Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) condemns and rejects the ongoing pattern of violence and hate that it sees involving extremist events, as well as protests of extremists. A coherent society must reject violence at all such events, before and after such events, and by those participating and those protesting. Those leading such events and those leading protests of such events must take responsibility for condemning such violence without exception.
Responsible for Equality And Liberty does, has, and will continue to condemn and reject the hate of white supremacism, white nationalism, and Nazi ideologies that express reject our shared Universal Human Rights, reject human equality, reject the dignity of others, and that have longed been involved with violence and murder in pursuit of global aims of hate against others. The public must always remember the role of white supremacy in slavery of blacks in America, and the long history of white supremacist persecution and violence against black Americans, which it took a generation to work to change. The public must also always remember the role of Nazi ideology in The Holocaust that murdered 6,000,000 Jewish people, as well as others: people of color, handicapped, gay, Christians, women, Muslims, and groups of other nationalities / ethnic backgrounds. We have challenged such white supremacist, white nationalism, and Nazi ideologies including terrorist violence by such extremists in the United States, including the recent murder of Heather Heyer and injury of 19 in Charlottesville, Virginia by Neo-Nazi supporter James Alex Fields, Jr. using a vehicle, and other attacks we have seen, including the 2009 attack on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Over the years, R.E.A.L. has been a target of threats of violence, hate, and harassment by white supremacists and Nazis, and we continue to get such harassment today. But R.E.A.L. does not respond to hate with hate. We continue to offer an outstretched hand of human rights and compassion, not an upraised fist, to those who are lost, to find their way back to the family of human rights and dignity for all.
Once again, in Gainesville, Florida, we have seen white nationalist public violence, with an attempted homicide by white nationalist extremists supporting an event by National Policy Institute (NPI) white nationalist speaker Richard B. Spencer. A fringe extremist figure since 2009, Richard Spencer’s white supremacist events have been drawing violent individuals and violence over the past nine months in venues across the United States. Richard Spencer has failed to provide any public statement condemning the acts of his white nationalist supporters in this attempted homicide. Richard B. Spencer is president of the NPI, a white nationalist lobbying and activist group based in Alexandria, Virginia, and as R.E.A.L. reported in early 2010, manages an online blog called “Alternative Right” to provide a digital venue for white nationalist ideologues. Since 2009, R.E.A.L. has peacefully protested Richard Spencer and his fellow fringe white nationalists for their rejection of our shared universal human rights.
After the latest Richard Spencer speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville, three white nationalist and Neo-Nazi extremists were arrested in Gainesville, Florida, and charged with attempted homicide, after one of them shot a handgun at a crowd of protesters, reportedly hitting a building. There were no injuries and a bullet from the rifle struck a building. The extremists were all from Texas and traveled to Florida to participate in unrest surrounding a white supremacist speaker at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The Gainesville police identified the men arrested as: (1) Tyler Tenbrick, 28, of Richmond, Texas, (2) Colton Fears, 28, of Pasadena, Texas. (3) William Fears, 30, of Pasadena, Texas. Tyler Tenbrick reported fired the handgun, and the two Fears brothers reportedly urged him to shoot at a crowd of protester. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated that it had been previously monitoring the activities of the three men arrested as white supremacists, including documenting their activities with extremist groups Vanguard America, Patriot Front, neo-Nazi Aryan Renaissance Society, and support for Richard B. Spencer’s “Alternative Right” blog (aka “Alt-Right” blog).
Among the white nationalist extremists, the Chicago Tribune reports that William Fears was part of the Charlottesville, Virginia extremist event and previously was involved in violence there: “he came to Charlottesville equipped for violence – and found it. He threw and took punches.” William Fears was reported previously arrested for aggravated kidnapping and criminal trespass.
The Gainesville police state that “Tenbrink is a convicted felon and faces additional charges of possession of a firearm by convicted felon” and that [a]t least two of the three have shown connections to extremist groups.” The Gainesville police state that: “The three remain in the Alachua County Jail. The Fears brothers are under $1M bond and Tenbrink under a $3M bond.” After the shooting, the white nationalists fled in a silver jeep, but were identified by their license plate and arrested 20 miles outside of Gainesville, Florida. “Units from Alachua Police Department, High Springs Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol conducted a high-risk Felony stop on the vehicle at the 405 Mile Marker of Interstate 75 North and took the three into custody.” The Chicago Tribune reported that “all three men have attended white supremacist events.”
According to the Gainesville, Florida police report: “an investigation revealed they engaged in an argument with another group of people that turned violent with gunfire.” “Shortly before 5:30pm, it was reported that a silver Jeep stopped to argue with a group of protesters and began threatening, offering Nazi salutes and shouting chants about Hitler to the group that was near the bus stop. During the altercation, Tenbrink produced a handgun while the Fears brothers encouraged him to shoot at the victims. Tenbrink fired a single shot at the group which thankfully missed the group and struck a nearby building. The suspects then fled in a silver jeep.”
Individual police reports for the suspects further details the altercation which led to this attempted homicide. The attack was off the University of Florida campus at a nearby bus stop on Archer Road in Gainesville. The attack happened after the white nationalist extremists reportedly harassed and shouted at a group of “six to eight protesters” at the bus stop, and one of the protesters being harassed used “a baton to hit the rear window” of the white nationalist’s vehicle. The police report states the white nationalist Tyler Tenbrick emerged with a handgun, with co-defendents threatening to “kill them” (victims at bus stop), and Tenbrick fired a shot “which missed and struck the business” behind the person they threatened.
