The Alt-Right Returns to Berkeley, April 15th
Approximately 75 people showed up to the ‘March on Berkeley,’ on March 4th, 2017, an event organized by Richard Black of Southern California, to support the Presidency of Donald Trump. The march was to coincide with a national day of action planned in support of Trump, who faces a crisis of legitimacy and drastically dropping support in polls. In Berkeley however, the Right originally intended for this event to be a kind of follow up or revenge for what happened at UC Berkeley on February 1st, 2017, when the community shut down Milo Yiannopoulos from giving a speech, (the event was also organized by the Berkeley College Republicans who have ties to neo-Nazis), before it even began. However as we got closer to March 4th, and as Milo’s career tanked in the wake of anti-consent and pro-pedophilia comments, plans changed and the theme of the event shifted from “free speech” to supporting Donald Trump.
Originally published by Northern California Anti-Racist Action (NoCARA)
This development can be seen in tweets by organizer Richard Black, and is most clear in the changes made to the social media flyer that organizers produced for the event. The original flyer, which appeared shortly after the events of February 1st, depicted an event supporting ‘free speech’ and featured groups like the Proud Boys, a group of ‘Alt-Lite‘ Trump supporters and ‘Western Chauvinists’ led by Gavin McInnes. Richard Black hinted that Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, and Gavin McInnes would all be special guests, but this was not to be.
Richard Black was unsuccessful in joining a local Proud Boys chapter and Yiannopoulos, Cernovich, and McInnes all declined involvement and disassociated themselves from the event on twitter. After this, Black reframed the event as simply a pro-Donald Trump rally. To make matters more confusing, Richard Black himself identifies (or at least did) as an “anarcho”-capitalist, (to be clear, we do not consider ‘anarcho’-capitalism a part of, or form of anarchism) and his twitter banner used to feature a yellow and black image. Black even went so far as to bring a yellow and black flag with him to the rally. Despite Black’s love of markets totally free of the State, he somehow also strangely supports Trump, or at least is comfortable using Trump as a way to organize other sections of the Right, including sections of the far-Right and Alt-Right. Since March 4th, Black has changed his twitter banner to a picture of an old world statue, commonplace among the Alt-Right, probably signalling his turn toward it.
The second flyer Black published in the lead up to March 4th reflects this theme change, dropping any language about free speech or special guests and instead aligning with the national Trump rallies happening on the same day. Still, many on the Right were looking for revenge for February 1st and they were determined to show up to no matter what the event was, as long as it was aligned with the Right and against anarchists, antifascists, and the Left.
During the buildup to the March on Berkeley event, Richard Black also attempted to distance his event from the Alt-Right, neo-Nazis, and anything connected to white nationalism. He also cleaned out his own twitter account, unfollowing ‘Baked Alaska,’ the neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic twitter personality that gained 15 minutes of internet fame after getting into a pissing contest with Mike Cernovich over the Alt-Lite Deploraball event held in Washington DC. Interestingly enough, the Berkeley College Republicans, themselves part of the Alt-Right and connected to neo-Nazi groups like Identity Evropa, distanced themselves from the ‘March on Berkeley’ event itself, even going so far as to state on camera that they weren’t attending. Despite this distancing, that relationship may now have changed. Richard Black is currently running a Facebook far-Right organizing page entitled, “Berkeley Heroes,” which includes Jack Palkovic, a member of the Alt-Right and the Berkeley College Republicans. Only several weeks ago, Jack was seen hugging Nathan Damigo, the head neo-Nazi organizer of Identity Evropa, goodbye on a subway platform.
Richard Black also made several statements on the event page about how the Alt-Right and neo-Nazis were not welcome at the event, even threatening their removal should they show up. As we will see, Richard Black failed on all counts to do anything close to this. Not only did the Alt-Right and far-Right mobilize for the March on Berkeley, they made up the core vanguard that both organized for and fought during the event.
