White Supremacists Disrupt Students For Liberty Event

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February 19, 2017
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February 20, 2017

Yesterday, Richard Spencer and a group of his white supremacist supporters protested the 10th Annual ISFLC: the annual gathering of libertarian Students For Liberty’s worldwide network and a large collection of affiliated groups.

The alt-right provocateur came to the hotel with a small group of supporters to protest the libertarian gathering that promotes the creation of a freer future, where the rights of all people in all areas of their lives are respected.

Students For Liberty CEO, Wolf von Laer, said:

“Attempts to disrupt the conference, both from the far left and far right, were not entirely unexpected, but the appearance of Mr. Spencer and alt-right activists at the hotel demonstrated the alt-right’s hostility to the ideas of liberty and freedom.

Although we support freedom of speech and thought, we did not invite Mr. Spencer. We reject his hateful message and we wholeheartedly oppose his obsolete ideology.”

After gathering a small crowd, Spencer began broadcasting his presence and taking questions from a mix of attendees and his supporters.

His appearance coincided with Dr. Tom Palmer’s talk on “A New, Old Challenge: Global Anti-Libertarianism.”

He was later asked to leave by hotel staff for creating a disturbance.

UPDATE – 2/19/17, 10:00 PM EST: Hotel staff asked the entire crowd at the bar to leave. Mr. Spencer then requested an escort out by hotel security which they provided.

UPDATE – 2/20/17, 2:20 PM EST: Those responsible for the disruption have been identified, and are no longer welcome at Students For Liberty events.

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  • TomGPalmer

    Almost like an H. P. Lovecraft story, summoning a horrible creature from the deep by mentioning its name. I actually had a slide in my powerpoint presentation of him and his Sieg Heil speech in Washington as an example of rising anti-libertarian ideas. Here is an earlier piece I published that mentions his movement, but does not mention him by name: https://www.cato.org/policy-report/novemberdecember-2016/new-old-challenge-global-anti-libertarianism

  • Students for Liberty but only for the really important stuff like meth fueled public gay orgies not frivolities like preserving your heritage.

  • chompjig

    Nothing like the libertarian ideals such as letting in various groups who know nothing of such as liberty, rule of law, or what the founders of this great nation died for.

  • Barra Cinel Moen

    I’ve searched in vain to find an example of them actually protesting or disrupting the conference. So far it looks like all they did was show up and start talking to people, which I doubt is against the rules. Unless someone can actually demonstrate to me that Spencer and his friends were behaving in a disruptive, then I think Students for Liberty should issue a retraction.

  • NikephorosPhokas

    >Have a conference based on the open marketplace of ideas
    >People exchange their ideas openly and in a civil fashion
    >Single out people you disagree with and ban them from the marketplace of ideas because their opinions hurt your feelings
    Is this a liberty conference or a Social Justice Safespace? I’m sorry, I really cannot tell the difference anymore.

  • JPeron
  • NikephorosPhokas

    Allow me to quote a recent SFL article titled “Celebrate Diversity at ISFLC”:

    “The Constitution of the United States, the Beatles, and SFL’s Tenth Anniversary International Conference. These three things share one common factor: diversity of ideas. Some of the most innovative ideas of all time came by way of differences in opinion. Among the signers of the Constitution, there were men of varying and numerous political beliefs and differences. It is perhaps a breath of fresh air to the lungs of the liberty-minded that many of the founding fathers were ideologically opposed. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, for example, were on the exact opposite spectrums of the political scale.”

    “Celebrate the diversity of ideas, freedom of speech, and respect for differing opinions at the biggest liberty conference of the year February 17-19th in Washington, DC.”

    OH THE IRONY! SFL is nothing but empty libertarian platitudes; they should have included a disclaimer like “*Diversity of ideas, freedom of speech, and respect for differing opinions ends where our feelings begin.”
    https://www.studentsforliberty.org/celebrate-diversity-at-isflc17/

  • darius404

    Aw poor snowflakes, upset that we don’t want fascists at our antifascist conference.

  • Pacna

    They had an ISFLC sign and they called it a “impromptu breakout session”. They were pretending to be officially associated with the event, which is clear disruptive behavior. The videos also clearly show them insulting actual SFL members and spouting bigotry. The hotel did not want the white supremacists insulting paying customers on their property, so they got kicked out. The entire video is online.

  • Pacna

    This is a private event, you have to pay to go. It was never implied to be open to everyone. The only person banned from the marketplace of ideas was Amir Nasr, who was an invited speaker, but was blocked by Trump’s immigration order.

    Spencer decided to go to the private event anyway, and had a sign falsely implying he was part of the event. Tucker told him that fascists aren’t welcome, and the (private) hotel told him to leave. In other words, the market told Spencer that his ideas are terrible.

