They are no longer selling merch for other groups, and seem to primarily be focusing on RAM branded shirts and outerwear. Ryan has dutifully served as a model for both Will2Rise and Our Fight.

Ryan modeling a hoodie sold on Our Fight.
Ryan(left) modeling for Will2Rise.

The articles Ryan wrote are generally bland and boring. They aren’t very creative, and are often filled with multiple long-winded quotes from Julius Evola and/or Oswald Mosley. We have come to the conclusion that, despite the image he likes to present, Ryan has never read political theory not written by these two men. One particularly interesting piece had him interviewing  Joshua Williamson, one of the subjects of our #PanzerDox series.

Boneheads:

Ryan is a probate the Vinlanders Social Club, a violent bonehead(neo-Nazi skinhead) gang responsible for several murders.  Here, he can be seen wearing his probate shirt and posing with Vinlanders members including FL leader Donald Hansard. Don has a particularly violent history, and once went to jail for attacking a Cuban man and his child.

Sean wearing his VSC probate shirt

Ryan Saxer is also real good buddies with Ryan Ramsey, the region 4 representative of the Florida Libertarian party. Ramsey is a former member of neo-Nazi bonehead gang The Hated, and is a co-founder of American Guard, an incredibly violent fascist organization.

Freemasons:

For some fucking reason, in addition to all of the above, Ryan is a member of the goddamn Freemasons. He is a part of St. Petersburg’s lodge #139, and their website lists him as a “Senior Deacon”.

Ryan posing in his ceremonial mason outfit

Ryan’s masonic affiliations come as something as a surprise to us, since most Nazis seem to believe the Masons to be an international Jewish conspiracy or whatever.  Interestingly enough, Ryan’s occult beliefs don’t stop there. He also reps Ordo Templi Orientus, an esoteric order dating back to the 1890’s. Here, he can be seen wearing the order’s symbol on a necklace.

The Order’s most notable member is famed occultist Alister Crowley, the founder of the religion Thelema. Thelema and and Odro Templi Orientus are still closely related, which may explain why Ryan has a tattoo of the unicursal hexagram, one of the primary symbols used by Thelema.

Relationship:

Ryan is in a long-term relationship with Macey Fulmer, an employee at Low Tide Kava Bar in St. Pete. Based on Macey’s hat choice, we can safely assume that she shares her boyfriend’s racist politics.

NOTE: After the publication of this article, Macey contacted us. She claims to have broken up with Ryan after having learned about his racist organizing.

More details about Ryan can be found HERE.

If you have any more information about Ryan Saxer or his Nazi associates, please email us at [email protected]

Thank you to Atlanta Antifascists for their help with this article!