White nationalist fliers removed from village stop signs
- Published: September 1, 2017
Five stop signs on and near the Antioch College campus were defaced with white nationalist fliers overnight between Sunday, Aug. 27, and Monday, Aug. 28, according to Yellow Springs police. Stop signs at four intersections were affected, including the intersection of Corry and Limestone streets and three intersections along Livermore Street — at East Davis Street, East South College Street (in front of the Antioch Wellness Center) and Allen Street.
According to Sgt. Joshuah Knapp, police were notified by a Village Council member via a citizen tip around noon Monday, and Village crews were sent out shortly thereafter to remove the fliers, which were pasted onto the front side of the stop signs. Some of the fliers had already been partially removed. In one case, a stop sign had to be replaced because the flier’s residue could not be adequately cleaned off, Knapp said.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for posting the fliers, according to Knapp on Monday. An investigation into the incident is ongoing. If a suspect is identified, charges could include criminal mischief and criminal damaging, both mid-level misdemeanors.
“It is hard to tell at this point whether this is an actual sanctioned event by a particular group, or if it was done by someone trying to cause an issue,” Knapp said.
Photos of fliers posted on the Yellow Springs Open Discussion Facebook page by Antioch College Assistant Professor Michael Casselli show that they featured slogans such as “Serve Your People,” “Our Future Belongs to Us” and “Protect the Family: Reject Degeneracy,” along with imagery of classical Greek statues and other graphics. Some of the fliers had contact information linking them to American Vanguard, a white nationalist organization, while others were identified with the name of a separate organization, Identity Evropa. Fliers from both organizations have appeared on a number of U.S. college campuses as part of an apparent recruitment campaign, according to a March 6, 2017, report in the Washington Post.
As of Tuesday, there were no other reports of similar fliers posted on campus or in other locations around Yellow Springs, according to Knapp. Several anti-white supremacy fliers were hung in the downtown area and removed by police early Tuesday, he said. Police plan to conduct extra patrols in the affected areas over the next few days.
Three Antioch College students took par t in counter-demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month to protest the “Unite the Right” rally there. Identity Evropa was among the white nationalist groups represented at that rally. Antioch College spokesperson Mark Reynolds said Monday there was no evidence of a link between the students’ participation in the Charlottesville counter-protests and the appearance of fliers on campus.
According to Reynolds, Antioch campus security contacted self-described militia group West Ohio Minutemen late Monday regarding the incident. A truck displaying allegiance to the group had been spotted in Yellow Springs on Sunday evening. The West Ohio Minutemen spokesperson reportedly told campus security the group was not involved in the incident.