Update, November 2020: Bill Hagerty won the Tennessee election for US Senate.
Summary: Twenty-year-old Michael Patrick Hagerty, II is a member of two racist organizations, Patriot Front and Revolt Through Tradition. This year, he placed stickers for those organizations throughout Atlanta. Hagerty even wears clothes designating himself as a “National Socialist” – in other words, a neo-Nazi. His uncle, Bill Hagerty, is a Trump loyalist campaigning as the Republican candidate in Tennessee’s US Senate race, which he will likely win. Bill Hagerty vilifies Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists. Meanwhile, his nephew works with white supremacists to build a climate of intimidation against people of color, Jewish people, Muslims, leftists and LGBTQ communities.
Michael Patrick Hagerty, II is a twenty-year-old white nationalist who belongs to two different fascist organizations, Patriot Front (PF) and Revolt Through Tradition (RTT). Over the last year, he has covered Atlanta with stickers for these organizations, trying to give the impression that they have a strong presence in our city. Hagerty has also traveled to meet with other PF and RTT members and posed in photos as they trained together for fighting. Hagerty even wears a t-shirt identifying himself as a “National Socialist”: in other words, a neo-Nazi. One of Hagerty’s associates in Patriot Front is “John GA” (alias), who targeted synagogues in Columbus, Georgia, last year with another PF member, Chris Brooks.
Hagerty’s uncle, William F. Hagerty, is currently campaigning in Tennessee as the Republican candidate in that state’s election for the US Senate, which he will likely win. As a candidate, Bill Hagerty has repeatedly attacked Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists. He characterized Black Lives Matter as aiming to “overthrow the government and usher in Marxism” and echoed Donald Trump’s characterization of anti-fascists as “domestic terrorists”, stating that they “must be stopped”. Through his aggressive public stance against anti-racist movements, Bill Hagerty shelters and emboldens white nationalists like his nephew while they prepare for violence.
Michael Hagerty, II has a clear family connection to the Trump regime and the Republican establishment through his uncle. Bill Hagerty was director of presidential appointments for Trump’s transition team. At the end of July 2017, Bill Hagerty was sworn in as US Ambassador to Japan, a position he held for two years until Trump endorsed his run for US Senate. A few days after Bill Hagerty’s 2017 swearing-in ceremony, Michael Patrick Hagerty, II posted to Instagram about his recent “weekend at the White House.” It is unknown whether Michael Hagerty, II had embraced white nationalism at that time, however by 2019 he had signed up with Patriot Front.
Michael Hagerty, II grew up with wealth and privilege. The young neo-Nazi’s family home in Buckhead is valued at 1.2 million dollars. He graduated in 2019 from the Howard School, an independent school for students with language-based learning differences that charges a yearly tuition of more than $30,000. His parents are listed as donors to the school. Hagerty’s mother is a partner at HR consulting firm Mercer, while his father is a Vice President of Safety and Security at Flower Foods.
Overview of White Nationalist Projects
Michael Hagerty, II belongs to two racist and fascist groups, Patriot Front and Revolt Through Tradition. He also supports the Rise Above Movement, a white nationalist fight club, and has promoted Our Fight Clothing, a distributor of far-Right clothes. Since these four different projects may be unfamiliar, we are providing brief notes on each one.
Our Fight Clothing: Our Fight was a far-Right clothing company which sold designs by Patriot Front leader Thomas Rousseau, Rise Above Movement leader Rob Rundo’s “The Right Brand”, and other labels. At the end of September, Our Fight shut down its website. The operation has now been folded into Will2Rise, a new Rise Above Movement-affiliated brand.
Patriot Front (PF): Patriot Front was founded in the aftermath of 2017’s “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a splinter from and rebranding of an earlier fascist group, Vanguard America. At “Unite the Right”, James Alex Fields, Jr. who murdered Heather Heyer and wounded dozens more in a vehicular attack, stood with Vanguard America earlier in the day. Now, Patriot Front attempts to rebrand European fascism with American red, white and blue imagery. PF has a few hundred members across the US and is known for its incessant placement of stickers and its occasional, masked flash rallies. Leaked PF internal communications show that underneath the Americanized branding, Patriot Front holds all the typical neo-Nazi positions. In both Georgia and Vermont, Patriot Front has targeted synagogues with propaganda material in attempts at harassment.
