Archive for the ‘Southern Poverty Law Center’ Category

Hatewatch Headlines 8/23/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

New York Times: The showdown over how to define fringe views in America.

CBS News: Hate rising: White supremacy is on the increase in the U.S.

Think Progress: White supremacists are running for office as Republicans; will the party respond?

Washington Post: Trump backers alarming reliance on conspiracy theory websites, in one chart.

Talking Points Memo: Relegated to fringe platforms, white nationalists are stuck in their own echo chambers.

Raw Story: Islamophobe Pamela Geller throws a fit after PayPal boots her in whitesupremacist purge.

Huffington Post: George and Amal Clooney donate $1 million grant to SPLC in effort to combat hate.

Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH): White man with pipe bomb arrested hours before Akron vigil for Charlottesville victims.

AlterNet: Seven key white supremacists and their links to Russias Vladimir Putin and to Trump.

Centre Daily Times (College Station, PA): Richard Spencer not welcome at Penn State, college president says.

Miami New Times (FL): White supremacist exploits Charlottesville tragedy to mount Florida Senate run.

Media Matters: Right Side Broadcasting parts ways with Nicholas Fuentes, who participated in Virginia rally.

Boston Herald: Gun-toting militia leader from New York is among the arrestees in Boston protest.

Record-Courier (Kent, OH): Leader of Ohio Minutemen Militia denies any link to white supremacists, neo-Nazis.

Rare Houston (TX): Were proud, not racist, proclaims leader of San Antonio Confederate militia.

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Hung Jury, Acquittals in Second Bundy Trial – Southern Poverty Law Center

On Tuesday a jury in Las Vegas acquitted two defendants, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien, of all 10 charges they faced. The panel couldnt unanimously agree on charges facing Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, resulting in mistrials for those two men.

The jurys verdict after four days of deliberation has to be a jolting blow to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors planned to bring three separate trials against 21 defendants, including Cliven Bundy and his sons, for their varying roles in the 2014 standoff. It ended without bloodshed when federal agents, faced with the gun barrels of Bundys militia supporters, abandoned their attempts to round up his cattle for non-payment of federal grazing fees.

The current timetable set by the court when it divided 21 defendants into three trial groupings calls for Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, to stand trial in about 30 days in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. But that trial date could be postponed as prosecutors reassess their trial strategy.

Stewart, Lovelien, Drexler and Parker each faced multiple felony charges including conspiracy, illegal possession of weapons and assaulting and threatening federal officers during the 2014 standoff near the Bundy ranch. Convictions would have resulted in lengthy prison sentences.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial after the jury said it couldnt reach unanimous agreement on four charges against Parker assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal officer and two firearms counts and charges of assaulting a federal officer and a firearms count that Drexler faced. Prosecutors have not said if they will retry Parker and Drexler a third time.

The verdict came after a 20-day re-trial of the same four men who were tried in April by another jury that also couldnt reached a unanimous verdict on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the first trial earlier this year, a jury did convict two other co-defendants Gregory Burleson of Phoenix and Todd C. Engel of Boundary County, Idaho for their roles in the standoff. The two, identified by prosecutors as follower-gunmen, were found guilty of obstruction of justice and interstate travel to aid extortion. Burleson was sentenced to 68 years in prison in July. Engel awaits sentencing.

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George, Amal Clooney donate $1M to Southern Poverty Law Center to combat hate groups – USA TODAY

The violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month have inspired The Clooney Foundation for Justice to give $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center. USA TODAY

George and Amal Clooney on Feb. 24, 2017 at the Cesar Film Awards in Paris.(Photo: Francois Mori, AP)

If money talks, George and Amal Clooney made it shout Tuesday, by donating $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help fight hate groups in the wake of tragedy and violence in Charlottesville, Va.

The SPLC, a leading civil-rights group that monitors hate groups and campaigns against bigotry,is partnering with the Clooney Foundation for Justice to increase its ability to combat hate groups in the USA by highlighting the dangers of white-supremacist ideology.

The SPLC said further details on what the money will be used for will be available later.

“Amal and I wanted to add our voice (and financial assistance) to the ongoing fight for equality,” Clooney said in a statement to USA TODAY. “There are no two sides to bigotry and hate.

The latter comment was an allusion to President Trump’s much-criticized assertions last week that neo-Nazis and white supremacists and anti-fascist counter-protesters who confronted them in Charlottesville were equally culpable for the violence that led to three deaths on the weekend of Aug. 11-12. Trump said there are “fine people” on “both sides.”

“We are proud to support the Southern Poverty Law Center in its efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States,” the Clooneys said in their prepared statement. “What happened in Charlottesville, and what is happening in communities across our country, demands our collective engagement to stand up to hate.”

White-nationalist groups marched with torches through University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Aug. 11, 2017. When met by counter protesters, tempers turned into violence.(Photo: Mykal McEldowney, IndyStar – USA TODAY NETWORK)

Since Charlottesville, the center also has received major donations from Apple and from JPMorgan Chase, whose leaders Tim Cookat Apple and Jamie Dimonat JPMorgan Chase both spoke out on the need for America’s leading business and cultural institutions to take stands against bigotry and hate.

George Clooney was a supporter of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign and is well-known as a leading Hollywood liberal. His wife, Amal Alamuddin,is a Lebanese-born British lawyer known for her human-rights legal work around the world.

The Clooneys founded and serve as presidents of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, established in 2016″to advance justice in courtrooms, classrooms and communities” around the world.

President Trump at Trump Tower in New York speaking to the media on Aug. 15, 2017, about protests in Charlottesville, Va. the previous weekend.(Photo: JIM WATSON, AFP/Getty Images)

SPLC presidentRichard Cohen said hate-group monitors were “shocked by the size, ugliness and ferocity” of the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville.