What makes this group that we will present below different than other sections of the Alt-Right is that they clearly represent a different section of the movement than we are used to hearing about. In short, they do not come out of classical white nationalism that veers towards third positionism and national socialism. Instead, they are part of the Alt-Right that derives from libertarianism and “anarcho”-capitalism; although still aligning themselves with much of the Alt-Right’s pro-West, pro-patriarchy, and racial politics.
In fact, these Alt-Right ancaps believe that their vision of a society ruled by market forces and property rights best protects white, male, and Western interests, and moreover that fascism represents a useful and necessary stepping stone to achieving such a society. So if you’re scratching your head and wondering how someone that calls for a society without the State can support Trump or fascism remember: they need to take us out first.
On the day of March 4th, the March for Trump event in Berkeley was met by around 200-250 counter-demonstrators. Many people showed up because they were anticipating that the fascist movement that sought to provoke those of us in Berkeley and the Bay Area on February 1st would be back to try again. As the our research indicates, these concerns were valid and correct. To meet this challenge, anarchists, antifascists, and the Left came out in bigger numbers and collectively had a lot more experience in these situations than their opponents.
The Trump supporters were composed overwhelmingly of white people, though there was a small number of people of color that joined, many identifying as libertarians or “anarcho”-capitalists. The Trump crowd broke out into chants a handful of times, but could only come up with two different offerings. The first was “USA! USA!”, a typical banal chant from the Right. Their other chant was shouting “fascists!” at the counter-demonstrators. This latter chant was particularly humorous as it was the crowd of Trump supporters that consisted of actual fascists (again, documented in the research below). The counter-demonstrators were a much more diverse group. Anarchists, communists, socialists, and liberals all came together in opposition. White folks stood in solidarity with people of color. Those with documentation came to support the undocumented. All united against the threat of fascism.
The confrontation lasted for hours. The March for Trump plan was to meet at Martin Luther King Jr Civic Center Park in Berkeley at 2pm, whereas counter-demonstrators arrived as early as 12pm to disrupt the event. Trump supporters were timid and cautious to enter the park when they saw the opposition already gathering, preferring to stay on the sidelines and observe. It took a few of their “bravest” to make the first steps into the middle of the park before the others fell in line.
This is something that all should remember. By showing up and taking space, we created an unwelcoming environment for the enemy. But by allowing our enemies to enter into that space, the door is opened up for confrontation and putting ourselves at risk.
The March for Trump was outnumbered all day, and tensions rose as both sides continued rallying. As far as we could tell, the first physical confrontation of the day came when an older white woman from the Trump crowd walked over to counter-demonstrators raising and swinging her cane around as if to threaten them. She was insisting the counter-demonstrators were violent, completely missing the irony that she was the first to aggressively confront the other side. The primary target of her rage seemed to be an anti-Trump protester yelling out repeatedly that Trump was “a pig.”
This would not be the last confrontation of the day. As media documentation and firsthand reports show, multiple fights broke out in and around the park on March 4, leading to arrests and injuries on both sides. While organizer Richard Black insisted before the event that he would personally eject fascist and Neo-Nazi types in attendance, it’s become clear since March 4th that the most aggressive on the pro-Trump side were in fact local fascists, and Richard Black was aware of their plans to attend beforehand as he has been Facebook friends with Daniel Quillinan (see below) since at least February 2017. Furthermore, Quillinan and Kyle Chapman both used identical homemade shields.
Police surrounded the park all day and were organized into teams designated by colored tape on their uniforms. They were mostly hands off, until they felt a need to intervene. Many cops were out that day, some not even in uniform, filming and trying to record faces. Be safe and smart, and bring a mask! The police and the fascists both want to identify people, especially in the wake of the Milo shutdown.
The March 4 Trump lost in Berkeley. They came to cause trouble and provoke the Berkeley community hoping the police would act as a buffer for the consequences of their actions. What they found was that they didn’t understand how police act in these kinds of situations, and once organizers like Richard Black realized they were on their own, they left and pleaded with others to do the same, claiming it was no longer safe and that the police had betrayed them. After a handful of false starts, Trump supporters at one point attempted to march in the street. This didn’t last long, and the only effect it had was leaving them open and vulnerable to attacks from the community.