Revolt Through Tradition (RTT): Established last year, Revolt Through Tradition is a “metapolitical” fascist organization. As RTT understands it, metapolitical activism means changing culture and values in a way that is amenable to fascist politics. RTT’s primary activities are building a visual presence in areas – from stickers to banners and graffiti – as well as combat sports training. RTT foster fascist subculture through far-Right clothing labels and activities such as group hikes. RTT’s focus on culture rather than direct political organizing does not make them less dangerous, since RTT has close ties to Rise Above Movement and other violent white supremacists.
Rise Above Movement (RAM): Originally formed as the “DIY Division” in Southern California, Rise Above Movement is a white power group focused on training for and enacting violence against its political enemies. In 2017, RAM members took the lead in attacks on leftists and anti-racists in Huntington Beach and then later Berkeley, California. Members also traveled to take part in the bloody “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, Virginia later that year. During the second half of 2018, RAM faced several high-profile arrests from these earlier events. Some RAM members who had been charged under the Anti-Riot Act – including founder Robert Rundo – beat their cases on appeal. Others, in a different jurisdiction and with different underlying facts, had convictions upheld. This year, RAM founder Robert Rundo relocated to Eastern Europe, where he networked within far-Right and combat sports scenes, produced media, and promoted the cause of the RAM prisoners to other white nationalists. With federal authorities now seeking to reinstate charges, Rundo returned to the US.
Identification of Michael P Hagerty, II as Patriot Front and Revolt Through Tradition Member
Michael Patrick Hagerty, II’s personal account on Instagram followed the personal account for Ryan Saxer AKA “Sean Battle”. Saxer is Revolt Through Tradition’s main organizer in Florida. Saxer is also a prospect for full membership in the Vinlanders Social Club, a notorious white supremacist crew with a history of extreme violence. Another Instagram account operated by Ryan Saxer until recently was an explicitly fascist networking account featuring a RTT logo. Saxer deleted that RTT-branded Instagram account on Monday, October 19, after he was exposed as a fascist organizer. Hagerty also followed the obvious fascist account until it was deleted.
Before Florida RTT organizer Saxer used his most recent, explicitly fascist Instagram account, he had an Instagram with a near-identical name that was also deleted. On that account, Saxer shared an image of gym training “with the boys” and tagged two others. Although Saxer blurred the face in the accompanying image, the figure in the photograph wears a Euro 2016 soccer jersey for the Russian team, and what appears to be an Apple watch. Michael Hagerty, II has been photographed wearing this same jersey and watch. Hagerty has the same build as the figure in Saxer’s photograph. The “fightingback_14” Instagram account tagged by Ryan Saxer does not resemble Hagerty, so by elimination Hagerty would have been the other account, “InItForGlory” (now also deleted).
In June, Revolt Through Tradition posted a group photo to its social media. The second figure from the left wears a black t-shirt with red vertical lines. Hagerty has been photographed wearing this same shirt. The accompanying text states: “this past weekend in Florida […] an RTT activist from Georgia was greeted by his brothers with open arms”. Hagerty’s associate, Florida RTT organizer Saxer, is also in the photo.
An Instagram account that was active this Spring and Summer, “Revocato_Gloria”, shared a photo of fight training from this same RTT gathering in Florida. “Revocato_Gloria” also mentioned activity around Atlanta, such as a “sticker run” that placed propaganda by the CNN Center. This Instagram account followed sequentially from the “InItForGlory” account, already linked to Hagerty. Like “InItForGlory”, “Revocato_Gloria” was eventually deleted. After “Revocato_Gloria” vanished, we were tipped off that Michael P. Hagerty’s personal Instagram followed accounts for Ryan Saxer.
Hagerty’s “Revocato_Gloria” account revealed his membership in Patriot Front as well as in RTT. In one picture shared by “Revocato_Gloria” of him and Ryan Saxer, Hagerty wears the exact same outfit as in a photo from Florida that was shared to PF’s social media in December. Therefore, Hagerty must have been a PF member since at least late 2019. Another group photo shared by “Revocato_Gloria” shows an out-of-state gathering, likely also in Florida. The figure on the right of the group photo wears a hat with a Patriot Front patch, signaling his membership in the organization. This person’s wrist area – where Hagerty wears his distinctive watch – was blurred to obscure the item.