It was a reflection of just how much Trumps incendiary campaign and presidency has energized the radical right,” Cohen said. “We are deeply grateful to the Clooney Foundation for standing with us at this critical moment in our countrys fight against hate.

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/22/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

New York Times Magazine: How hate groups forced online platforms to reveal their true nature.

GQ: Dylann Roof: The making of a very American terrorist.

Politico: How a man who shot video of the Charlottesville rampage became embroiled in conspiracy theories.

Washington Post: The shadow of a Nazi assassinated in 1967 hangs over Charlottesville.

USA Today: White supremacists plan monument protest, summit in Tennessee.

Houston Chronicle: Houston man charged with trying to plant bomb at base of Confederate monument.

Media Matters: Media shouldnt sugarcoat Trumps calls for violence and hate.

Current Affairs: How to write about Nazis and how not to.

Columbia Journalism Review: The white-supremacist threat deserves its own beat in newsrooms.

New Statesman: We need to talk about the online radicalization of young white women, too.

AlterNet: White communities need to ferret out the domestic terrorists in their midst.

ABC News: White nationalist leaders on their beliefs: We look up to men like Adolf Hitler.

Think Progress: Historians of Christian nationalism are alarmed by its appearance in American pulpits.

Quartz: Linguistic analysis of three billion Reddit comments shows the alt-right is getting stronger.

CNN: Trump nominee Sam Clovis says logical LGBT protections could lead to legalization of pedophilia.

KCUR-FM (Kansas City, MO): Missouri militia counters social-justice rally on Kansas Citys Country Club Plaza.

AL.com: Groups organize for, against Auburn High teachers Pride flag in his classroom.

KPIX-TV (San Francisco): Armed Oath Keepers militia group expected to attend San Francisco far-right rally.

Raw Story: Alt-right cancels California book burning of degenerate literature after organizer says he fears liberals.

Huffington Post: Law firm boots patent attorney who owns neo-Nazi record label on the side.

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American Freedom Alliance Event Blames Immigrants for California’s "Destruction" – Southern Poverty Law Center

The August 20 conference began with AFA president Dr. Karen Siegemund and the 150 or so attendees gleefully celebrating the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center listed her group as an anti-Muslim hate group, in part due to the vile Muslim-bashing that took place at last years gig. While this years event attracted more mainstream figures, including politicians and at least two people running for Governor of California in 2018, the speakers predictably attacked transgender people, the Black Lives Matter movement and Californias immigrant population.

Siegemund thanked the crowd for coming out in support of a hate group and defended AFAs anti-Muslim views stating that AFA is an organization that speaks out against those who muzzle women, that throw homosexuals off of towers, and all sorts of violence that they do against each other and to us. Also in the crowd was anti-Muslim activist Nonie Darwish who stated at last years conference that, lying and slander is an obligation in Islam, and In Islam, seizing wealth from others is a value.

The first panel, focusing on Californias public school system, featured Peter Wood, head of the national association of scholars. Wood talked about falsehoods promoted by the left, including the Black Lives Matter movement, which he described as, a false narrative about the United States being organized around the idea of oppressing blacks and nothing else.

Another speaker on the panel, Lance Izumi, of the Pacific Research Institute named the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in his speech, which was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd. Izumi took issue with the San Diego school board for working with CAIR on an anti-bullying measure as well as increased education about Islam in the public school system.

This prompted audience members to bring up Truth in Textbooks, an operation run by Roy White, a former leader of the San Antonio chapter of ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim group in the country. White attended and spoke at last years AFA conference where he descried his Truth in Textbooks project in detail, as an effort to effectively purge textbooks that he and others deem too favorable to Islam. These efforts are underway in Texas and California and were resoundingly endorsed by this years panelists.

The next panel focused on the environment, where the notorious right-wing conspiracy theory of Agenda 21 was discussed at length. Agenda 21 is a nonbinding sustainability plan developed by the United Nations and signed by 178 countries including the United States in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. It lays out steps countries should take to help increase sustainability. Right-wing organizations and politicians have lambasted the plan as a move toward the takeover of the United States by the tyrannical United Nations.

One right-wing organization that has pushed this conspiracy theory for decades is the John Birch Society (JBS) and sure enough, the JBSs Southern California coordinator, Joe Panzarello, was at the conference passing out literature warning that California is on the verge of becoming a socialist state, due to the Democrats. Mike Munzing, an Aliso Viejo City Councilman, used his time on the environment panel to rail against the horrors of Agenda 21, stating, Thats the mother ship, thats the big overall globalist mother ship of the UN, and thats what I was fighting.

Michael D. Antonovich, a longtime member of the LA County Board of Supervisors, took to the stage next where he attacked Democrats, and called the Ku Klux Klan the, military arm of the Democratic Party, a line that also received a warm round of applause from the crowd.

The American Family Association’s From Gold To Dust: The Destruction of California agenda.

After lunch a panel on immigration commenced, featuring some of the most recognizable anti-immigrant activists in California. The first speaker was Tim Donnelly, a former California Assemblyman, Breitbart contributor and founder of what became the largest chapter the Minutemen, the rabidly anti-immigrant vigilante group active in the 2000s. Donnelly first joked about having a bumper sticker on his car that reads, My assault weapon is not illegal, its just undocumented, this coming from a man who was cited in 2012 for having a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage at Ontario International Airport in California.

