By: Audrey Nielsen
On Monday, Nov. 4, a day when student organizations brought the campus community together for their “Unite Against Hate” demonstration in response to the previous week’s incident involving incendiary posters, flags, and graffiti, more white supremacist materials were found on Western Connecticut State University’s Midtown campus. WCSU Campus Police released another public summary regarding suspicious postings across campus. In addition to the 4chan “Kekistan” flag and flyers found on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, stickers promoting the “American nationalist” group Patriot Front were found stuck to various surfaces in the University’s public spaces.
WCSU Campus Police found stickers with “United we stand,” “America is not for sale,” and “Life of our Nation, Liberty of our people, Victory of the American Spirit” slogans geared toward faux-patriotic sentiment, and the URL for Patriot Front’s public-facing website.
Founded in the weeks following the Charlottesville, VA Unite the Right rally and car attack, Patriot Front is a white nationalist group that primarily targets Universities for recruitment. Thomas Rosseau, once a teenage member of Vanguard America, formally “left” the organization in the aftermath of the vehicular homicide of Heather Heyer committed by fellow
Vanguard America member James Alex Fields Jr. He reused the organization’s URL at the time, “bloodandsoil.org,” to kick off Patriot Front.
Edited photos of the stickers posted around Midtown were uploaded to the Patriot Front Telegram account, one of the only social accounts still active for the group since their suspension from Twitter. Included in the photos posted by Patriot Front are stickers with the slogans “Better off Dead than Red” and “Reclaim America.” Stickers matching these images have not yet been publicly reported by the Campus Police.
Telegram is a privacy focused messaging app that allows users to make channels, groups, and secret chats protected with high-level encryption. Channels are used by groups like Patriot Front and other violent extremist groups to disseminate propaganda. Patriot Front posted the images from WCSU alongside photos of stickers posted in New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Most of the images on Patriot Front’s public channel are of stickers posted on the grounds of universities. Patriot Front calls them “promotional materials.”
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