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.
Update 8/11/2020: Marjorie Taylor Greene won in the GA14 Republican runoff and will likely head to Congress. Matt Gurtler was defeated in GA09.
On August 11th, Georgia Congressional candidates Marjorie Taylor Greene (14th District) and Matt Gurtler (9th District) will compete in runoff elections for their Districts’ Republican nominations. Greene faces John Cowan for the 14th District nomination, while Gurtler is competing against Andrew Clyde in the 9th District. Both the 9th and the 14th Districts lean heavily Republican, so whoever wins the GOP nomination for each of these districts is likely to take a seat in Congress. Both Greene and Gurtler have ties to American Patriots USA, an ostensibly pro-Trump organization with roots in the neo-Nazi and Klan undergrounds.
We have covered the “American Patriots USA” (APUSA) organization in north Georgia since it was formed last year, in the wake of a September far-Right rally in Dahlonega. That rally’s organizer and APUSA’s leader, Chester Doles, has a history spanning decades in the white supremacist movement. Doles led a Ku Klux Klan group, operated the Georgia unit of the neo-Nazi “National Alliance”, and more recently supported the violent Hammerskins racist gang. Other white nationalists are also involved with APUSA, and Doles has boasted that there is no “Jew loving [… in] this Crew”. The organization has also built tactical alliances with some far-Right people of color.
As we documented in our May article, Doles has now built bridges to Republican candidates. In late February, Doles and other members posed with Marjorie Taylor Greene behind an APUSA banner. In March, State House Representative and current GA09 candidate Matt Gurtler talked to an APUSA meeting and posed for a group photo.
Update 7/19/2020: The III% Security Force, an Islamophobic far-Right militia headed by Chris Hill, yesterday reversed its earlier position and stated it will rally at Stone Mountain on August 15th.
On August 15, 2020, far-Right demonstrators will rally at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta. The August 15 rally, held at the birthplace of the modern Ku Klux Klan, is being promoted and partially organized by figures tied to neo-Nazism and the white supremacist movement. Although some organizers claim to represent “Heritage Not Hate”, a closer look at who is mobilizing shows that August 15 will bring an influx of racists to the surrounding community.
Last night, State House Representative and candidate in the Republican primary for the 9th Congressional District, Matt Gurtler, issued a statement decrying “sleazy attacks” and the “fake news media”. These comments arrived two months after Gurtler talked to a meeting of American Patriots USA (APUSA) – a white nationalist front group founded by Klansmen and neo-Nazis – and two days after the story broke in the media.
In his comments to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Matt Gurtler doubled down by calling APUSA a “pro-gun, conservative group that supports President Trump”. At the March meeting, Gurtler portrayed the organization as a positive response to “socialism on the rise”.
The core members of APUSA are committed white supremacists. Founder Chester Doles is an unreformed neo-Nazi who continues to network within the racist scene and circulate its propaganda. Another key APUSA member, Michael Carothers AKA Michael Weaver, maintains the “White Information Network” site, where he asks readers to support terrorists such as “Olympic Park Bomber” Eric Rudolph.
Militant white nationalists have led
a wave of terror in recent years, with outrages such as the Tree of Life
synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh in 2018; the Christchurch, New Zealand
mosque attacks last year; and August’s racist massacre in El Paso. While
Gurtler mouths empty catchphrases such as, “Racism doesn’t have any place in
our community”, his actions embolden the racist movement.
It is reprehensible for Matt Gurtler to hide behind his “Mexican-American” wife after supporting white supremacists. His wife’s ancestry is irrelevant to Gurtler’s political decision. Gurtler’s response is particularly obscene since APUSA founder Chester Doles has targeted and scapegoated Latino communities in north Georgia for twenty years.
Instead of admitting poor judgment,
Gurtler howls for his critics to “Bring it.”
If you oppose antisemitism and white supremacy, speak out when they are normalized.
8/10/2020: update on Matt Gurtler and Marjorie Taylor Greene here.
As this report was being prepared for publication Thursday evening, far-Right militiaman and 9th Congressional District candidate Michael Boggus released a video on Facebook, stating that he is the new State Director for American Patriots USA. Since neo-Nazi Chester Doles and the white supremacists around Doles remain in the organization, we assume this is a shell game.