A clearly upset Donnelly claimed that anyone opposed to immigration was considered white nationalist. Donnelly compared the tactics of the left to those of Adolf Hitler before lamenting what he described as massive voter fraud in the state of California. Another panelist, Raul Rodriguez, of the nativist extremist group We the People Rising, also attacked Democrats, calling them rats who destroy things.

The major theme of the immigration panel however was celebrating the fact that President Trump and the panelists shared similar views. Christopher Harris, a senior Border Patrol agent and director of legislative and political affairs for the National Border Patrol Councils Local 1613, talked about the Councils decision to endorse Trump in 2016, stating: The rhetoric and stances from this President were fantastic, before adding: Nobody has ever looked into us before. Nobody has considered us as subject matter experts. And that man looked at us and looked at our union, and not all unions are bad, looked at our union and he said I am going to consider you guys as subject matter experts on securing the border and Im going to come to you and ask about what should be done.

The Border Patrol works directly with some of the most established anti-immigrant groups in the country, leaking information directly to them as documented by the immigrant rights group Center for New Community in a 2015 report.

Robin Hvidston, head of We the People Rising and former national rally coordinator for Jim Gilchrists Minutemen Project, also praised Trump in her speech. Hvidston said that, One of the greatest weapons is the election of Donald Trump, and later said it was very empowering to have Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime ally of the anti-immigrant movement on the side of We the People. Hvidston stated:

Now as far as the sanctuary city movement, we are so excited because we have our President and Attorney General Jess Sessions, can I get a yay! With us on this issue. Its very emboldening. We got to cities that are not in our camp, most sanctuary cities, but you know what when we go to the podium and speak during public comments and we say that our President and our Attorney General are with us, its very empowering.

They keynote speaker for the event was Victor Davis Hanson, a Hoover Institute fellow and author of Mexifornia, a book that romanticizes the California of old, when whites held a large majority of the states population. Davis Hanson talked about how in parts of California, you can go 10 miles in another direction and it looks like youre in a different country. Hanson also attacked Californias Democrats, saying:

We dont want assimilation so were going to give you as much amnesty, sanctuary states, sanctuary cities, well do whatever we can so you can remain tribal in your outlook. Your tribal racial and ethnic identity is essential, not irrelevant to your character.

Hanson also expounded upon the reconquista conspiracy theory promoted by anti-immigrant activists. It stems from the “Plan Espiritual de Aztlan,” document produced by MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) in the 1960s calling for Chicanos to reclaim land. It is not endorsed by any mainstream groups, but for nativists serves as the genesis of a conspiracy theory claiming that Latinos want to take back American land for themselves.

Davis Hanson ended by saying, The state is regressing into a Third-World country. He also attacked undocumented immigrants essentially claiming they are incapable of being law-abiding residents, stating, When I came to the States, the first thing I did was break the law, so why would I follow the rules out of necessity now?

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Another Corporate Gift for the Southern Poverty Law Center – National Review

The Wall Street Journal:

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co is planning up to $2 million in donations to human and civil-rights organizations following the recent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. The largest U.S. bank by assets will donate $1 million split between the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League to further their work in tracking, exposing and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations, according to an internal bank memo sent Monday that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

I blogged a bit last week about the decision by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, to spend $1m of shareholders money on a gift to the Southern Poverty Law Center in the wake of those clashes and Trumps less than impressive(to put it mildly) response to them.

Yes, it has been alleged in a series of articles in Harpers Magazine that, for all its undoubted achievements in the past, the SPLC has its, well, issues, but my real focus in last weeks post was the organizations Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists and in particular the inclusion of two names on that list:Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Heres some more on Maajid Nawaz, this time from an article in the Tablet by Lee Smith:

I spoke to Nawaz on the phone in London to ask for his reaction. A bunch of first-world, comfortable liberal Americans who are not Muslims have decided from their comfortable perch to label me, an activist who is working within his Muslim community to push back against extremism, an anti-Muslim extremist.

On the face of it, its difficult to understand why Nawaz was listed as such. As he told me, hes a proud Muslim. I learned Arabic in order to read my holy book, he said. In an Intelligence Squared debate, I defended the proposition that Islam was a religion of peace. This was the same week that the man who attempted to bomb Times Square was sentenced so it wasnt the friendliest New York audience. I hosted Morgan Freeman in a mosque for his documentary The Story of God.

Nawaz takes the SPLC blacklist seriously, he told me, because he believes that it has put his life in danger. Theyve put a target on my head, he said. This is what putting people on lists does. When Theo Van Gogh was killed in the Netherlands, a list was stuck to his body that included Ayaan Hirsi Alis name. It was a hit list. When Bangladeshi reformers were hacked to death by jihadist terrorists, they were working off lists. Only fascists produce lists.

And its not as if SPLC needs the cash.

Politico:

The organization has been criticized for spending more of its money on fundraising and overhead and less on litigation than comparable groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. And it has taken flak for amassing a huge endowmentmore than $200 millionthat is disproportionately large for its operating costs. SPLC President Richard Cohen defends the endowment as necessary to ensure the group can survive legal battles that might last for years. (As for Dees himself, he made $337,000 in 2015, according to the watchdog group Charity Navigator; Cohen made $333,000 the same year.) In 1994, the local paper, the Montgomery Advertiser, ran a series investigating the groups marketing, finances and personnel practices that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. (Dees respondedaccording to a transcript from a 1999 Nieman Foundation discussion on journalism about nonprofitsby mobilizing prominent liberal politicians for whom he had raised money to lobby the Pulitzer Board not to award the prize to the Advertiser.)

