In November 2017, white supremacist Chester Doles took a plea deal for two charges of battery in Lumpkin County, Georgia. The charges stem from a brawl involving Doles and other white supremacists affiliated with the Hammerskins gang. The incident took place at Johnny B’s restaurant and bar in Doles’ home city of Dahlonega, December 2016. Chester Doles was still on probation from his plea deal when he organized a far-Right rally in Dahlonega this September.
The battery case and Doles’ probation status have already been covered by the media. However, we are publishing a police report and case files from this incident for the first time. These documents highlight several key members of the Hammerskin Nation racist gang (and its “Crew 38” support formation) who were active in our region circa 2016.
One participant in IE / AmIM is Metro Atlanta white nationalist Jared Alexander Huggins, who seemingly appeared in the crowd at AmIM’s rally in Nashville. Huggins has been involved with Identity Evropa – and has been on the radar of antifascists – since 2016. We have mentioned Huggins in passing several times, but until now have not profiled his activity in depth.
Justin Wayne Peek is the current Georgia coordinator for Identity Evropa (IE), a nationwide racist organization. Peek also serves as IE’s Director of Activism and organizes their protests across the United States, often personally traveling to participate in them.
Justin Peek became involved in the “Alt-Right” and white nationalism in early 2017. After the violence of the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA and the Alt-Right’s subsequent reversal of fortune, IE saw a need to alter its activist strategy. Peek was named as IE’s “activism coordinator” in late 2017 during the leadership of Elliot Kline AKA “Eli Mosley,” but his role only began in earnest under IE’s third and current leader, Patrick Casey. IE now deploys flash protests with just their own members, so that the organization can carefully stage-manage these events and maintain the correct “optics.” By orchestrating IE’s protests of 2018, Peek has played a key role in the organization’s efforts to attract new members and rebrand.
On his old Twitter account, Peek claimed that “Jew [sic] and arabs are disease to this planet” and that “black lives don’t matter.” Peek also circulated pro-Hitler propaganda. IE remains a white power organization, even if it now uses carefully-crafted language of wanting a “European-American super-majority” instead of publicly demanding a whites-only homeland.
Since “Unite the Right,” Identity Evropa has tried to portray itself as having high moral standards for its members, in contrast to other racist groups. Peek’s personal history gives reason to doubt this. In 2012 Justin Peek was arrested in Fulton County for sexual battery. The initial accusation charged Peek with “intentionally […] touching the genital area” of a woman without her consent. Peek eventually accepted a plea deal for the lower charge of simple battery, which involves intentional “physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature.” Court documents from this case are included as an appendix to our article.
In an ongoing series of articles, the coordinating anti-fascist network will publish revealing information about this group and profile its members. You can follow all these articles by following the hashtag #DeBasedDoxx.
Anti-fascism is fundamentally a localized movement of working-class peoples. We are not paid for our work and we take great risks every day: not for fame or money, but to protect our communities.
Anti-racists have discovered that Donovan Stai – currently a senior at Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Georgia – worked throughout 2017 as state leader for Vanguard America, a self-proclaimed “fascist” organization whose website rants about “bloodthirsty negroes” and “Jewish puppet masters.” As a state leader for Vanguard America, Stai propagandized via the “Vanguard Georgia” Twitter account, he assisted with the group’s internal organization, and he participated in campaigns of coordinated harassment. Stai has signaled support for violence and even murder on behalf of his neo-Nazi cause. Given the number of murders committed by neo-Nazis and white supremacists over the last year, we believe that Stai’s embrace of racist violence should concern the community.
Although both Stai’s personal @hldisL twitter as well the Vanguard Georgia account were removed by Twitter in December 2017, there is no sign that Stai has distanced himself from Vanguard America or the white power movement since that time. We now examine some of Donovan Stai’s activity more closely.
While the arson proposal and the Dylann Roof insignia comment from Stai may not have been meant literally, they nevertheless communicated a clear message to his peers: attacks on synagogues and the murder of Black churchgoers are all funny, and these acts may be something to emulate. When diehard racists rile each other up with these sorts of comments, the result is that further acts of violence become more likely.
Due to his neo-Nazi ideology, his comments glorifying intimidation and even murder, and his history of harassment, we believe that community members should be warned about Donovan Stai. After graduation, Donovan Stai hopes to become an emergency medical technician or a firefighter. We believe that Stai should not be allowed to infiltrate these professions. People of Color or Jewish people should not be forced to trust their lives to a member of a neo-Nazi group.
Was Donovan Stai Influenced by White Power Teacher at Whitewater High School?
Since Joshua Hitson’s time as a white nationalist teacher at Whitewater High School overlaps with Donovan Stai’s time there as a student, this suggests several interesting questions. Did Joshua David Hitson play a role in Donovan Stai’s radicalization, or politically mentor Stai in any way? Did Joshua Hitson and Donovan Stai organize together on white nationalist projects?
At present, we do not have enough information to draw definite conclusions. We do know that Joshua Hitson’s “Contrarian Gent” Twitter was one of the first accounts followed by Stai’s “Vanguard Georgia”. Donovan Stai also used his personal Twitter accounts (@hldisL and @JosephRedRay) to retweet “Contrarian Gent” / Hitson. These close online associations suggest that Hitson and Stai may have coordinated politically offline also. If you have more information about Donovan Stai’s racist organizing, including any further links to Joshua David Hitson, we would like to hear from you.
Justin Burger (Douglasville, Georgia), Ian Booton (Gibson, GA) and University of Central Florida Student Simon Michael Dickerman in Far-Right Flash Protest at Burnette Chapel
On Sunday, October 29, white nationalists held a five-person flash protest outside the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee (about twenty minutes from Nashville.) A month earlier, gunman Emanuel Kidega Samson targeted Burnette Chapel, killing one congregation member and wounding seven more. A note left in the shooter’s car allegedly mentioned Dylann Roof, the white supremacist responsible for 2015 massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. White nationalists have now seized on the Burnette Chapel shooting for propaganda purposes, for a couple of reasons. First, the mention of Dylann Roof in the note left in Samson’s vehicle could be used to build a “revenge” narrative around the Antioch shooting — a narrative which is helpful to white nationalists. Second, Emanuel Samson was born in Sudan but spent most of his life in the United States. Far-Right commentators such as Alabama-based League of the South publicist/“Alt-South” blogger Bradley Dean Griffin have seized upon the Antioch shooting to increase racist and anti-immigrant sentiment. The shooting is also useful to white nationalists because it can be used to draw false equivalencies and to deflect attention from their own movement’s role in radicalizing Charleston murderer Dylann Roof.
Throughout the weekend of the “White Lives Matter” rally, rumors swirled that Nationalist Front members would show up in Antioch and hold a protest outside Burnette Chapel. However, no such protest occurred on Friday. On Saturday in Shelbyville, racist organizers announced an evening presence at the Antioch church, but this event was eventually cancelled just as the Murfreesboro demonstration had been earlier. However, the next morning, a handful of militant racists showed up outside Burnette Chapel with a banner, until the arrival of police shooed them away. The flash protest was documented by Newsweek correspondent Michael Hayden. By showing up at a church that had already experienced trauma and violence, the white nationalists made it even plainer that their movement does not care about the Burnette Chapel congregation. The racist movement just hoped to exploit a tragedy for its own agenda.