Identity Evropa, a national fascist group aligned with the white-supremacist movement that waged a propaganda campaign in Colorado over the summer, has been ratcheting up its activities in the state during recent weeks.
A rally last month at Civic Center Park attracted members from across the country, including the organization's leader, Patrick Casey, and since then, Identity Evropa has been sharing photos on social media from several locations along Colorado's eastern slope, including the Denver Christkindl Market, a holiday event being held at 1515 Arapahoe Street, across from the iconic clock tower on the 16th Street Mall, through December 23.
The text that accompanied photos of the Identity Evropa logo at the market tweeted on November 28 can be interpreted as a dog whistle to the sort of young Caucasians with neo-Nazi leanings that the outfit aims to lure. It reads: "Members of Identity Evropa's Colorado chapter met in Denver to partake in the Denver Christkindl Market to enjoy German-inspired food, drink and shopping, while also distributing Identity Evropa business cards at the event."
In the wake of this post, activist Rosa Luxemburg (a pseudonym) reveals that Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, with which she is affiliated, sent a heads-up letter to the organizers of the market. It notes that Identity Evropa tends "to target any event that has anything to [do with] European or especially Germanic heritage, and have boasted of attending Oktoberfest events in Denver and Estes Park. They are actively using these events to recruit more members. I know the term may seem overused today, but these guys are Nazis. Their organization was present at the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and they have been committing acts of vandalism and harassment up and down the Front Range of Colorado."
The letter adds: "We would encourage you to warn your event staff and share this information with them and any security personnel you may employ. They are handing out business cards and propaganda, and it should be a simple matter of asking those people to leave for unauthorized solicitation. We would also appreciate it if you could address this issue publicly and denounce the group and their activities on any of your official social media accounts. We will be making a public blog post about Identity Evropa's activities at your event, and we don't want anything we post to reflect poorly on local businesses. However, we have an obligation to warn members of the community of the threats posed by groups like Identity Evropa."
To date, there have been no responses from representatives of the market.
A so-called "action report" about activities in Colorado during the weekend of November 9 to 11 was published on Identity Evropa's website during Thanksgiving. That the piece, headlined "DEFEND THE ROCKIES!," was penned by Casey indicates how important he considers the group's efforts in Colorado to be.
Note this passage: "In this era when the West’s self-confidence has been sacrificed on the altar of forced multiculturalism, Identity Evropa both reminds us of America’s pioneering and innovative spirit, and urges us to reclaim that spirit. The organization works to bring identitarianism into the public consciousness through visual displays & peaceful acts of public defiance, while growing a high-trust national community capable of igniting a new destiny for our homeland — from sea to shining sea."
According to Casey's essay, "Identity Evropa’s national and regional leadership — along with financial sponsors — greeted the activists on Friday evening with an energetic reception and welcome speeches. On Saturday morning, Identity Evropa’s Executive Director, Patrick Casey, led a hike up the magnificent trails of Eldorado Canyon State Park, reaching a summit lookout of the Continental Divide. The brisk, sunny morning provided the perfect environment as the identitarian group demonstrated its commitment to physical fitness, fraternity and environmental conservation. Following the hike, members dropped a banner from the park’s famous walking bridge with a message for onlookers: 'Make America Beautiful Again.'"
This message appears to have more to do with keeping out those whose ancestors don't come from Europe than spiffing up the great outdoors.
On Saturday evening, the account goes on, "Mr. Casey and members of the Advisory Council held a private outing with members of the Patron program (Identity Evropa’s internal donor’s program) to discuss organizational matters and rekindle friendly ties. Afterwards, Identity Evropa celebrated Veterans Day at DEFEND THE ROCKIES by hosting a special ceremony for the organization’s military veterans. These identitarian men who honorably served our great nation were individually recognized and given an opportunity to share some of their experiences with the group. Saturday night then closed with motivational speeches by Identity Evropa’s leadership."
The following day, the Identity Evropa crew was "greeted to a tranquil Sunday morning of Rocky Mountain snowfall," the salvo continues. "The glistening snow served as the perfect backdrop as Mr. Casey led a demonstration advocating for a patriotic immigration policy in Civic Center Park in the heart of downtown Denver. Mr. Casey gave an emotional public address standing in front of a host of U.S., Colorado & Identity Evropa flags as well as a banner with the message: 'Defend the Rockies — End Immigration.'"
Luxemburg describes these gatherings, which she estimates as attracting between twenty and fifty people, as "guerrilla activism" in which Identity Evropa members "get together unannounced in a park or on a bridge, hold up one of their racists banners, take some pictures and then disperse before antifa can get mobilized."
At present, Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists are "looking into the connection between Identity Europa and fraternities at CSU. Clark Canepa is a former CSU student who attended Unite the Right in Charlottesville," as documented by CSU's student newspaper, the Rocky Mountain Collegian, "but he has a lot of social media friends who are fraternity and sorority members at CSU and CU Boulder. Given the inherent classicism, racism and misogyny of 'Greek life,' it makes sense that Identity Evropa (who have a reputation as 'trust fund Nazis') would try to recruit frat bros."
Advocates have long debated whether efforts by the likes of Identity Evropa should be ignored or called out. Luxemburg lands in the latter camp.
She laments that "so many people would rather look the other way than take the bold political stance that 'Nazis are bad.'"
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