Like February 1st, the Alt-Trump Berkeley March 4th counter-demonstration was another victory against the growing far-Right. However, the resistance on March 4 did not benefit from the same level of organization that we saw against Milo and the Berkeley College Republicans. Many crews came out to meet the March for Trump, but coordination among them appeared minimal. In the future, more discussions and planning between groups ahead of time will prepare anarchists and those on the Left to meet the far-Right’s challenge. It’s simply not enough to call for a counter-demonstration hoping big numbers will lead to an inevitable win. We expect provocations from the Right like this to continue, and would urge those on the Left to take them seriously while staying safe and being strategic in their planning.
A Note About the Police
There were moments when some counter-demonstrators cheered the police on March 4th, if and when they decided to take action against the Right. While we understand where this sentiment comes from, we would like to point out and remind readers that this is the same police force that beat, shot, and gassed us in 2014 for hitting the streets of Berkeley for black lives. These are the same police that killed Kayla Moore in her home in 2013. The state that we cheer on if they arrest a fascist is the same state that will come down on us for defending ourselves. The movement will be better off if we see the police not as our heroes but instead for what they really are: enforcers and agents of white supremacy, and therefore, enemies. Indeed, Kyle Chapman was arrested as counter-demonstrators cheered on police, but he has since been released with no charges.
Kyle Sean Chapman aka “Based Stick Man”
“This whole experience is a little overwhelming. The out pouring of support has nearly brought me to tears. I do not consider myself a hero. I’m a patriot that loves freedom and my fellow countrymen. I have long embraced my inner warrior as many of the warrior patriots that fought along side me. I could not of done it without them. The decadence of the west has made us soft. we must reverse this if our Republic is to survive. Let 3.4.17 be the beginning of a new revolution.”
-Kyle Chapman, March 7th on Facebook
Image: Chapman attacking counter protesters with pepper spray.
Kyle Sean Chapman (11/12/1975), also known as the “Alt-Knight” or “Based Stick Man” by his fans, is the far-Right Trump supporter that has been celebrated by Alt-Right Nazis and Trump supporters alike for violently attacking anti-fascist protesters at the March 4 Trump rally in Berkeley.
Image: A photo album from Chapman’s Facebook profile depicting bullets being dipped in bacon oil to kill Muslims.
Chapman attended the rally ready and looking for a fight based on the weapons and protective gear he carried, including a dagger, folding knife, long stick, spiked ring, shield, and pepper spray. He can be seen in various videos instigating violence against anti-fascist protesters. This included an assault captured in a widely circulated video showing Chapman hitting a protester in the head with such force that it broke off part of his stick. He also supplied weapons to other fascist protesters including pepper spray which was also used against protesters and is believed to have caused the friendly fire amongst pro-Trump protesters- including the old man in the widely circulated image suffering from pepper spray.
Image: Chapman with a spiked ring and pepper spray standing next to Quillinan
Soon after Chapman’s arrest, anti-fascist researchers uncovered a wealth of information on him. This includes his extensive criminal history which features convictions for felonies in Texas and California for charges including robbery, grand theft, and the purchase and possession of a shotgun and SKS military caliber rifle from an illegal arms dealer. Despite the Right championing so-called law and order and espousing tough-on-crime rhetoric, support for Chapman has been almost universal amongst pro-Trump and fascists activists alike.
Image: Chapman seen armed with a dagger and folding knife
Chapman would have been cast as a “thug” and career criminal had he been an anti-fascist protester, but all that is ignored in favor of the manipulative patriot narrative currently being put forward by those camps. It’s important to understand that the relationship of fascists and the right-wing to the rule law is highly utilitarian and superficial, and one that can and will be ignored to create the spectacles of violence and the authority needed for furthering their revolutionary fascist politics.
Image: Champman with his partner Hang “Haley” Ly, and their son.