Other critics say the SPLC picks its causes with its bottom line in mind. In the 1980s, the groups entire legal staff quit to protest Dees obsession with the remnants of the KKKwhich still captured the imagination of the groups liberal donor baseat the expense of lower-profile but more relevant targets. In its marketing, the SPLC still touts seven-figure judgments it has won against Klan organizations, even though the plaintiffs have been able to recoup only a tiny fraction of that from the groups, which possessed paltry assets

And then theres that freedom of expression thing (my emphasis added):

William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell and critic of the SPLC, says the group has wrapped itself in the mantle of the civil rights struggle to engage in partisan political crusading. Time and again, I see the SPLC using the reputation it gained decades ago fighting the Klan as a tool to bludgeon mainstream politically conservative opponents, he says. For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC hate group or extremist designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers, Jacobson adds. It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them.

I suppose defenders of free speech should be grateful that J.P. Morgan Chase has only chosen to throw $500,000 of its shareholders money this organizations way.

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Another Corporate Gift for the Southern Poverty Law Center – National Review

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I9: Southern Poverty Law Center stands behind claims of neo-nazi group in Amana – KCRG

AMANA, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) — The Southern Poverty Law Center is standing behind the accuracy of their “hate group” map. On the SPLC’s map they list, what they call, three hate groups in Iowa. Two of those groups are neo-nazi organizations and they say one, called the Daily Stormer, has a “book club” in Amana. The Executive Director of the Amana Convention and Vistors Bureau, David Rettig, has called on the SPLC to remove their community from the map but at this time it appears the organization has no plans to do so.

SPLC Senior Investigative Writer, Ryan Lenz says there is indeed a neo-nazi group in Amana and adds Rettig’s claims to the contrary are, “wrong.”

Last week I9 discovered documents involving conversations between Daily Stormer members discussing plans to hold a meeting at a restaurant in Amana in 2016. From what I9 has been able to find thus far, the members were not from Amana and only met one time. But still, Lenz says it is fair to say there is an active hate group in Amana.

“The Daily Stormer has designated the Amana book club,” said Lenz. “It is a recognized location where people meet to discuss racist ideas. It doesn’t so much matter where these people are from.”

Lenz says the reason neo-nazis have chosen Amana as a place to visit is because, “they think they can hide there.”

Lenz told I9 he would send us additional documentation that shows the Daily Stormer has a designated book club in Amana but we’re still waiting to receive those documents. I9 also reached out to Rettig concerning what Lenz told us and he maintains they, “do not have a hate group in Amana”.

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I9: Southern Poverty Law Center stands behind claims of neo-nazi group in Amana – KCRG

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Process servers for Southern Poverty Law Center can’t find founder of neo-Nazi website – ABA Journal

Trials & Litigation

Posted August 21, 2017, 12:35 pm CDT

By Debra Cassens Weiss

Andrew Anglin. Photo by BFG101, via Wikimedia Commons.

Process servers hired by the Southern Poverty Law Center are looking for Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer.

They have so far been unsuccessful, but it wasnt for lack of trying, the New York Times reports. Process servers have spoken with his brother, visited his fathers counseling office, driven to his sisters church and staked out an apartment affiliated with him. Papers sent through certified and regular mail have been returned as undeliverable.

The next step will be to publish a notice in a local newspaper, according to David Dinielli, an SPLC lawyer.. The circumstances in which these steps are normally taken is someone owed $7,000 on their credit card bill, Dinielli told the Times. This is not what happens in nationally prominent civil rights litigation.

The SPLC lawsuit claims Anglin unleashed a troll storm against a Jewish real estate agent by publishing articles about her, along with her contact information, and by telling readers to take action against her, according to prior New York Times coverage.

The Montana real estate agent, Tanya Gersh, had asked the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer to disavow her son. She also offered to sell a building owned by the woman.

Its not the only suit against Anglin, according to the Times. Two women injured in the Charlottesville protest sued Anglin and other organizers, while another suit filed by a SiriusXM radio host says he was falsely accused of being the mastermind behind a terrorist bombing, according to a previous New York Times story.

Anglins lawyer, Marc Randazza, told the Times that his client should be easy to find and no one had looked hard enough. Randazza, a First Amendment advocate, says the stories were protected speech.

Theres this belief among the modern left that free speech is for me but not for thee, he told the Times.

Anglin told the Times in an email that he only deals with serious reporters and used an anti-Semitic epithet to describe the newspaper.

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Process servers for Southern Poverty Law Center can’t find founder of neo-Nazi website – ABA Journal

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/21/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

Mother Jones: Tens of thousands of people just showed Nazis what really makes America great.

American Prospect: Why white supremacists stand by Trump, and why he returns the favor.

Think Progress: Rush Limbaugh says white supremacists and the KKK are not the problem, warns of second civil war.

New York Times: In their own words, what some of the key Charlottesville marchers stand for.

Talking Points Memo: Ex-DHS chief Jeh Johnson warns that Confederate statues are now rallying point for hate groups.

Washington Post: The whole point of Confederate monuments is to celebrate white supremacy.

Politico: Some 1,503 Confederate monuments are on display across America, and 179 are in black majority counties.

Salon: Our troll-in-chief has a deep affinity with the alt-right and its Nazi ancestors.

ProPublica: Despite disavowals, leading tech companies help extremist sites monetize hate.

TechCrunch: Google and ProPublica team up to build a national hate-crime database.

BuzzFeed: Twitter grapples with verified white supremacists as other tech companies crack down on hate speech.

Huffington Post: Its not just Trump, federal law enforcement is not very focused on white supremacism.

Raw Story: Is the Trump administration hiring people of color to hold signs at his Phoenix rally?

Right Wing Watch: Kentucky governor links Charlottesville violence to removal of Bible study from schools.

WISN-TV (Milwaukee, WI): Mayor speaks out against planned anti-Muslim rally led by ACT for America.

