Campus News

Fliers promoting alt-right groups found on campus


At least nine fliers promoting groups associated with the so-called “alt-right” were posted around campus on Tuesday. | Greg Fails/The Cougar

Several fliers promoting so-called “alt-right” groups were found Tuesday morning posted on bulletin boards and dropped in newsstands across the University of Houston campus.

Six of the nine fliers, which contain an image of a protester wearing a gas mask and carrying a shield and American flag instructing readers to “report Antifa Activity to your Local Proud Boys or Alt-Knights #Maga,” were found by members of The Cougar at the courtyard within the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication.

The other three fliers were found taped to the Cougar Postings board between Agnes Arnold Hall and the Science and Research 1 building and dropped in a newsstand in Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall near Einstein Bros. Another was on a bulletin board at the Blaffer Art Museum taped to another flier which promoted an anti-fascism website.

According to the group’s Facebook page, the Proud Boys value “minimal government, maximum freedom, anti-political correctness, anti-racial guilt, pro-gun rights, anti-Drug War, closed borders, anti-masturbation, venerating entrepreneurs, venerating housewives, and reinstating a spirit of Western chauvinism during an age of globalism and multiculturalism.”

The Proud Boys group — which was founded by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016 — accompanied the recently formed “Alt Knights” during April protests at the University of California, Berkeley where the two organizations clashed with members of Antifa, a “worldwide anti-fascist organization.”

“What’s been going on, until recently, is the communist group Antifa has been showing up in face masks to attack people on the right,” said “Alt Knights” founder Kyle Chapman, 41, in an interview with The Cougar. Chapman goes by the moniker “Based Stickman” online, and he said the individual pictured on the fliers spread throughout campus is supposed to be him.

The organization, which Chapman called a grassroots movement led by people “inspired by the battles at Berkeley,” has no official structure. Its members’ purpose is to attend free speech events to protect protesters on the right from physical assault, he said.

Chapman said he didn’t know who posted the fliers at UH, but he said active members of his group live in Houston.

“The alt-right phenomenon is one that has been very difficult and odd for the conservative movement on campuses,” said history senior Matt Wiltshire, former president of the College Republicans at UH. “It takes certain aspects of the right and left and combines them into something that I don’t think is a political philosophy.”

Wiltshire said the College Republicans and Young Americans for Liberty were unaware of the fliers and both groups should not be associated with the alt-right. He said he believes the fliers may be connected to what he called a “nasty feud” between the YAL and the UH chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.

“The posting of fliers doesn’t sound like tactics used by the alt-right. It sounds like that of the left — like, say, the Students for a Democratic Society,” Wiltshire said. 

History senior and President of the YAL chapter Michael Anderson said he agrees with Wiltshire’s assertion that the fliers were planted by a left-wing group. He acknowledged the existence of a feud between the organization and Students for a Democratic Society, calling it “kind of petty” and “kind of funny.”

A spokesperson for the Students for a Democratic Society at UH denied the allegations. The group advocated for students to tear down similar fliers “on sight.”

“They are full of s***, and we are confident that many students are well aware that white supremacism is on the rise and very real in Texas and across the United States,” the group said in a message to The Cougar from its Facebook page. 

“These flyers were put up by groups organizing explicitly around the banner of white nationalism in an ongoing effort to intimidate and target oppressed communities, anti-racist organizers, and local progressive forces.” 

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  • Sounds like the alt-right stands with fundamental American principles like the 1790 Naturalization Act. Being anti alt-right is being anti-american.

  • “Antifa” is a “domestic terrorist” organization BY DEFINITION according to US law. The legal, statutory definition of “domestic terrorism” is located at 18 USC § 2331: a person is a “domestic terrorist” if they commit acts “which appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion”.

    How is “antifa” allowed to exist when the sole purpose of their existence is to commit dangerous and illegal acts intended to intimidate and coerce the public? How is it legal? All antifas should be arrested and indefinitely interned as unlawful enemy combatants.

  • Given SDS’s response, I definitely believe that they posted them to make the Proud Boys look bad.

  • So what’s the problem? Flyers were posted which made no threats and used no pejorative language. The flyers referenced “antifa” but the article gives no response from any antifa groups, nor did the author ask the local people interviewed about antifa. Why were the flyers described as “promoting alt-right groups” rather than “opposing antifa?”

    • 1. The flyers also violate UH’s flyer policies. 2. To have one’s flyers legally posted, they have to be from a registered organization which has gone through UH’s campus organization workshops and who adhere to its organizational guidelines. It doesn’t matter if they were flyers of Martha Stewart inviting people to a microwave cooking party, they’re in defiance of standing policy. DC didn’t mention that either, which you probably didn’t notice.

      • You are not being honest. This story has nothing to do with UH’s flyering policy and everything to do with the political content of these particular flyers.

        • I think I know what the policy is since I’m the former president of a student club there. Flyers which do not conform to said policy can be and often are removed. The content is irrelevant. There are very strict school policies club officers/ members have to follow if they want to advert on school property. Outside groups have no say.

          • You continue to be dishonest. The flyering policy is not relevant to the article, which is entirely focused on the content of the flyers.

            • I mentioned the rules precisely because it was not mentioned in the article. Like your comment, the content of the flyer is irrelevant. Any flyer located on UH property in a place disallowed by UH flyer policy, is subject to removal. Period. The fact that the article omitted that very relevant detail was why I mentioned its since its removal probably had more to do with a violation than anything else. What you belive is also irrelevant. to me.

  • Both student organizations are annoying, actually they all are. Doubt any of those kids even understand what their parties really do.

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