Update 9/2/2021: Organizers have officially canceled the far-Right conference.
Update: On the site for his District 14 labor commissioner run, Georgia State Senator Bruce Thompson confirmed he is speaking at the “Christian Veterans United” conference.
Warning: This article contains descriptions of rape.
Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh, a notorious far-Right antisemite, misogynist, and rape apologist, is a featured speaker at the upcoming “Faith and Freedom Men’s Conference” organized by Christian Veterans United. The conference is scheduled to take place on September 10th and 11th, in or near metro Atlanta. Two venues, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead and the First Baptist Church in Woodstock, have so far canceled use of their spaces after learning of the event’s true nature. Organizers are vowing to go ahead with the event but have not publicly announced their new venue.
As well as Valizadeh, the Christian Veterans United website lists Jesse Lee Peterson, a rightwing commentator who bemoans women’s suffrage, and Bruce Thompson, Georgia State Senator representing District 14, as event speakers. By appearing alongside Valizadeh, perhaps the world’s most notorious women-hating propagandist, State Senator Thompson would normalize Jew-hatred and violence against women.
At the time of publication, Thompson has not responded to a request to confirm his appearance at the Conference, though his name and image feature on the event’s website. We will update this article if Thompson issues a clarification.
Update: the far-Right gathering was canceled at the last minute due to organizer Rachel Tsimmerman experiencing a medical emergency.
On the weekend of August 20-22, “76 Fest Georgia” will be held at pioneer camp site 04 of F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Harris County, Georgia. All three advertised speakers for 76 Fest have ties to the far-Right American Populist Union (APU), with one being APU’s co-founder and vice president Vince Dao.
APU is a Generation Z-centered, ultranationalist organization founded earlier this year. APU aims to push the US conservative movement even further right on social issues. In this regard, APU closely resembles the “groyper” movement of white nationalist and Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes. The primary difference between APU and Fuentes’ America First/“groyper” movement is optics: APU believes that Fuentes has acquired too much stigma from being an open racist. APU, by contrast, strives for a more respectable public face. As Political Research Associates point out, APU positions itself as being in dialogue but also in tension with Fuentes’ “groypers”. Fuentes for his part swipes at APU for being a poor imitation of his original.
76 Fest advertises itself as “bringing America First values to youth nationwide through an outdoor experience.” 76Fest LLC was registered as business in South Carolina this June, with Jackson L. Avery listed as its agent. Jackson Lee Avery is the College Republicans chairman at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. (Avery grew up in South Carolina.) Avery also helped organize a “Conservative Coachella” event held in Maryland this May, which featured APU figures Vince Dao and John Doyle as speakers. “Conservative Coachella” was a precursor to 76 Fest; following the Georgia gathering, a “76Fest Delaware” is now advertised for September.
76 Fest calls itself “uncancellable,” stating that “we do not engage in cancel culture” at its events. No matter how far-Right someone is, they are welcome at the gathering. The festival website also claims that some of the event speakers will not be livestreamed or broadcast, meaning that these speakers can freely express their racism, misogyny, and other bigotry to a receptive crowd without those words coming back to haunt them.