To recap: by matching social media accounts and photographs, we established that Michael Patrick Hagerty, II, is the “RTT activist from Georgia” discussed by that organization. We also determined that Hagerty was behind “Revocato_Gloria” on Instagram. That account revealed that Hagerty was a member of Patriot Front as well as RTT. Patterns of fascist propaganda in metro Atlanta this year further corroborate our identification.
On the night of January 1st this year, Patriot Front shared photos of propaganda stickers it had placed in Atlanta. Since its founding in 2017, PF has gone through several cycles of activity in our state. PF distributed large amounts of propaganda in metro Atlanta during early 2018 until we exposed its main Georgia organizer, bringing that round of activity to a halt. During 2019, Columbus, Georgia became a new hotspot for PF, which culminated in the organization targeting synagogues in that city. We exposed one of those responsible earlier this year. In the beginning of 2020, Atlanta again emerged as a hub of PF activity through Michael Hagerty, II’s efforts.
Within a few days of Patriot Front’s January 1st brag on social media, we located the organization’s stickers in Atlanta’s Ansley Park neighborhood and removed them. We found a sticker for Our Fight Clothing in the same area. Patriot Front posted on the 2nd that it had also placed materials in Tyrone, Georgia, a town in Fayette County. Over the next two months, Patriot Front would target other communities south of Atlanta along I-85 with propaganda, as well as repeatedly hitting areas in Atlanta. When our organization removed Patriot Front stickers in Tyrone, we found a “Rise Street Team” sticker for RAM in the same park. During January and February, Patriot Front also stickered in Peachtree City, Newnan, Grantville and Hogansville. All these locations are along I-85 and are part of the route from Columbus, Georgia to Atlanta. These locations could have been hit during drives to Columbus from Atlanta, or vice versa. They are also approximate midway points, if people from the two cities wished to meet and place propaganda.
Also in early January, a member of Patriot Front unexpectedly showed up at an anti-war demonstration in Little Five Points in Atlanta, handing out flyers to the crowd opposing the threat of war with Iran. Little Five Points was then repeatedly hit with Patriot Front stickers, with the propaganda typically being removed quickly. We cannot prove that Michael Hagerty, II was responsible for every instance of Patriot Front propaganda that we have outlined so far. However, as time went on it became evident that a single person – a supporter of RAM, a patron of Our Fight Clothing, and a member of Patriot Front – was behind the overwhelming majority of this year’s street propaganda in metro Atlanta.
At the end of March, the fascist “metapolitical organization” Revolt Through Tradition announced its presence in Atlanta with a post about propaganda placed in the city. In the months that followed, PF, RAM, RTT, or Our Fight stickers consistently appeared together along the same routes. By May, our group learned of the “Revocato_Gloria” account on Instagram. This account indicated that he was responsible for sticker campaigns around Atlanta. For example, he noted his pleasure that a photo from a “sticker run I did” – of a RAM sticker near CNN Center in Atlanta – had been shared on a neo-Nazi Telegram channel. When antifascists removed the sticker near CNN, Hagerty or a close associate returned to the spot and left a RTT one there instead.
In our discussion of how we identified Hagerty, we already discussed Hagerty’s trips to Florida, to network and train with Ryan Saxer’s RTT crew. However, that travel was not the extent of Hagerty’s face-to-face networking with fascists and white supremacists. A video released online by PF documenting its “activism” during April, contained a scene labeled “Georgia” showing fight training. Once we identified Hagerty as “Revocato_Gloria” and a PF member, this allowed us to look at the PF video with fresh eyes. Hagerty is one of the two figures in the clip, wearing a “NationalSocialist Hardcore” t-shirt broadcasting his neo-Nazism and wearing a Patriot Front patch on his hat. Hagerty wears focus mitts while the other figure weaves and punches. This other person is Columbus, Georgia, Patriot Front member “John GA” (alias), whose real identity we are still seeking. Last year, “John” targeted Columbus’ synagogues on behalf of Patriot Front, with help from another PF member named Christopher Brooks.
