Shut Down Richard Spencer in Ann Arbor/No Platform for Fascist

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DATE AND TIME WILL BE UPDATED AS WE RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION

Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer has requested to speak at the University of Michigan.

The latest news we have is that this event may take place over the summer.

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2018/01/richard_spencer_wont_speak_at.html

If Spencer is granted a venue, we will meet on the University of Michigan Diag two hours before the event is scheduled to begin. We will rally and march to the venue.

At stake is the safety of our campus and community. Wherever Richard Spencer speaks, his band of violent fascist supporters follows.

It is impossible to make a visit by Spencer remotely safe, as evidenced by the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville and the shooting at antifascists waiting at a bus stop after Spencer spoke at the University of Florida.

Spencer’s appearance will draw the most violent, racist elements from Southeast Michigan and beyond to our city. The danger will extend to the days leading up to the event and after the event, as Spencer’s supporters roam our streets emboldened by the camaraderie of other Nazis.

Stop Trump Ann Arbor is committed to helping lead the effort to stop this event from going forward. We are willing to work with all other antiracist, antifascist organizations. We must have as much unity as possible against fascists.

While we respect those who believe it is the best strategy to hold an alternate event, or to ignore Spencer, we believe that strategy is dangerous and misguided.

It CAN happen here. The United States is not an exception to the social and historical forces that allowed fascism to come to power in Italy and Germany.
We need to learn from history. What do the fascists REALLY want? Attention? Media coverage? To look like victims?

We believe that what they really want is nothing less than state power. They want to organize. They want to recruit. They want to normalize their abhorrent views so they can gain a mass following.

History has shown us how quickly these movements can grow. We should not underestimate them.

Being too risk-averse in the short term often leads to greater losses in the long term. In 2010 a few hundred fascists marched in Poland for their independence day. This year 60,000 fascists marched.

We know we will be criticized for being willing to take what we see as the necessary risks associated with attempting to stop this event from going forward. Please know that we take the responsibilities of leadership very seriously.

We believe the SAFEST response to fascist organizing is to decisively stop them when they are small.

We understand that there is fear in our community about confronting fascists. We recognize that some in our community are at heightened risk of being targeted by fascists or the police. We would never wish to pressure anyone to confront fascists if they are unable or unwilling to.

However, we are convinced that the correct political policy remains to shut this event down.

No platform for fascists at U of M or anywhere else.

Please join us.

We will rally on the Diag two hours before the event and march to the venue together.

Numbers will be critical and we welcome all antifascists and antiracists to join this effort. There are no “outsiders” when it comes to stopping the rise of fascists in our country and in our world.

--Stop Trump Ann Arbor

https://www.facebook.com/events/517785428603020/