Charlottesville, VA – Server logs from Discord chat rooms used by neo-nazis, the so-called “alt-right” and paramilitary militias that were leaked to us earlier in August have shed light on various aspects of the internal organizing and networking that led up to Unite The Right.
While Discord’s group chat and collaboration platform (and the internet in general) helps white supremacist groups find each other and recruit, it also brings them into closer proximity with their most common opponent – antifascists, known as “antifa” for short, who commit to directly confronting white supremacist organizing and shutting it down by any means necessary.
One chat channel in the ‘Charlottesville 2.0’ Discord server (now shut down) run by Unite The Right organizers Eli Mosley and Jason Kessler is called #antifa_watch. We are publishing some of the contents of this chat thread here but have withheld some material that contains personal information of people that were being targeted for harassment by the alt-right.
- The archive: Click here to download the full set of screenshots from the Charlottesville 2.0 Discord chat server (424 .PNG files, “Batch 3” ZIP – 99MB)
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Those chatting in the channel spent a lot of time arguing about whether antifa was a threat to them or not, some characterizing them as weaklings who could easily be overcome; others warned of antifa as a serious threat that should not be underestimated.
They also discussed numerous tactical and strategic considerations ahead of the rally on August 12. In preparation for Saturday in Emancipation Park, the white nationalists made plans to take up space in the park early in hopes antifa wouldn’t be able to occupy the site of the rally and prevent it from happening, as they have at other organized white supremacist events in the past.
The white nationalists rallying at Emancipation Park also had plans to use a shield wall to surround and protect speakers during the rally – a plan which came to pass partially but not entirely as shields were used in hand-to-hand combat, but they were never used to defend the speakers as the rally was shut down before it was scheduled to begin.
Robert ‘Azzmador’ Ray, from the (recently taken down) neo-nazi website Daily Stormer, asked event coordinators to clarify what kind of “explicit” racist symbols would not be allowed as opposed to different white nationalist symbols which were agreed upon by all factions as acceptable. The chat participants devoted a lot of time to debating the “optics” of flying the confederate flag versus a less recognizable white nationalist flag design.
Jason Kessler argued in favor of using the confederate flag on the merit that its ubiquity would make it an asset for white supremacists trying to spread their ideology.
“The Confederate flag is THE BEST optics because it’s beloved by legions of Southerners who are on the doorstep of becoming just like us if we can move them beyond ‘heritage not hate.'” –Jason Kessler, Charlottesville 2.0 Discord chat, July 22, 2017
In our previous release of leaked Charlottesville Discord chats, we showed how self-identified fascists organizing Unite The Right sought to latch onto imagery already popular with the larger conservative mileu:
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) August 23, 2017
In addition to advocating for use of the confederate flag, Robert ‘Azzmador’ Ray from the Daily Stormer (often called ‘DS’ for short in the chat logs) appears to have played a logistical role in coordinating several different fascist groups’ trip to Charlottesville from Texas.
Similar discussions to the strategic considerations about timing and placement in Emancipation Park were also carried out in the #demonstration_tactics channel, which also featured a “Shields and Shield Tactics Primer” created for Unite The Right by white supremacists in Detroit.Shields_and_Shield_Tactics_Primer
All the chat messages slowed to a halt shortly after the hit-and-run terrorist attack carried out by neo-nazi James Alex Fields, Jr. on Saturday, August 12.
Unicorn Riot will continue publications of additional leaked materials used by violent white supremacists to plan for events such as Unite The Right in Charlottesville. Stay tuned!
Unicorn Riot’s leaks from Charlottesville:
- LEAKED: Chats of #UniteTheRight Charlottesville Organizers Exposed on Discord App
- LEAKED: The Planning Meetings that Led Up to Neo-Nazi Terrorism in Charlottesville
- LEAKED: Chats of #UniteTheRight Reacting To Murder of Heather Heyer
- DATA RELEASE: Discord Chats Planned Armed Neo-Nazi Militia Operations In Charlottesville
- DATA RELEASE: “Unite The Right” Planning Chats Demonstrate Violent Intent
- DATA RELEASE: Server Logs Reveal Neofascist Tactics
- DATA RELEASE: White Supremacist Fundraising & Planning for Charlottesville
- DATA RELEASE: Discord Logs Expose Regional Networks Planning for #UniteTheRight
Unicorn Riot reporting in Charlottesville &
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