Seattle Times: Resurgent hate groups have a long history in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest.

Oregonian: Notorious Oregon neo-Nazi takes credit for anti-Semitic freeway signs ahead of 2017 eclipse.

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/23/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

New York Times: The showdown over how to define fringe views in America. CBS News: Hate rising: White supremacy is on the increase in the U.S. Think Progress: White supremacists are running for office as Republicans; will the party respond? Washington Post: Trump backers alarming reliance on conspiracy theory websites, in one chart. Talking Points Memo: Relegated to fringe platforms, white nationalists are stuck in their own echo chambers. Raw Story: Islamophobe Pamela Geller throws a fit after PayPal boots her in whitesupremacist purge. Huffington Post: George and Amal Clooney donate $1 million grant to SPLC in effort to combat hate. Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH): White man with pipe bomb arrested hours before Akron vigil for Charlottesville victims. AlterNet: Seven key white supremacists and their links to Russias Vladimir Putin and to Trump. Centre Daily Times (College Station, PA): Richard Spencer not welcome at Penn State, college president says. Miami New Times (FL): White supremacist exploits Charlottesville tragedy to mount Florida Senate run. Media Matters: Right Side Broadcasting parts ways with Nicholas Fuentes, who participated in Virginia rally. Boston Herald: Gun-toting militia leader from New York is among the arrestees in Boston protest. Record-Courier (Kent, OH): Leader of Ohio Minutemen Militia denies any link to white supremacists, neo-Nazis. Rare Houston (TX): Were proud, not racist, proclaims leader of San Antonio Confederate militia.

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Hung Jury, Acquittals in Second Bundy Trial – Southern Poverty Law Center

On Tuesday a jury in Las Vegas acquitted two defendants, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien, of all 10 charges they faced. The panel couldnt unanimously agree on charges facing Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, resulting in mistrials for those two men. The jurys verdict after four days of deliberation has to be a jolting blow to the U.S. Department of Justice. Federal prosecutors planned to bring three separate trials against 21 defendants, including Cliven Bundy and his sons, for their varying roles in the 2014 standoff. It ended without bloodshed when federal agents, faced with the gun barrels of Bundys militia supporters, abandoned their attempts to round up his cattle for non-payment of federal grazing fees. The current timetable set by the court when it divided 21 defendants into three trial groupings calls for Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, to stand trial in about 30 days in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. But that trial date could be postponed as prosecutors reassess their trial strategy. Stewart, Lovelien, Drexler and Parker each faced multiple felony charges including conspiracy, illegal possession of weapons and assaulting and threatening federal officers during the 2014 standoff near the Bundy ranch. Convictions would have resulted in lengthy prison sentences. Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial after the jury said it couldnt reach unanimous agreement on four charges against Parker assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal officer and two firearms counts and charges of assaulting a federal officer and a firearms count that Drexler faced. Prosecutors have not said if they will retry Parker and Drexler a third time. The verdict came after a 20-day re-trial of the same four men who were tried in April by another jury that also couldnt reached a unanimous verdict on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In the first trial earlier this year, a jury did convict two other co-defendants Gregory Burleson of Phoenix and Todd C. Engel of Boundary County, Idaho for their roles in the standoff. The two, identified by prosecutors as follower-gunmen, were found guilty of obstruction of justice and interstate travel to aid extortion. Burleson was sentenced to 68 years in prison in July. Engel awaits sentencing.

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George, Amal Clooney donate $1M to Southern Poverty Law Center to combat hate groups – USA TODAY

The violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month have inspired The Clooney Foundation for Justice to give $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center. USA TODAY George and Amal Clooney on Feb. 24, 2017 at the Cesar Film Awards in Paris.(Photo: Francois Mori, AP) If money talks, George and Amal Clooney made it shout Tuesday, by donating $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help fight hate groups in the wake of tragedy and violence in Charlottesville, Va. The SPLC, a leading civil-rights group that monitors hate groups and campaigns against bigotry,is partnering with the Clooney Foundation for Justice to increase its ability to combat hate groups in the USA by highlighting the dangers of white-supremacist ideology. The SPLC said further details on what the money will be used for will be available later. “Amal and I wanted to add our voice (and financial assistance) to the ongoing fight for equality,” Clooney said in a statement to USA TODAY. “There are no two sides to bigotry and hate. The latter comment was an allusion to President Trump’s much-criticized assertions last week that neo-Nazis and white supremacists and anti-fascist counter-protesters who confronted them in Charlottesville were equally culpable for the violence that led to three deaths on the weekend of Aug. 11-12. Trump said there are “fine people” on “both sides.” “We are proud to support the Southern Poverty Law Center in its efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States,” the Clooneys said in their prepared statement. “What happened in Charlottesville, and what is happening in communities across our country, demands our collective engagement to stand up to hate.” White-nationalist groups marched with torches through University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Aug. 11, 2017. When met by counter protesters, tempers turned into violence.(Photo: Mykal McEldowney, IndyStar – USA TODAY NETWORK) Since Charlottesville, the center also has received major donations from Apple and from JPMorgan Chase, whose leaders Tim Cookat Apple and Jamie Dimonat JPMorgan Chase both spoke out on the need for America’s leading business and cultural institutions to take stands against bigotry and hate. George Clooney was a supporter of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign and is well-known as a leading Hollywood liberal. His wife, Amal Alamuddin,is a Lebanese-born British lawyer known for her human-rights legal work around the world. The Clooneys founded and serve as presidents of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, established in 2016″to advance justice in courtrooms, classrooms and communities” around the world. President Trump at Trump Tower in New York speaking to the media on Aug. 15, 2017, about protests in Charlottesville, Va. the previous weekend.(Photo: JIM WATSON, AFP/Getty Images) SPLC presidentRichard Cohen said hate-group monitors were “shocked by the size, ugliness and ferocity” of the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville. It was a reflection of just how much Trumps incendiary campaign and presidency has energized the radical right,” Cohen said. “We are deeply grateful to the Clooney Foundation for standing with us at this critical moment in our countrys fight against hate. Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2xpCIcb

