We Had a Spy on the Inside, That’s Right, Patrik Hermansson

By Dr. Joe Mulhall, Senior Researcher, HOPE Not Hate

On Tuesday this week, we at HOPE Not Hate, released our groundbreaking new report, “The International Alternative Right: From Charlottesville to the White House”. It is the most comprehensive yet produced on the so-called alt-right and explains in detail what we think it is, explores its worrying influence and how it operates.

The New York Times covered the yearlong infiltration by a HOPE Not Hate source inside the alt-right on both sides of the Atlantic. It was the most extensive infiltration of the alt-right ever undertaken and the whole story can be found inside our report and a full documentary is on the way.

Unsurprisingly, HOPE Not Hate’s work has become the talk of the alt-right and the recriminations have begun to fly. Almost all of the biggest names in the alt-right communities have passed comment on it, including Richard Spencer, Jason Jorjani, Daniel Friberg, Kevin MacDonald, Greg Johnson and Paul Joseph Watson.

This report coincides with the launch of HOPE Not Hate in America and if you are interested in keeping up with our research and campaigns, sign up here.

What’s in the report?

The report is the largest and most comprehensive yet produced on the international Alternative Right. Despite having its roots stretching back decades, the Alternative Right is a relatively new movement and remains misunderstood. Our report lays out clearly HOPE Not Hate’s definition of the international Alternative Right and its two distinct wings, the alt-right and alt-light. The report explains in detail how this movement functions and, most importantly, why we feel it matters.

Importantly, as this is an extremely broad movement, we also explain the nuances, fault lines and divisions that mark out the two sides of this movement, the hard-core alt-right and the less extreme, but possibly more dangerous, alt-light. And we outline and define the many obscure, esoteric and extreme movements that converge to make up the broad Alternative Right ranging from European Identitarians, survivalists, neo-reactionaries and the manosphere, to name just a few.

It also profiles all of the key players in both the alt-light and the alt-right, as well as all the key organizations and media platforms.

Over the coming weeks, we will be adding further essays to the report website showing how genuinely transnational the Alternative Right is by tracing the ideology of the movement back to its European far-right roots. Other upcoming essays will explore the Alternative Rights’ attitudes to gender, sexuality and masculinity.

However, what really marks this report out as unique is that HOPE Not Hate got inside the international racist alt-right. Over the last year, we have infiltrated the very heart of the UK far-right, from which we have gained access to some of the most important alt-right figures in the world. The information we gleaned is spread across this report and the whole story is also told in detail. This unprecedented access allows us to understand the alt-right like never before and allows us to expose their often extreme and sometimes dangerous world. This report includes bizarre and even funny details about the esoteric and extreme UK movement, never before seen photos of leading American alt-right figures such as Greg Johnson, and exposes claims by Jason Jorjani from AltRight Corp that he had links to the Trump administration.

A Difficult Challenge

Importantly, on both sides of the Atlantic, the Alternative Right has managed to galvanize a whole new generation of far-right activists. While a smattering of long term far right stalwarts have adopted the moniker, the Alternative Right is, at its core, driven by young people. It is hard to remember a far-right movement that has succeeded in attracting so many young activists, including many not archetypically drawn to fringe right-wing politics.

The international Alternative Right possess a real challenge to its political rivals and the broad anti-racist movement. Whether it is anonymous image boards like 4Chan, uncountable numbers of anonymous Twitter profiles or endless closed Facebook groups full of false accounts, the vast majority of Alternative Right activists are completely unknown.

This means the cost of far-right activism is becoming ever lower. Someone can be ensconced in a bedroom anywhere in the world and publish anti-Semitic, sexist, racist or homophobic content relatively safe in the knowledge that the chances of repercussions, either social or legal, are extremely unlikely.

Being primarily online (although with offline outlets), this movement is also genuinely transnational, perhaps to an unparalleled extent in far-right terms. The internet enables the rapid spread of ideas and iconography across borders. Activists in different countries can work together, share news, resources and funds, become aware of, be angered or inspired by the same world events or stories in real time.

This makes some traditional anti-racist tactics redundant and severely limits the effectiveness of those restricting their opposition to one country. Just as they work across borders, so too must the anti-racist movement, if it is to fight back. That is why we are launching in America and we hope you will support us.

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The above is an excerpt from Ctrl Alt Right Delete, a weekly newsletter devoted to understanding how the right operates online and developing strategies and tactics to fight back.

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Melissa Ryan

Politics + technology. Author of Ctrl Alt Right Delete newsletter. Subscribe here: https://goo.gl/c74Vva. Coffee drinker. Kentucky basketball fan.