  • Pacna

    I think SFL just understands basic property rights. See, this was a private event. The hotel was also private. They can kick people out if they want, because of freedom of association. If you have an event at your house, and I go to it and start insulting you, it by no means violates freedom of speech to tell me to go away.

    SFL celebrates a diversity of ideas. That doesn’t mean they celebrate all ideas. The extremely idiotic ones are not celebrated there, like white supremacy.

  • NikephorosPhokas

    The hotel bar was a business open to the public and all people were free to come and go as they pleased. Spencer was asked to leave only after the triggered conference goers started shouting at him and distributing other patrons. Spencer left immediately after the very reasonable business owners asked him to leave; it was very clear that he wasn’t one being a problem. These people should’ve known better and just ignored him instead of causing a problem and ruining the organization’s reputation with the hotel.

  • NikephorosPhokas

    This is not a matter of property rights. This is about core principles. You cannot claim to welcome all voices while excluding the ones you don’t like without being a hypocrite. You can have an event where you decide who may come and who may go, but if you claim to be open to all perspectives yet exclude certain opinions, you are making a fraudulent claim.

  • steve m

    wasn’t that special… what heritage are you in favor of preserving? lynching black people?

  • Jacob Vardy

    You mae Students for Liberty sound so much better.

  • steve m

    the other patrons don’t have free speech rights?

  • steve m

    sure it is about property rights. the SFL rented the hotel. They were paying to be there. Those that showed up to disrupt the event weren’t paying to be there. Your rights to free speech do not guarantee you a right to an audience.

    Go rent your own hall. Provide your own microphone. Get your own attendees. That is what you are free to do.

  • NikephorosPhokas

    Of course they do, yet the hotel very clearly (and understandably) has stipulations about volume.

  • NikephorosPhokas

    The hotel bar was not privately reserved for conference goers only. It was open for public business. Spencer and his colleagues paid the hotel for drinks; a private transaction between hotel and himself. He did not storm a podium; he was not in a room that required paid admittance. The people who approached him were foolish for making the decision to address him and even more foolishly, to start shouting.

  • blackacidlizzard

    “creating a disturbance.”

    So ya’ll have gone full MSM, doing the same thing as they did when they blamed Trump for Mexicans beating up Republicans. Classy.

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    The comments here are as bad and hysterical as any I’ve read on liberal media. Fascist this and fascist that. None of you seem to understand what the word fascist actually means. You use the word as a slur just like your screeching irrational left-wing compatriots. Spencer isn’t a white supremacist. He could actually sue the shit out of you for suggesting he is. He probably should. He would win. It’s no wonder that libertarianism has gotten no where.

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    You know you libertarians sounds like idiots when you throw around the world fascist. You sound like those idiots that rioted at Berkeley.

  • Siegmeyer

    ah, yes, Richard Spencer is notorious for lynching black people

  • steve m

    is 1 person allowed to be louder then 10?

  • steve m

    you sound like you don’t know the difference between people vocally disparaging an individual and pepper spraying an individual, throwing bricks and setting things on fire.

  • steve m

    Spencer was in a public place, Spencer has a public persona. He choose to be there and no one hurt him. The people who spoke against him had the same right of free speech that he had in that public place. If you go into a bar in Columbus Ohio during the annual Ohio State Michigan football game and cheer for Michigan…. when you get out shouted your rights weren’t violated.

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    I made a reference to how you sound not what you do. Never said you throw bricks or set fire did I? No, I didn’t. You don’t seem to understand the difference between how someone sounds and what they do.

  • NikephorosPhokas

    If you go to a library and people come up to you and start shouting and the library asks all of you to leave the library, culpability definitely lies on those who were shouting.

  • Errant Fork

    Yeah, it’s a tough call. I mean, how are we to know that a guy who openly describes himself as a quote unquote “white nationalist” really is a white nationalist?

  • Errant Fork

    He has published South African white supremacists arguing for exactly that.

  • Errant Fork

    Fascists are not welcome at an anti-fascist conference.

  • Errant Fork

    What are we to make of the NPI video in which he declares “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” while he and his followers raise their right hand. Hail victory is English for “Sieg Heil”, by the way.

  • Errant Fork

    Says the jackass with a celtic cross as their avatar.

  • Ghost of Virtve

    This video is pretty good at crossing the gap between libertarians and nationalists.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A5fiMrJ3i0

  • steve m

    this Richard Spencer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o6-bi3jlxk please tell him to do so against me.

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    So what. What’s wrong with hailing your people, trump or victory? Nothing is wrong with that. Again, you sound just like stupid sjws who think everyone is Hitler.