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Hatewatch Headlines 8/22/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

New York Times Magazine: How hate groups forced online platforms to reveal their true nature. GQ: Dylann Roof: The making of a very American terrorist. Politico: How a man who shot video of the Charlottesville rampage became embroiled in conspiracy theories. Washington Post: The shadow of a Nazi assassinated in 1967 hangs over Charlottesville. USA Today: White supremacists plan monument protest, summit in Tennessee. Houston Chronicle: Houston man charged with trying to plant bomb at base of Confederate monument. Media Matters: Media shouldnt sugarcoat Trumps calls for violence and hate. Current Affairs: How to write about Nazis and how not to. Columbia Journalism Review: The white-supremacist threat deserves its own beat in newsrooms. New Statesman: We need to talk about the online radicalization of young white women, too. AlterNet: White communities need to ferret out the domestic terrorists in their midst. ABC News: White nationalist leaders on their beliefs: We look up to men like Adolf Hitler. Think Progress: Historians of Christian nationalism are alarmed by its appearance in American pulpits. Quartz: Linguistic analysis of three billion Reddit comments shows the alt-right is getting stronger. CNN: Trump nominee Sam Clovis says logical LGBT protections could lead to legalization of pedophilia. KCUR-FM (Kansas City, MO): Missouri militia counters social-justice rally on Kansas Citys Country Club Plaza. AL.com: Groups organize for, against Auburn High teachers Pride flag in his classroom. KPIX-TV (San Francisco): Armed Oath Keepers militia group expected to attend San Francisco far-right rally. Raw Story: Alt-right cancels California book burning of degenerate literature after organizer says he fears liberals. Huffington Post: Law firm boots patent attorney who owns neo-Nazi record label on the side.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

American Freedom Alliance Event Blames Immigrants for California’s "Destruction" – Southern Poverty Law Center

The August 20 conference began with AFA president Dr. Karen Siegemund and the 150 or so attendees gleefully celebrating the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center listed her group as an anti-Muslim hate group, in part due to the vile Muslim-bashing that took place at last years gig. While this years event attracted more mainstream figures, including politicians and at least two people running for Governor of California in 2018, the speakers predictably attacked transgender people, the Black Lives Matter movement and Californias immigrant population. Siegemund thanked the crowd for coming out in support of a hate group and defended AFAs anti-Muslim views stating that AFA is an organization that speaks out against those who muzzle women, that throw homosexuals off of towers, and all sorts of violence that they do against each other and to us. Also in the crowd was anti-Muslim activist Nonie Darwish who stated at last years conference that, lying and slander is an obligation in Islam, and In Islam, seizing wealth from others is a value. The first panel, focusing on Californias public school system, featured Peter Wood, head of the national association of scholars. Wood talked about falsehoods promoted by the left, including the Black Lives Matter movement, which he described as, a false narrative about the United States being organized around the idea of oppressing blacks and nothing else. Another speaker on the panel, Lance Izumi, of the Pacific Research Institute named the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in his speech, which was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd. Izumi took issue with the San Diego school board for working with CAIR on an anti-bullying measure as well as increased education about Islam in the public school system. This prompted audience members to bring up Truth in Textbooks, an operation run by Roy White, a former leader of the San Antonio chapter of ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim group in the country. White attended and spoke at last years AFA conference where he descried his Truth in Textbooks project in detail, as an effort to effectively purge textbooks that he and others deem too favorable to Islam. These efforts are underway in Texas and California and were resoundingly endorsed by this years panelists. The next panel focused on the environment, where the notorious right-wing conspiracy theory of Agenda 21 was discussed at length. Agenda 21 is a nonbinding sustainability plan developed by the United Nations and signed by 178 countries including the United States in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. It lays out steps countries should take to help increase sustainability. Right-wing organizations and politicians have lambasted the plan as a move toward the takeover of the United States by the tyrannical United Nations. One right-wing organization that has pushed this conspiracy theory for decades is the John Birch Society (JBS) and sure enough, the JBSs Southern California coordinator, Joe Panzarello, was at the conference passing out literature warning that California is on the verge of becoming a socialist state, due to the Democrats. Mike Munzing, an Aliso Viejo City Councilman, used his time on the environment panel to rail against the horrors of Agenda 21, stating, Thats the mother ship, thats the big overall globalist mother ship of the UN, and thats what I was fighting. Michael D. Antonovich, a longtime member of the LA County Board of Supervisors, took to the stage next where he attacked Democrats, and called the Ku Klux Klan the, military arm of the Democratic Party, a line that also received a warm round of applause from the crowd. The American Family Association’s From Gold To Dust: The Destruction of California agenda. After lunch a panel on immigration commenced, featuring some of the most recognizable anti-immigrant activists in California. The first speaker was Tim Donnelly, a former California Assemblyman, Breitbart contributor and founder of what became the largest chapter the Minutemen, the rabidly anti-immigrant vigilante group active in the 2000s. Donnelly first joked about having a bumper sticker on his car that reads, My assault weapon is not illegal, its just undocumented, this coming from a man who was cited in 2012 for having a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage at Ontario International Airport in California. A clearly upset Donnelly claimed that anyone opposed to immigration was considered white nationalist. Donnelly compared the tactics of the left to those of Adolf Hitler before lamenting what he described as massive voter fraud in the state of California. Another panelist, Raul Rodriguez, of the nativist extremist group We the People Rising, also attacked Democrats, calling them rats who destroy things. The major theme of the immigration panel however was celebrating the fact that President Trump and the panelists shared similar views. Christopher Harris, a senior Border Patrol agent and director of legislative and political affairs for the National Border Patrol Councils Local 1613, talked about the Councils decision to endorse Trump in 2016, stating: The rhetoric and stances from this President were fantastic, before adding: Nobody has ever looked into us before. Nobody has considered us as subject matter experts. And that man looked at us and looked at our union, and not all unions are bad, looked at our union and he said I am going to consider you guys as subject matter experts on securing the border and Im going to come to you and ask about what should be done. The Border Patrol works directly with some of the most established anti-immigrant groups in the country, leaking information directly to them as documented by the immigrant rights group Center for New Community in a 2015 report. Robin Hvidston, head of We the People Rising and former national rally coordinator for Jim Gilchrists Minutemen Project, also praised Trump in her speech. Hvidston said that, One of the greatest weapons is the election of Donald Trump, and later said it was very empowering to have Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime ally of the anti-immigrant movement on the side of We the People. Hvidston stated: Now as far as the sanctuary city movement, we are so excited because we have our President and Attorney General Jess Sessions, can I get a yay! With us on this issue. Its very emboldening. We got to cities that are not in our camp, most sanctuary cities, but you know what when we go to the podium and speak during public comments and we say that our President and our Attorney General are with us, its very empowering. They keynote speaker for the event was Victor Davis Hanson, a Hoover Institute fellow and author of Mexifornia, a book that romanticizes the California of old, when whites held a large majority of the states population. Davis Hanson talked about how in parts of California, you can go 10 miles in another direction and it looks like youre in a different country. Hanson also attacked Californias Democrats, saying: We dont want assimilation so were going to give you as much amnesty, sanctuary states, sanctuary cities, well do whatever we can so you can remain tribal in your outlook. Your tribal racial and ethnic identity is essential, not irrelevant to your character. Hanson also expounded upon the reconquista conspiracy theory promoted by anti-immigrant activists. It stems from the “Plan Espiritual de Aztlan,” document produced by MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) in the 1960s calling for Chicanos to reclaim land. It is not endorsed by any mainstream groups, but for nativists serves as the genesis of a conspiracy theory claiming that Latinos want to take back American land for themselves. Davis Hanson ended by saying, The state is regressing into a Third-World country. He also attacked undocumented immigrants essentially claiming they are incapable of being law-abiding residents, stating, When I came to the States, the first thing I did was break the law, so why would I follow the rules out of necessity now?

