Statement: No Fascists at HOPE

On Saturday, 2600 and HOPE Conference organizers refused to remove fascist and white nationalist disruptors from HOPE 2018 — including a man who appeared to be carrying a concealed weapon and who bragged about marching in the #UniteTheRight white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. HOPE claims to provide a “harassment-free conference experience for everyone,” however, on multiple occasions when the fascist attendees were reported to security for intimidation and harassment, HOPE security refused to intervene and even defended their presence at the event. The fascist attendees menaced other conference goers, cornering them, following them down the street, and threatening them; one even called the police on a conference attendee in retaliation for grabbing his hat. Following numerous complaints, HOPE finally expelled one white nationalist (with a full refund), but allowed all of the other fascists to remain at the conference and intimidate attendees.

HOPE’s Code of Conduct states that anyone can attend the conference “regardless of race, class, gender identity or expression, age, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, personal appearance, or education level, text editor choice, and other aspects.” But creating space for fascists obviates the possibility of free speech. White nationalists are interested in violence, not speech, and allowing them into our community creates a chilling effect on all other participants’ freedom of expression. This is especially true for people who belong to marginalized groups that fascists often target for violence, such as people of color, trans and queer folks, and people with disabilities. In the past, HOPE has been criticized for providing a platform to speakers accused of stalking and sexual assault. Will they also be known as an organization that allows space for Nazis and fascists as well?

Due to the events that were witnessed today we, the undersigned, are vocalizing our anger and outrage at the organizers and security staff for refusing to remove these fascist disruptors. We are left without faith in the mechanism designed to protect our expression, community-building, and physical well-being. Let this document rest as a declaration of no confidence in HOPE’s code of conduct mechanism at the time of writing, and, more importantly, rejecting any instances of fascism, nationalism, racist dogma and symbolism in our space.

Organizations:

ActSecure
Black Movement Law Project
Courage Foundation
Digital Freedom Initiative
Four Thieves Vinegar Collective
hispagatos
Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee
Library Freedom Project
Lucy Parsons Labs
Riseup.net
t4tech
Technology Action Project
The Tor Project

Individuals:

AJ Bahnken
Alison Macrina
Andrew Paolucci
Barrett Brown
Benjamin Rupert
Bill Budington
Bill McKinley
Bryce Vickery
Camille Fassett
Caroline Sinders
Chelsea E. Manning
Chelsea H. Komlo
Chris Garaffa
Colin Childs
Colin Mahns
Cooper Quintin
Eden Emmanuel
Elissa Shevinsky
Erinn Clark
Ethan Heilman
Fernando Fernández Mancera
Forrest Fleming
Grace North
Harlo Holmes
heartsucker
hiro
Jan C. Rose
Jillian C. York
Kat Hanna
LeLutin
Lisha Sterling
Maggie Mayhem
Mallory Knodell
Matthew Finkel
Micah Lee
Mike Tigas
Mixæl S Laufer
nash
Nasser Eledroos
Nathalie Maréchal
Nima Fatemi
Olivia Martin
Parker Higgins
Patrick O’Doherty
Peter Sterne
R. Fox
Rebecca Valentine
Sarah Aoun
simplymathematics
teor
The Doctor
Tore Sinding Bekkedal
Warren Habib
William Gillis
Yael Grauer
and many more who have decided to remain anonymous.

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