  • steve m

    “America was until this last generation a white country, designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance and it belongs to us”

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    Nothing wrong with being a white nationalist. There are a lot of different kinds of nationalist. Jewish nationalist for example. Do you disprove of Jewish nationalists?

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    So? There is nothing wrong with hailing your people, trump and victory. You’re proving my point. You sound just like a screeching liberal when you cry Hitler and Nazi about everything. It’s not an argument. Keep proving my point.

  • steve m

    ah think I do. The crazies in Berkeley used violence to stop a group that had permission to use a facility from using the facility and they did so by using violence. The incident at the bar was people vocally disagreeing with an out spoken individual who had little in common with the event being held there.

    Now is a white supremacist the same as a fascist…. no not necessarily… not that I care for ether…

  • steve m

    my lawyers would kick the shit out of Richard

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    Your original comment indicates you didn’t know the difference.

  • Errant Fork

    Nationalism of any variety is fundamentally irreconcilable with freedom. Open networks provide more options than closed communities.

  • blackacidlizzard

    Yeah, fuck the Irish. They’re fucking White and therefore need to die off already.

  • blackacidlizzard
  • blackacidlizzard

    “anti-fascist conference”

    I thought it was a libertarian conference. You are aware that everything that has “anti-fascist” in the name is socialist, right? When did AnCaps become socialist?

  • Barra Cinel Moen

    Pretending to be part of the event might be a dick move, but is not by itself disruptive, and all SFL had to do was issue a statement declaring that Richard Spencer had not been invited and that we do not endorse his ideas. The only people engaging in disruptive behaviour were in fact the SFL members who gathered around Spencer and began a shouting match with him the middle of a damn restaurant. Imagine this same behaviour being directed at Libertarians who attended a far-right or far-left conference, and then tell me you wouldn’t have a problem with it. Does Students for Liberty have a right to evict people from one of our conferences? Absolutely. But just because we CAN evict someone, doesn’t mean we SHOULD. And it certainly does not make us look like an intellectually robust organisation if we start showing people the door simply because they expressed opinions that we disagree with. Does the hotel have a right to evict anyone they want? Absolutely. But I am absolutely appalled at the way SFL have chosen to frame this incident, and I think it’s stuff like this that is leading more and more people to abandon Libertarianism and join the alt-right. Here we had a perfect chance to show that our side are the reasonable ones, and we blew it. Also, don’t even try to tell me this is how we would have reacted if Richard Spencer was a far-left Communist who showed to try and convince people of that (arguably more destructive) ideology.

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    You’re against the state of Israel? Nationalism is irreconcilable with freedom? Prove that.

  • steve m

    your support for this piece of trash says a lot about what you are.

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    That’s not an argument. You can go now.

  • steve m

    we are well past arguments… good riddance to you and your ilk.

  • steve m

    you are equating a bar with a library?

    talk about an argument devoid of substance

  • steve m

    sitting in a bar adjacent to the event, acting as if you are assoicated with the event and loudly advocating discrimination against Muslims meets the threshold for being disruptive

  • NikephorosPhokas

    Let me spell it out for your dense ass: Libraries and hotel bars are both places where the owners limit how loud you can be inside their establishment. Now come back when you actually have a real rebuttal to bring to the table.

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    You never made any arguments.

  • Tranquillo Barnetta

    “Protesting”. Sure! Not that you are actually called them as part of the conference. You want the alt right white supermacists. You are the same.

  • steve m

    so turkey, who got kicked out of the establishment?

  • Barra Cinel Moen

    No it doesn’t. In order to be disruptive you have to . . . ya know . . . disrupt something.

  • swiralgod .

    Ethno Nationalists are asking to use state violence to prevent foreigners from entering the country illegally.

    Good luck having a libertarian society with the regressive shift in social values resulting from mass immigration.

    You think communalist Africa and the theocratic middle east are going to come to your side ?

  • Errant Fork

    “Everything anti-fascist is socialist”

    Ok bro, whatever you say.

  • Errant Fork

    You and I both know the celtic cross has been adopted by white nationalists in the same way the swastika has. That’s the reason you’re employing it. Your evasions fool no one.

  • Errant Fork

    It must be sad to be this blind to context.

  • elain

    I don’t quite understand. If he was asked to leave for creating a disturbance, the subject of the conversation is not relavent. If it was indeed the subject of the conversation, it would be unlibertairian to silence him instead of using logic to debate. I’ve never heard of him before so I couldn’t judge as to whether or not his veiws are hateful. SFL CEO Wolf von Laer seems to know all there is to know about him and his point of view as obsolete& to publicly reject as ” hateful message” And what’s up with the WE thing, that he speaks for everyone. I mean this as a respectful critique.

  • elain

    by the way I’m speaking as someone who wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened

  • elain