According to the Gainesville, Florida police, “The victim (“VIC”) “was sitting at the bus stop located at 3315 SW Archer Road immediately following the Richard Spencer speaking event which occurred nearby on the University of Florida campus. The containing the defendants pulled up to VIC’s location and one of the passengers began yelling Hail Hitler and other chants at VIC. An argument ensured and VIC used a baton to hit the rear window of DEF’s vehicle. The VIC said the vehicle pulled away approximately 10 feet and then quickly stopped. DEF (Tenbrink) emerged from the vehicle and produced a handgun. CoDEF (C. Fears) and CoDEF (W. Fears) were yelling at both VICS, “I’m going to f***** kill you.” CoDEF (C. Fears) and CoDEF (W. Fears) were also yelling, “kill them” and “shoot them.” DEF (Tenbrink) fired a single shot at VIC, which missed and struck the business directly behind VIC. The DEFs jumped back in the vehicle and fled eastbound on SW Archer Road.” “A traffic stop was conducted and the vehicle was occupied by 4 males and a firearm was also located. VIC was tranported to the location of the suspect vehicle traffic stop and positively identified DEF (Tedbrink), CoDef (C. Fears) and CoDef (W. Fears) as the subjects who threatened him. VIC stated that DEF (Tedbrink) was the person who fired the shot. VIC also stated that CoDef (W. Fears) to be the subject who emerged from the passenger side and yelling at them.”
Reuters and other media has interviewed the white nationalists from Texas, prior to their involvement in in the attempted homicide. Reuters stated that “Reuters journalists spoke with Tenbrink and Colton Fears ahead of the Spencer speech on Thursday,” and that Tyler Tenbrick described himself as a “white nationalist” looking to preserve his “way of life,” and he was also interviewed by the Washington Post that reported Tenbrick was there to the white supremacist slogan of the “14 words” related to the future of white race. The attack took place after the event and protest was over, and the white nationalists and protesters had left the University of Florida Gainesville campus.
In addition to these three individuals arrested, two others were arrested by the police in connection the Richard Spencer speech at the University of Florida, bringing the total arrested to five. The other two arrested were: Sean Brijmohan, 28, of Orlando, Florida for Carrying Firearm on School Property (who reportedly was working for a media group), and David Notte, 34, arrested for Resisting Officer without Violence.
On Thursday, October 19, 2017, white supremacist speaker Richard Spencer held a speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, which was attended by about 20 white nationalist and Neo-Nazi supporters of Spencer. The less than 2 dozen white nationalist supporters were protested by 2,500 protesters outside the University of Florida Phillips Center conference hall were the Spencer speech occurred, as well as many more protesters who gained access to the “ticket only” event, which Spencer was having at the University of Florida. The protesters mostly shouted down Spencer.
While the majority of the protests were non-violent, there were a number of “violent confrontations,” including at least one beating by protesters of a man outside the event, and reporting of other violent confrontations on social media. Twitter and other social media showed photos and videos of “Anti-Hate” protesters chasing, threatening, and punching individuals, with one video showing a crowd of protesters laughing and cheering as one white nationalist was sprayed with pepper spray, before led away by the police. The University of Florida Alligator reported: “Other Spencer supporters were also surrounded by people shouting expletives and ‘Nazi scum’ as they followed them to police barricades. Some urged the crowd not to become violent. The swastika-wearing man was shoved by multiple protesters, and witnesses saw a protester punch him in the mouth.” Reuters reported that: “There were a few scuffles on campus that left five people with minor injuries, the university said in a statement.”
After one white nationalist surrounded by a crowd of “Anti-Hate” protesters was posted on Twitter, who reportedly was spit in his face, Miami WSVN’s Craig Taylor asked the person capturing the video of they could air the video. But as Twitter users attacked the video as “poorly acted Nazi street theater,” WSVN’s Craig Taylor replied “see what you’re talking about. Likely won’t be aired,” and replied “We’ve considered this and didn’t deem it as newsworthy as other stuff we’re getting.”
R.E.A.L. rejects the continuing pattern of normalizing such public violence by any extremist individuals. Violence is not the answer. There is no “acceptable or justifiable violence” in beating people in the street, in attacking vehicles, in shooting at and attempting to murder our fellow citizens. While people may have strong views in rejecting the ideology of others, violence is not the answer and cannot be acceptable as part of any political activity, free speech activity, or protest activity. R.E.A.L. continues to call for those involved in white nationalist activities to denounce violence by their supporters and R.E.A.L. continues to call for those involved in protests against white nationalists to denounce violence by protesters. Such violence and hate are NOT acceptable means of advocacy for human rights, equality, liberty, and freedom of our fellow human beings.
Responsible for Equality And Liberty calls for human rights-based, peaceful protests and debates to challenge the anti-human rights views and hate of white nationalists, white supremacists, and Neo-Nazis. The answer to hate is not other hate. The answer to anti-human rights views is not rejecting human rights of security by acts of violence. Wrong is wrong.
Responsible for Equality And Liberty offers consistent, non-political leadership for peace-based human rights activism to challenge extremist and other anti-human rights views by tyrants, dictators, terrorists, and other enemies of our shared human rights.
Responsible for Equality And Liberty stands ready for peaceful debate or protest to extremist leaders. Our message has and will remain a consistent focus on our shared universal human rights. We offer an outstretched hand, not an upraised fist to urge all to support our universal human rights for our fellow human beings. Choose Love, Not Hate – Love Wins.