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Another Corporate Gift for the Southern Poverty Law Center – National Review

The Wall Street Journal: J.P. Morgan Chase & Co is planning up to $2 million in donations to human and civil-rights organizations following the recent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. The largest U.S. bank by assets will donate $1 million split between the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League to further their work in tracking, exposing and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations, according to an internal bank memo sent Monday that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. I blogged a bit last week about the decision by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, to spend $1m of shareholders money on a gift to the Southern Poverty Law Center in the wake of those clashes and Trumps less than impressive(to put it mildly) response to them. Yes, it has been alleged in a series of articles in Harpers Magazine that, for all its undoubted achievements in the past, the SPLC has its, well, issues, but my real focus in last weeks post was the organizations Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists and in particular the inclusion of two names on that list:Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Heres some more on Maajid Nawaz, this time from an article in the Tablet by Lee Smith: I spoke to Nawaz on the phone in London to ask for his reaction. A bunch of first-world, comfortable liberal Americans who are not Muslims have decided from their comfortable perch to label me, an activist who is working within his Muslim community to push back against extremism, an anti-Muslim extremist. On the face of it, its difficult to understand why Nawaz was listed as such. As he told me, hes a proud Muslim. I learned Arabic in order to read my holy book, he said. In an Intelligence Squared debate, I defended the proposition that Islam was a religion of peace. This was the same week that the man who attempted to bomb Times Square was sentenced so it wasnt the friendliest New York audience. I hosted Morgan Freeman in a mosque for his documentary The Story of God. Nawaz takes the SPLC blacklist seriously, he told me, because he believes that it has put his life in danger. Theyve put a target on my head, he said. This is what putting people on lists does. When Theo Van Gogh was killed in the Netherlands, a list was stuck to his body that included Ayaan Hirsi Alis name. It was a hit list. When Bangladeshi reformers were hacked to death by jihadist terrorists, they were working off lists. Only fascists produce lists. And its not as if SPLC needs the cash. Politico: The organization has been criticized for spending more of its money on fundraising and overhead and less on litigation than comparable groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. And it has taken flak for amassing a huge endowmentmore than $200 millionthat is disproportionately large for its operating costs. SPLC President Richard Cohen defends the endowment as necessary to ensure the group can survive legal battles that might last for years. (As for Dees himself, he made $337,000 in 2015, according to the watchdog group Charity Navigator; Cohen made $333,000 the same year.) In 1994, the local paper, the Montgomery Advertiser, ran a series investigating the groups marketing, finances and personnel practices that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. (Dees respondedaccording to a transcript from a 1999 Nieman Foundation discussion on journalism about nonprofitsby mobilizing prominent liberal politicians for whom he had raised money to lobby the Pulitzer Board not to award the prize to the Advertiser.) Other critics say the SPLC picks its causes with its bottom line in mind. In the 1980s, the groups entire legal staff quit to protest Dees obsession with the remnants of the KKKwhich still captured the imagination of the groups liberal donor baseat the expense of lower-profile but more relevant targets. In its marketing, the SPLC still touts seven-figure judgments it has won against Klan organizations, even though the plaintiffs have been able to recoup only a tiny fraction of that from the groups, which possessed paltry assets And then theres that freedom of expression thing (my emphasis added): William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell and critic of the SPLC, says the group has wrapped itself in the mantle of the civil rights struggle to engage in partisan political crusading. Time and again, I see the SPLC using the reputation it gained decades ago fighting the Klan as a tool to bludgeon mainstream politically conservative opponents, he says. For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC hate group or extremist designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers, Jacobson adds. It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them. I suppose defenders of free speech should be grateful that J.P. Morgan Chase has only chosen to throw $500,000 of its shareholders money this organizations way.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