Chapman is strongly supported by his partner and the mother of his child Hang “Haley” Ly (38) who works as a senior paralegal for Uber in San Francisco. He, Ly, and their son live in a single family house in Daly City, south of San Francisco. Interestingly, screenshots showing Chapman’s activity on Tinder have also surfaced, and reveal that Chapman has been trying to meet and date women on Tinder as recently as late February. This is very revealing of his character if he is indeed in a monogamous relationship with his partner.
Image: Chapman lying about his age and trying to connect with people on Tinder as recently as February 2017
Chapman’s social media is also rife with support for white supremacist and right-wing pages and causes. This runs the range from many pages associated with the Alt-Right, to Ron Paul and libertarian pages, to more traditional neo-Nazis groups like the Soldiers of Odin. Chapman’s favorite books, as listed on Facebook, are: “March of the Titans: A History of the White Race,” which prominently features Hitler and the Third Reich. His interest in movies also includes conspiracy theory films about 9/11 and climate change.
Chapman’s Facebook profile even has a gallery of images showing rifle and revolver caliber cartridges being dipped in bacon fat for the purpose of shooting Muslims. This common racist practice is supposed to prevent Muslims from entering heaven if killed with the pork tainted bullets, and betrays a complete lack of understanding about Islam. This gallery, which was uploaded 8 months ago according to the Facebook time stamp, includes Chapman as a member. These posts were made at a time when Chapman was still under court supervision for his illegal weapons convictions, and according to US code 18 § 922(g) & (n) would have received a 15 year mandatory minimum sentence if Chapman had been apprehended for possessing ammunition as someone with at least 3 prior felony convictions.
Image: Court documents showing Chapman’s conviction on weapons charges
Chapman’s political views, which like many of the other far-Right Trump supporters that organized and came out to the March 4th rally, seems to be an active mix of far-Right Libertarianism, Alt-Right Pepe memes, and hardcore fascist Neo-Nazism. Since these realities have come to light, those on the Right have pushed back to say that Chapman’s relationship with an Asian woman means that he “can’t be a white supremacist.” Many white men within the white nationalist movement have had or currently do have relationships with non-White women, so this reality is nothing new.
What is clear is that Chapman is a member of the far-Right and is open to neo-Nazi and white nationalist ideas, is willing to violently act upon them, and sees these groups as potential comrades in a struggle against social movements, communities of color struggling for liberation, the working-class actively organizing against capital, and anarchists and antifascists pushing back against the far-Right.
Things went similarly between Richard Black and Gavin McInnes, who started the self-described “western chauvinists” group the Proud Boys. Richard had invited Gavin McInnes to speak at the event, and had even listed the Proud Boys as featured guests on the original March 4th flyer. After Richard was supposedly denied membership into the Bay Area chapter, Gavin McInnes tweeted to Richard Black accusing that he had “put the cart before the horse,” and informing him that McInnes and the Proud Boys would not attend. These divisions have lasted on beyond March 4th, as seen in some public social media interactions between Richard and various other individuals. For example:
Tweets addressed to Richard Black from a member of Proud Boys.
Richard’s March 4th event ended up with no speakers other than himself. And, despite his public distancing from the Alt-Right, he is currently using the Alt-right website Wesearchr to fundraise for future organizing efforts in the hopes that he can quit his job and become a full-time political organizer. Ironic, given the unfounded right-wing conspiracy that the Left is full of professional paid protesters and the fact that Black is an “anarcho”-capitalist but is hoping that mutual aid from fascists will allow him to stop being a wage slave. This has led some in his own political networks to question his integrity and motives for organizing these rallies.
Richard Black’s goals and priorities couldn’t be any more clear. He seems to be motivated by a desire for fame and attention, and cares very little for the people he is calling on to help him get it. Richard abandoned his friends and headed right back to southern California once he realized he was in over his head. Back at home, Richard fielded interviews and collected donations, none of which were shared with any of the arrested or injured on his side, and there were many. Everyone else was left on their own, except for Kyle Chapman, whose donation pages Richard shared in hopes of bailing Chapman out of jail as soon as possible. It’s not surprising that Richard would put the effort into fundraising for Chapman and maintaining a link to him, as “Based Stick Man” has received for more fame and attention in a matter of days than Black has been able to garner in months.
