Far-Right “Race War” Advocates Fail To Find Platform at Minnesota Capitol

St. Paul, MN – On Saturday, May 6, community members from Minneapolis and St. Paul answered a call to show up and resist the appearance of Simon Roche at the invitation of the “alt-right,” which is made up of far-right and white nationalist groups in Minnesota.

Roche is currently touring the United States to raise funds for the all-white “Suidlanders,” who are preparing for “race war” in South Africa. Roche’s invitation seemed to represent the far-right’s latest attempt to co-opt Trump rallies to further their white nationalist and white supremacist agenda.

A pro-Trump rally was planned for the same day inside the State Capitol Rotunda and “alt-right” organizers seemed keen to merge their own gathering with the more mainstream conservatives at that indoor event.

Days before the event was slated to take place, the representatives from the South African, all-white, “Suidlanders” group, pulled out of the rally.

White supremacist conversation on Suidlanders cancellation

In the lead-up to Saturday, groups against white supremacy and white nationalism, along with antifascists (often termed “antifa”), organized to show up against the far-right, “alt-right”, Nazis, and white nationalists that were preparing to infiltrate the mainstream Trump rally, despite their “race war” advocate speaker’s cancellation.

“Alt-right” conversation on Trump rally

The day began with a hundred or so local community members, along with dozens of antifa, taking the Minnesota State Capitol front steps in St. Paul. The “alt-right” members planned to take the Capitol steps, but were unable to do so when they arrived, as the space was already taken.

Inside the Capitol, the Trump rally continued, where speakers advocated for American nationalism to about twenty listeners (all of whom appeared to be white). Republican speakers at the rally celebrated the US House repeal of the Affordable Care Act and discussed extending their goals to repeal MNsure, Minnesota’s health care exchange. (In a Republican-sponsored omnibus health and human services budget bill currently under consideration at the Legislature, MNsure would be eliminated).

One of the speakers at the Trump rally came outside and denounced the gathering of the “alt-right”, who he described as “Nazis,” and disavowed them.

Trump rally organizer disavowed the “alt-right” rally

He spoke to the rally inside about the far-right outside who tried to co-opt their Trump rally, and referred to them as “neo-Nazis” who were well armed, and stated that the “antifa” were there because they were anti-Nazi and opposed the neo-Nazis.

After the rally finished, we spoke to the Trump rally organizer who conveyed their dismay that the “alt-right” had tried to co-opt their rally. We asked if they had invited the South African speaker and they said “No.” She said that the group outside made the invite, adding, “we had nothing to do with them.” She went on to say she was thinking of legal action against the far-right rally which she had told not to come.

Outside, anti-fascist organizing paid off as over two hundred community members held their space against the “alt-right” effort to spread their message of white supremacy at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Saturday’s events at the State Capitol demonstrated the latest trend of far-right efforts to bring Trump supporters into the fold of white nationalist and fascist activity using the “alt-right” moniker. The event ended with antifa and community groups successfully preventing a public platform for the “alt-right” groups’ thinly veiled white supremacy.

Our recent coverage of an overt white supremacist rally and community counter-rally on April 29th, in Pikeville, Kentucky, also showed cracks in the emerging far-right, or “alt-right” coalition as event organizers distanced themselves from white supremacists who fell within their views but whose symbolism they said was too obvious and not updated for present times.

The event at Minnesota’s State Capitol represents another setback for the far-right as their “alt-right” umbrella movement, which brings together paleoconservative, white nationalist, white supremacist, militia movements, and various other fascist elements, begins to fray and lose cohesion. Recently, the “alt-right” mascot ‘Pepe the frog’ was officially put to rest by his creator, who couldn’t prevent the frog’s visage from being used for hate.

Far-right nationalists at MN State Capitol

The video below, from Sunday May 7th in New Orleans, shows an “alt-right” man with Roman armor beg for unity with those within his umbrella movement who assert more overt racism. The costumed “alt-right” acolyte ended up getting bloodied in a fist-fight with other conservative men who had come to rally against the removal of Confederate monuments.

The tactical victory of antifa and anti-racist community groups in St. Paul poses questions about the future of what some call the “alt-right movement”, as internal divisions start to become more apparent, and the overt white nationalist, white supremacist ideology behind the “alternative right” becomes harder to hide. Saturday in Minnesota proved that anti-racist organizing involving multiple communities can effectively prevent the open promotion of bigoted ideology.

Antifa standing on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol

Note: The term “alt-right” is widely seen as a euphemism for white supremacist-supportive coalition building, and its coining is attributed to fascist Richard Spencer. The objective of the term is to advance acceptance of racism. Other terms such as “neoreactionary (NRx)” and “far-right” are seen by some as a more accurate way to represent the nature of this attempt to build a larger coalition around white nationalist ideals.

Last month Unicorn Riot sent a team to Pikeville, Kentucky to report on opposition to a neo-Nazi attempt to reach out to working class white communities in Appalachia.  During our time there we spoke with Daryle Lamont Jenkins of One People’s Project, about breaking down racist symbols and the attempted rebranding of the far right into the “alt-right”:

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