I9: Southern Poverty Law Center stands behind claims of neo-nazi group in Amana – KCRG

AMANA, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) — The Southern Poverty Law Center is standing behind the accuracy of their “hate group” map. On the SPLC’s map they list, what they call, three hate groups in Iowa. Two of those groups are neo-nazi organizations and they say one, called the Daily Stormer, has a “book club” in Amana. The Executive Director of the Amana Convention and Vistors Bureau, David Rettig, has called on the SPLC to remove their community from the map but at this time it appears the organization has no plans to do so. SPLC Senior Investigative Writer, Ryan Lenz says there is indeed a neo-nazi group in Amana and adds Rettig’s claims to the contrary are, “wrong.” Last week I9 discovered documents involving conversations between Daily Stormer members discussing plans to hold a meeting at a restaurant in Amana in 2016. From what I9 has been able to find thus far, the members were not from Amana and only met one time. But still, Lenz says it is fair to say there is an active hate group in Amana. “The Daily Stormer has designated the Amana book club,” said Lenz. “It is a recognized location where people meet to discuss racist ideas. It doesn’t so much matter where these people are from.” Lenz says the reason neo-nazis have chosen Amana as a place to visit is because, “they think they can hide there.” Lenz told I9 he would send us additional documentation that shows the Daily Stormer has a designated book club in Amana but we’re still waiting to receive those documents. I9 also reached out to Rettig concerning what Lenz told us and he maintains they, “do not have a hate group in Amana”.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Process servers for Southern Poverty Law Center can’t find founder of neo-Nazi website – ABA Journal

Trials & Litigation Posted August 21, 2017, 12:35 pm CDT By Debra Cassens Weiss Andrew Anglin. Photo by BFG101, via Wikimedia Commons. Process servers hired by the Southern Poverty Law Center are looking for Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer. They have so far been unsuccessful, but it wasnt for lack of trying, the New York Times reports. Process servers have spoken with his brother, visited his fathers counseling office, driven to his sisters church and staked out an apartment affiliated with him. Papers sent through certified and regular mail have been returned as undeliverable. The next step will be to publish a notice in a local newspaper, according to David Dinielli, an SPLC lawyer.. The circumstances in which these steps are normally taken is someone owed $7,000 on their credit card bill, Dinielli told the Times. This is not what happens in nationally prominent civil rights litigation. The SPLC lawsuit claims Anglin unleashed a troll storm against a Jewish real estate agent by publishing articles about her, along with her contact information, and by telling readers to take action against her, according to prior New York Times coverage. The Montana real estate agent, Tanya Gersh, had asked the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer to disavow her son. She also offered to sell a building owned by the woman. Its not the only suit against Anglin, according to the Times. Two women injured in the Charlottesville protest sued Anglin and other organizers, while another suit filed by a SiriusXM radio host says he was falsely accused of being the mastermind behind a terrorist bombing, according to a previous New York Times story. Anglins lawyer, Marc Randazza, told the Times that his client should be easy to find and no one had looked hard enough. Randazza, a First Amendment advocate, says the stories were protected speech. Theres this belief among the modern left that free speech is for me but not for thee, he told the Times. Anglin told the Times in an email that he only deals with serious reporters and used an anti-Semitic epithet to describe the newspaper.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Hatewatch Headlines 8/21/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

Mother Jones: Tens of thousands of people just showed Nazis what really makes America great. American Prospect: Why white supremacists stand by Trump, and why he returns the favor. Think Progress: Rush Limbaugh says white supremacists and the KKK are not the problem, warns of second civil war. New York Times: In their own words, what some of the key Charlottesville marchers stand for. Talking Points Memo: Ex-DHS chief Jeh Johnson warns that Confederate statues are now rallying point for hate groups. Washington Post: The whole point of Confederate monuments is to celebrate white supremacy. Politico: Some 1,503 Confederate monuments are on display across America, and 179 are in black majority counties. Salon: Our troll-in-chief has a deep affinity with the alt-right and its Nazi ancestors. ProPublica: Despite disavowals, leading tech companies help extremist sites monetize hate. TechCrunch: Google and ProPublica team up to build a national hate-crime database. BuzzFeed: Twitter grapples with verified white supremacists as other tech companies crack down on hate speech. Huffington Post: Its not just Trump, federal law enforcement is not very focused on white supremacism. Raw Story: Is the Trump administration hiring people of color to hold signs at his Phoenix rally? Right Wing Watch: Kentucky governor links Charlottesville violence to removal of Bible study from schools. WISN-TV (Milwaukee, WI): Mayor speaks out against planned anti-Muslim rally led by ACT for America. Seattle Times: Resurgent hate groups have a long history in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest. Oregonian: Notorious Oregon neo-Nazi takes credit for anti-Semitic freeway signs ahead of 2017 eclipse.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed


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