Summary: American Patriots USA (APUSA) was formed last year in north Georgia by Chester Doles, a longtime neo-Nazi. As documented in this and earlierreports, the organization is a thinly disguised front group for white supremacists. APUSA has spent the last few months building a broader front of “constitutionalist” Republican candidates, including several people of color, which it uses to mask its agenda. The white power organization even hosted a current State House Representative, Matthew Gurtler, at their March meeting. We document APUSA’s “Trojan horse” effort and highlight the complicity of GOP candidates and networks in normalizing white supremacist organizing.
The initial invitation for the Dahlonega “Trump” event featured antisemitic imagery. A new flyer has now been produced to better mask the nature of the event. Doles has clearly indicated that the Dahlonega rally aims to intimidate his perceived political enemies in North Georgia, in particular liberal activists who Doles portrays as “antifa”. Doles is organizing a “security” team who are readying for violence and has made a special appeal for his old associates from the National Alliance (once the foremost neo-Nazi group in North America) to attend. For further information on the rally and on Chester Doles’ history, see our longer alert here.
The national director of Bikers for Trump, Dale Herndon, has now withdrawn support for the Nazi-organized rally. However, Chester Doles is still attempting to swell his rally’s numbers with Trump Republicans while simultaneously working closely with militant white supremacists.
Chester Doles, a longtime neo-Nazi and “fourth-generation” Klansman, is organizing a pro-Trump rally in downtown Dahlonega, Georgia, scheduled to take place on the afternoon of Saturday, September 14. The Dahlonega rally is an attempt by Doles to draw pro-Trump rightists closer to his own neo-Nazi politics, seemingly with some success. The planned rally is also promoted on Stormfront, a white supremacist website which has been linked to almost a hundred murders.
Dahlonega is a small city in north Georgia, approximately an hour and a half northeast from Atlanta and home to the University of North Georgia. In 2017, Dahlonega made headlines when a Ku Klux Klan sign was prominently displayed on a building in the downtown area – an attempt by an angry property owner to embarrass the city. Chester Doles – who lives in Dahlonega and has a past as a real Klan leader – was seeminglyin on the 2017 stunt.
Doles has a long history in the white supremacist movement. While in Maryland, Doles led a Klan group. After serving prison time for assaulting a Black man (followed by a burglary conviction for which he got probation), Doles moved to Georgia, where he led the Georgia unit of the National Alliance, which was once the foremost neo-Nazi organization in the United States. In 2003, Doles was arrested for being a felon in possession of firearms. Doles eventually pled guilty and was released in 2008. More recently, Doles organized with Crew 38, which is the supporter group of the violent Hammerskin Nation racist gang. Doles gave a speech at the Hammerskin Nations’ 2016 national gathering at a Klan bar outside Atlanta.
Update 6/27/2019: Your Exterior Pros have removed Charles Robertson’s bio from their website. They are telling callers that Robertson is not employed there. If you have further info on Robertson or others mentioned in this piece, please get in touch.
On March 8-10, 2019, the racist “Identitarian” organization Identity Evropa (IE) held its annual conference in Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park in Kentucky. Earlier that week, independent journalism collective Unicorn Riot leaked internal communications from IE, exposing their private conversations for public scrutiny. While IE attempts a clean-cut and respectable image, the organization helped make 2017’s violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville possible. The organization’s chat logs make their racist and antisemitic agenda unambiguously clear. On the Friday of IE’s 2019 conference, the organization’s third leader, Patrick Casey, announced that the group was now named the “American Identity Movement” (AmIM), rebranding in an attempt to lose some of the organization’s earlier stigma. On the Sunday, IE/AmIM demonstrated at the State Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee: their first official action under the new name.
Atlanta Antifascists have been following Identity Evropa in Georgia for years. We have consistently exposed members of this white nationalist group to their neighbors, coworkers, and classmates, both to warn the broader community and to bring some repercussions for building the racist movement. With this article, we are naming five more members of IE in our state. Most – perhaps all – are also part of the “American Identity Movement” rebranded version of the organization. Three live in or near Savannah, Georgia, while the other two are in metro Atlanta.
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.