Antifascist by Ian KeelAnti-fascist posters started appearing on campus in response to a far-right group posting their own messages. Photo by Ian Keel.Connor McDonald - Contributor
theconmcdon@uab.edu

A white-nationalist group has been making its presence known in Birmingham and the surrounding areas for the past year by putting up posters around the city and UAB’s campus.

The group, known as “Identity Evropa,” describes itself as an “identitarian organization dedicated to promoting the interests of People of European Heritage.” The group is led by Iraq War veteran and convicted felon Nathan Damigo. Damigo is the former leader of the National Youth Front, the youth division of the neo-nazi American Freedom Party which itself is associated with the Golden State Skinheads.

On their website, Identity Evropa describes themselves as “a generation of awakened Europeans who have discovered that we are part of the great peoples, history and civilization that flowed from the European continent.” The organization is part of the “identitarian” movement, which is a far-right pan-European movement that originated in France and promotes opposition to multiculturalism, often taking the form of anti-Muslim xenophobia, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The organization usually operates in the public eye by putting up posters in cities across the U.S., which started with their campaign “Fash the City,” an effort to increase public awareness of their organization that occurred in 17 U.S. cities. Recently, the organization has begun a new campaign known as Project Siege that specifically targets university campuses, including UAB.

“Project Siege is the beginning of a long term cultural war of attrition against the academia’s Cultural Marxist narrative that is maintained and propagated into society through the indoctrination of the future managerial class,” Damigo said on his website. Their goal is to create a space for their ideas at universities across the country by speaking with students and letting their ideas be known in opposition to the traditional “liberal” teachings of universities.

Posters were put up across campus around late September. Through advertising on social media that they had successfully targeted UAB, the organization revealed the locations of many of their posters and stickers. Their actions were met with opposition as almost all of the posters and stickers put up around UAB’s campus were taken down by a group or person under the name Antifascist Action, a defunct anti-fascism group based in the United Kingdom. The unknown party took the time to find all the posters and replace them simply with pieces of paper with Antifascist Action’s logo.

The Identity Evropa posters usually depict European statues with the organization’s name at the top and a short quip such as, “OUR FUTURE BELONGS TO US.”

While some students disagree with the group’s message, they do not believe in censoring their message.

“I think they have every right to advertise on campus, but I think they’re bad people,” said Elliott Greene, a junior biology major. “I hope that someone would raise awareness against them, but censoring them isn’t the answer.”

Others believe that messages like Identity Evropa’s have no place being publicly broadcasted on UAB’s campus.

“Well within UAB’s buildings, UAB should have the right to remove anything they feel shouldn’t be up,” said Asad Ghori, a sophomore biology major. “If UAB allows this to go on it makes UAB look bad. I feel a little mad that it exists but more confused and sad that a group like this is allowed to be.”

UAB policy seeks to maintain an environment free of discrimination and prohibits actions that could be considered unwelcoming. According to UAB’s Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy, any harassment that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment, educational or living environment is strictly prohibited.
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