Image: Richard Black with Eddy Brock on March 4, 2017
Eric Zarahn aka “Maced Piss Man”
Eric David Zarahn (47) is the tall Trump supporter seen in the widely circulated and thoroughly meme’d images with a bloody face and urine soaked pants. Despite the media casting Zarahn as a victim of BPD “standing down,” video and images from March 4th and earlier events from around the Bay Area reveal him to be a violent racist seeking confrontations and initiating fights.
On March 4th, Zarahn was seen aggressively interacting with anti-fascist protesters early on, to the point he began shoving people. This is when he was initially pepper sprayed, and had to be treated by fellow right-wing protesters. Not content with that alone, Zarahn decided to get back into the fray, this time with his face masked up with a white t-shirt.
Image: Zarahn masked up with a t-shirt
As tensions continued to mount and further clashes broke out, Zarahn was seen violently attacking anti-fascist protesters, and at one point, even placing one in a headlock and attempting to choke them. This was met with a swift response from anti-fascists who freed the individual, and in the process, left him with a bloody face and urine running down the front of his pants. Zarahn was later seen indignantly crying to the media and police, and bemoaning his fraudulent victimhood which the media has been all too eager to uncritically repeat at face value.
This isn’t the first time Zarahn has been spotted engaging in violent behavior and seeking out a fight. On June 2nd, 2016, at the ill fated Trump campaign rally in San Jose which saw anti-racist protesters violently clashing with Trump supporters, Zarahn was seen in running around in a fighting stance and trying to attack groups of youth of color. In 2014, he participated a racist rally meant to intimidate and bully Mexican youth at a Morgan Hill high school into not celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
Image: Another fight that Zarahn lost. (San Jose, 6/2/2016)
A look into Zarahn’s social media and internet presence paints a picture of someone ideologically transitioning from more conventional patriotic and pro-America forms of thinly veiled and socially acceptable racism to a more overt conspiracy-oriented and Alt-Right white nationalist worldview. Zarahn’s Youtube account subscriptions include Red Ice TV, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Stefan Molyneux. He also started a petition that called for the death penalty for anyone engaged in “jihad,” and has many Amazon reviews on Islamophobic and other conspiracy material on Islam.
Image: Zarahn’s Youtube account subscriptions. Includes a variety of Alt-Right and far-Right staples like Alex Jones and Stefan Molyneux, along with neo-Nazi fare such as Millennial Woes and Red Ice TV.
Despite Zarahn’s inclination towards conspiracies, he holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from University of Pennsylvania, and at one time taught at Colombia University. He also engaged in pro-Israel and Islamophobic activism using his position at the university. Zarah has also worked for tech companies such as Microsoft, and currently lives in west San Jose.
Image: Zarahn at the ant-Cinco de Mayo rally bullying Mexican high school students in 2014
It’s worth noting the fact that like Zarahn, a large number of fascist and white supremacist activists in the contemporary moment are from educated and affluent middle class and professional backgrounds in “STEM” and other highly paid fields. Counter to the continually perpetuated images of the uneducated working-class neo-Nazi skinhead or robed KKK member as the typical present day racists, some of the most fervent and vocal racists of today are software developers and engineers in technology fields which are continually celebrated as ushering in a more progressive, egalitarian, and interconnected world through tech. A standout example of this was when Mike Enoch of The Right Stuff network of white supremacist podcasts was exposed as Mike Peinovich, a software developer. While a deeper analysis is beyond the scope of this piece, beneath the seemingly crisp, transparent, and immaculately designed user interfaces of Silicon Valley’s “disruptive” tech innovations lie the coercive and surveilling systems of profit extraction conceived, developed and tested by the likes of Eric Zarahn.
