Who you gonna call when Nazis strike on your campus?
When Vanguard America propaganda was plastered over Black History Month displays on the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga campus on Feb. 7, an anonymous community member immediately alerted Chattanooga Redneck Revolt.
Vanguard America is a neo-Nazi organization that is part of the Nationalist Front. The driver of the car that plowed into protesters in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12, 2017, was affiliated with Vanguard America. Among other charges, driver James Alex Fields faces first-degree murder charges after his actions resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Hyer.
Chattanooga Redneck Revolt doesn’t openly identify its members, but allowed a spokesperson to speak to Idavox anonymously about the Nazi propaganda that was found not only on UTC’s campus but also at nearby Chattanooga State.
“We received information that a Nationalist Front organization had left literature at UTC and Chattanooga State’s campuses. We verified that the posters were left by Vanguard America, a Nazi organization that recruits young men off websites such as 4Chan,” the spokesperson said.
“We’ve been on the lookout for Nationalist Front activity since the Traditionalist Worker’s Party opened up operations in Knoxville.”
In response to the propaganda’s appearance, Chattanooga Redneck Revolt hit social media and the streets with the message that Nazi propaganda would not be tolerated in Chattanooga and that the armed left-wing anti-racist organization would “defend our communities.”
The Redneck Revolt spokesperson said, “We made the decision that morning to alert our community and used multiple teams to canvass both campuses with nearly a hundred fliers. We want to make it absolutely clear that what is required is action and we will defend our communities.
“These fascist-minded people are outsiders who have traveled to East Tennessee because they believe it’ll be fertile soil for their Nazi white nationalist movement. We won’t allow our white neighbors to be recruited into their grotesque race war. We will stand in solidarity with working class Appalachians and Appalachians of color against hate mongers who seek to divide us for their own gain.
“East Tennssee will bury the Nazi ideology.”
Recruiting on Campuses
Neo-Nazis have long seen campuses as fertile recruiting ground and the last year has seen vandalism, propaganda and outright acts of violence by white supremacists at colleges and universities across the U.S.
Perhaps most memorable was when participants in the “Unite the Right” rally crossed the University of Virginia campus with their torch march on Aug. 11, shouting “blood and soil” and other white supremacists slogans before attacking a group of students holding an anti-racist vigil. In that incident, a campus library employee suffered a stroke after being beaten with a tiki torch by the Nazis.
In Tennessee, before this spate of propaganda on campuses in Chattanooga, Nazi recruiting flyers and graffiti, has been found frequently on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus, and Traditionalist Worker Party Chairman Matthew Heimbach has announced plans to hold a lecture series there on Feb. 17.
While Nazis recruit on college campuses, Redneck Revolt has developed as an organization that seeks to counter white supremacist recruiting from working class white people.
Redneck Revolt Chattanooga describes itself as: “East Tennesseans working together to fix all the ways the system is rigged. This is the Chattanooga branch of the national Redneck Revolt network.”
Founded in June 2016, RedneckRevolt.org states: “Redneck Revolt is a national network of community defense projects from a broad spread of political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. It is a pro-worker, anti-racist organization that focuses on working class liberation from the oppressive systems which dominate our lives. In states where it is legal to practice armed community defense, many branches choose to become John Brown Gun Clubs, training ourselves and our communities in defense and mutual aid.”
Principles shared by the dozens of Redneck Revolt vetted chapters include standing against white supremacy and patriarchy, being anti-capitalist, and organizing for the defense of communities.