We know that “John GA” is the figure with Hagerty in the PF “April Activism” video for several reasons. Since “John GA” was highly active in Columbus last year and Columbus was also hit with PF propaganda twice this year, the fact that communities located between Atlanta and Columbus were regularly marked with PF stickers already suggests an Atlanta – Columbus PF connection. The individual in the “April Activism” video matches a profile image on Gab that we had linked to “John GA”, as well as the blurry surveillance footage released by Columbus Police after synagogues were targeted. Finally, the individual training with Hagerty wears a long sleeve t-shirt with a triangular logo on its left arm. Last year, “John GA” traveled from Georgia to Panama City Beach, Florida, where he helped other PF members give out flyers at a Trump rally. In a photograph posted to PF social media from the Panama City Beach event, the figure matching “John GA” wears the same distinctive shirt as in this year’s fight training video.
Interestingly, a photo from Hagerty’s “Revocato_Gloria” Instagram was taken at the same location as the PF fight training. In that Instagram image, Hagerty, “John GA” and a third individual pose with a flag for RAM. It is not surprising that Hagerty’s friend “John GA” would pose in a RAM support photo, since in leaked internal communications for PF, “John GA” shared a RAM video and asked how he could write to RAM leader Rob Rundo while Rundo was still in jail (“John GA” post of May 3, 2019 in PF leak). What is noteworthy is that regional fascists seem to use support for RAM interchangeably with PF when they signal their affiliations. This highlights the two white power groups drawing closer together.
Our narrative has focused on events earlier this year, but street propaganda around Atlanta has continued to the present. Propaganda campaigns like those done by Hagerty serve multiple purposes for white power organizations. They mark territory for the groups and encourage other racists in the area. The materials also send a message of intimidation to people of color, Jewish people, Muslims, LGBTQ communities, and so on. For example, when Patriot Front placed materials in Clarkston, east of Atlanta, this February, this was almost certainly because of that community’s sizable immigrant and refugee population. Finally, images from these street-level propaganda campaigns are used by white nationalist groups in their online recruitment efforts, as evidence that they are on the ground and doing something.
In recent months, we have continued to remove Our Fight, PF, RAM and RTT materials in areas such as Midtown and around the Jackson Street Bridge in Old Fourth Ward. In retrospect, some patterns of propaganda activity in Atlanta also offered clues to the identity of “Revocato_Gloria”/Hagerty. In Midtown, one route frequently marked with white power propaganda began (or ended) at the corner of Huff Road and Foster Street in Midtown. Less than a block away on Foster Street is the driveway to the Howard School, which Michael Patrick Hagerty, II graduated in 2019. In early August, we received a tip about an Our Fight sticker placed near the Publix supermarket at West Paces Ferry, which is just over a five-minute drive from the Hagerty family home. Driving a further ten minutes north from that spot leads to Cumberland/Vinings, which Patriot Front boasted of stickering in September. Ten minutes in the opposite direction from the Hagerty family home is the corner of Chattahoochee Ave. and Howell Mill Road, where we found a sticker for The Right Brand (RAM clothing label) in July.
As his Republican uncle campaigns to represent Tennessee in the US Senate, Michael Patrick Hagerty, II has been very politically active in his own crude way. Michael Hagerty, II is an unambiguous fascist and white nationalist, even wearing a t-shirt declaring himself to be a “National Socialist” (i.e. a neo-Nazi). The younger Hagerty is a member of two fascist organizations, Patriot Front and the “metapolitical” Revolt Through Tradition. He also supports the Rise Above Movement, a white power group that made a name for itself through violence. Hagerty has blanketed Atlanta with stickers for PF, RAM, RTT and Our Fight Clothing, a far-Right clothing distributor linked to all three other projects.
Michael Hagerty, II’s white power associates include Ryan Saxer, Florida RTT leader and prospective member for the notoriously violent Vinlanders Social Club, and “John GA”, the PF member who targeted synagogues in Columbus, Georgia last year. Hagerty has been pictured training for violence with both of these individuals. Meanwhile, his Trump loyalist uncle insists that anti-fascists are the true “domestic terrorists”, to distract from the white nationalist movement’s murderous track record. While the young Hagerty organizes in the white supremacist underground, he has a friend in high places.
If you have further information on Michael Hagerty, II, his associates, or any of the white power groups mentioned in this article, please get in touch.
Thanks to Corvallis Antifa for help on this article.