2012 December » ADL Blogs
December 26, 2012

Former YWC Leader Taylor Rose Joins World Net Daily

Taylor Rose

Taylor Rose, the former vice-president of the far-right student group, Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) recently landed a job at World Net Daily (WND), a conspiracy-oriented right-wing newspaper. Rose’s first article for WND, where he is listed as a “staff reporter,” appeared about a month ago, on November 26, 2012.

Rose’s articles cover a range of right-wing issues from opposition to immigration to anti-Muslim conspiracy theories to secessionist movements in Europe and the United States. Rose is not the first former YWC activist to make the move over to WND. YWC’s founder, Kevin DeAnna, joined WND in early 2012 and also works as a “staff reporter” though his last article for the site was published over two months ago, on October 14, 2012.

In recent years, Rose spent most of his time in Europe, meeting and organizing with far-right organizations and political parties.  He participated in a May 2011 rally “against the Islaminization of Europe” in Cologne, Germany. At the rally, Rose spoke alongside leaders of far-right xenophobic European parties, including the Vlaams Belang of Belgium, the Freedom Party of Austria, as well as smaller parties from France and Germany. More recently, in 2012, Rose published a book titled, Return of the Right: How the Political Right is Taking Back Western Civilization.

 Rose’s move also casts more doubt over YWC’s perseverance. It appears that Rose, DeAnna and other YWC leaders did not have successors lined up to maintain the organization when the original core group graduated. YWC’s Web site is down and it appears the chapters are inactive. Although Rose seems to no longer be involved with YWC, his move to WND shows that he is still an active player on the right.

The one former YWC activist still making headway on campus is Matthew Heimbach at Towson University in Maryland. Heimbach was forced to disband YWC at the school in early 2012 when its faculty advisor quit after the group was involved in controversial activity. Heimbach is still attempting, however, to create a “white student union” at Towson. He invited white supremacists Jared Taylor and Merlin Miller, from the American Third Position party, to speak at the school during the fall 2012 semester.

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December 21, 2012

Upcoming Maryland Event Sign Of Increased Anti-Immigrant Activity

A conference sponsored by the Maryland Conservative Action Network is due to take place in Annapolis on January 12, 2013. The conference, titled “Turning the Tides 2013” brings together many of the main anti-immigrant voices in the state as well as some speakers known for their anti-Muslim statements and associations.

The conference is the latest example of anti-immigrant activity in Maryland. Anti-immigrant activists were instrumental in gathering enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot in the November 2012 election seeking to undo a law that granted in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants at public colleges in the state.  The in-state tuition bill was originally signed into law in 2011. Despite the efforts of anti-immigrant activists, a majority of Maryland voters voted in favor of granting in-state tuition. Many of the anti-immigrant activists involved in getting the issue on the ballot are due to speak at the January 12 conference.

Scheduled speakers at the event include:

Brad Botwin

Brad Botwin – founder of the anti-immigrant group Help Save Maryland (HSM). Botwin’s group is listed on the website of the largest anti-immigrant group in the country, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), as a state contact. Botwin’s group has co-sponsored events with FAIR and other national groups, such as the Virginia-based NumbersUSA. HSM also worked with FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).

Neil Parrott – Republican House of Delegates member representing District 2B. Parrott is a member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), a coalition of state lawmakers who work with IRLI to draft and introduce anti-immigrant legislation in their states. Parrott was chairman of the petition group that successfully put the in-state tuition law on the ballot in November.

Pamela Geller – co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America (SOIA), a group seeking to rouse public fears about a “vast Islamic conspiracy” to destroy American values.   Geller also works closely with far-right groups and figures in Europe, such as the English Defense League (EDL) and anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

Diana West – author and journalist who writes about the “dangers” of Islam. In a September 15, 2012 post on her website, West wrote “Indeed, it is this basic Islamic censorship that is at the crux of why Islam itself — not ‘Islamism,’ not ‘radical Islam,’ not ‘Islamists’” but Islam — is an existential threat to the survival of any free society.” In 2007, West met with members of the racist and xenophobic Belgian political party Vlaams Belang.

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December 21, 2012

“Violent Resistance” Makes Comeback in Wake of Pillar of Defense

Throughout Operation Pillar of Defense, the recent clash between Israel and Hamas operatives in Gaza that came to an end almost a month ago, anti-Israel activists expressed support for Hamas and violent resistance against Israel. Rallies across the U.S. included chants of “intifada, intifada” and hostile messages posted on Facebook and other social media platforms also sided with Hamas and joyfully announced that the “resistance has reached Tel Aviv!”

Interestingly, this sort of extreme rhetoric has not fully ebbed since the latest operation came to a close. At an event on Wednesday called “Resistance and Revolution: Gaza, the Arab Spring, and the new Middle East,” which was held in downtown Brooklyn, several panelists acknowledged that violence is a necessary part of the “revolution” against Israel.

Lamis Deek, a founder of Al-Awda, even criticized the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership in Egypt for seizing and confiscating an arms shipment en route to Gaza from Libya, using it as an example of Egypt’s excessive “pro-Israel” position. She also included in her remarks, which were titled “Palestine and the Right of Resistance,” praise for the language of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas precisely because the text did not include a call for the recognition of the state of Israel.

Sherry Wolf, an activist with the International Socialist Organization and the event’s sponsor, similarly claimed that outsiders “can’t dictate the type of resistance” used by Palestinians and that there should be no expectation of a “resistance ‘Dream Team.’” Wolf has previously advocated an explicitly pro-terrorist position. On November 20, a day before the ceasefire was declared, Wolf published an article on the Socialist Worker’s website titled, “Gaza’s Right to Resist Israeli Terror.” In the article, she called “Hamas’ military resistance” a “source of tremendous pride” and said that those who stand with the oppressed ought to defend the “right of Palestinians to resist the terror of the Israeli military machine.”

Wolf has been invited to speak on several college campuses in recent weeks, including at New York University and Williams College in Massachusetts. Her appearances are generally sponsored by socialist student groups and Students for Justice in Palestine.

There is also evidence of increased support for Palestinian resistance beyond the U.S. At the University of London tomorrow, an event called “Gaza: Refocusing Resistance, How the resistance in Gaza has refocused the Arab Spring” will take place. Speakers scheduled to appear at the event include Roshan Muhammed Salih, a correspondent for Iran’s government-run English language news network PressTV, and Sukant Chandan, a London-based activist who supports Hezbollah and praised the second intifada during his speech at an Al Quds Day rally in London last August.

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