Travis Kenney and Mikey Kingshill
Travis Kenney and Mikey Kingshill are two members of the Oakland band Hammerlock. They were present together at the rally, and were seen aggressively engaging anti-fascist protesters. Shortly after Rich Black and others directed the pro-Trump crowd to march, Kenney is seen in livestream footage sucker punching an anti-fascist protester and repeatedly punching them in the head.
Image: Travis Kenney sucker punching a protester
While this was happening, Kingshill also tried to assault the person being attacked by Kenney, and was pepper sprayed and knocked to ground multiple times by others in the crowd. After a protracted fight, Kenney, Kinghills, and Kingshill’s wife were sent packing from the rally. Kenney is current being sought by Berkeley Police for possible charges stemming from the rally.
Image: Kenney (left) and Kingshill before shortly before sucker punching the protester.
Hammerlock as a band has been around since the mid-nineties, and their sound has been described as “fusing alternative metal, Southern rock, and punk” by people attempting to sell their records. The band’s image is strongly fused with confederate symbolism and other overt Nazi symbols such as the Iron Cross, which is seen both on their official materials and worn by Elizabeth Kenney, the other member of the band. Kenney and his wife live in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland.
Image: Official Hammerlock logo featuring Nazi Iron Crosses
Libertarians Starting to Organize, Making Inroads Into the Alt-Right
White nationalist and Alt-Right groups such as Identity Evropa seem to lack the capacity to step up as leaders in this current round of clashes, and it appears that various libertarian and “anarcho”-capitalist groups are trying to move in and fill the void. On March 14th, Cal Libertarians and Students for Liberty hosted an event at UC Berkeley that they called “Milo, Trump, & the Assault on Free Speech” featuring Tom Palmer of Atlas Network. View the video here. Most students didn’t even know these groups existed locally before this event. Organizers paid to have the Facebook event as a sponsored ad in an attempt to reach a wide audience. Despite this, the number of attendees on the Facebook event that committed to go were dismal, peaking at 56, which included Kyle Chapman and Daniel Qullinan.
Image: An image from “Shawn,” who attended the event. Shows both the popularity of “Based Stick Man” among Alt-Right libertarians as well as their participation in the recent Berkeley event.
Image: Neo-fascist and former Libertarian Party candidate Augustus Invictus was invited to the Berkeley event. Augustus has a long history of working with and affiliating with neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups.
Because these politics have been dominant in the recent confrontations between the far-right and the left in Berkeley, these groups and individuals should be monitored by antifascists going forward, as they might be positioning themselves as the vanguard of this local alt-right movement.
The Alt-Right Returns to Berkeley, April 15th
On Saturday, April 15th, the Alt-Right under the leadership of Richard Black is coming back to Berkeley. The location of the rally is not being openly discussed, however it seems that the group will return to the same park, right next to the police station. It also appears that Richard Black will attempt to secure a permit (aka police protection) for the day in the park, and is attempting to fundraise up to $10,000 for the rally.
Image: Ryan Barker, a young neo-Nazi skinhead that’s excited to attend Richard Black’s next rally on April 15th in Berkeley and has RSVPed on Facebook.
What is clear is that a wide variety of Trump supporters, ancaps, 3%er militia members, and Neo-Nazis are all coming out to the rally on April 15th. Just looking through the guest list, we found Neo-Nazi skinheads in southern and northern California, people connected to the Alt-Right neo-Nazi group Identity Evropa, as well as ancap provocateurs such as Eddy Brock, who attempted to start fights on February 1st. This is just a small smattering of the people and groups that are coming out of the woodwork and who will be attending the April 15th action.
Image: Aaron Eason, a fan of the neo-Nazi group Identity Evropa and various Alt-Right organizations. Another individual interested in attending Richard Black’s April 25th rally.
It is clear is that the events in Berkeley really have little to do with free speech and probably even less to do with Trump. While Trump may present the potential for unity in the extreme Right, the real goal of those coming out to these demonstrations is to attack the Left, anarchists, and antifascists. In allowing them to rally and organize, we only give them more confidence and allow more chances for them to hurt, injure, or potentially kill us.
It’s time to sweep the scum off the streets. Kilts, sticks, and piss.
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