American Renaissance conference smashed- Again!

The weekend of February 4th-6th 2011, the white nationalists of American Renaissance tried to resurrect their destroyed conference of 2010, this time trying Charlotte NC instead of their usual metro DC conference. NEFAC joined on to a coalition spearheaded by One People's Project and the Southern Anti-Racism Network to make sure that the AmRen conference didn't happen smoothly. And it didn't. AmRen 2011 was cancelled. And in its place, Charlotte had a forum on combatting white supremacy.

Every two years since the mid 1990s American Renaissance, a white supremacist magazine loaded to the brim with pseudo-science about the supposed genetic inferiority of non-whites run the by the New Century Foundation, holds its conference, usually in the metro Washington DC area where the mag is based.

Over the years, resistance to the magazine and its racist claims has grown, culminating in 2010 with enough outrage (not to mention some excellent work by DC area antifa, including local NEFACers) to force a shut down. Four separate hotels were tricked into booking the conference, and each time once the nature of the conference was exposed the hotel booted AmRen out and slammed the doors behind them. AmRen editor Jared Taylor was finally forced to pull the plug.

After years of hosting the AmRen conference in the DC area, Taylor was forced to relocate his conference, attempting a do-over February 4th-6th in Charlotte, NC where he presumably thought his conference would be safe. Baltimore-Washington NEFACers joined into a coalition with One People’s Project, the Southern Anti-Racism Network, Charlotte Anti-Racist Action, the North Carolina Green Party, the SC AFL-CIO, the Independent Progressive Politics Network, and several other groups, to once again try and shut down the AmRen conference. A few months of planning paid off in the weeks before the conference. The hotel- that was supposed to remain secret until 48 hours prior to the conference- was uncoverd as the Sheraton Charlotte Airport. The hotel followed DC hotels’ suit, and promptly axed their contract with AmRen. This time, Taylor wasn’t able to find a new venue, and cancelled his conference for the second time in a row. Even their attempt at web streaming the conference speakers’ addresses ran into problems (although as of this report the details of those problems are unknown) and was called off.

Whether or not the AmRen conference ended up happening, our plan remained the same. We held a morning rally in downtown Charlotte at Marshall Park, at the feet of a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. Rather than a counter-rally this became a victory celebration, and despite online posturing and threats of fascist interference, it went off without a hitch. We then put together a forum on combating white supremacy at the West Blvd library, opened by a member of Charlotte’s public relations council, with speeches from various individuals from various groups involved in the AmRen counter as well as some general discussion. A solid consensus was reached at the end- countering fascist groups is important, but more important is the longer, harder fight against institutional racism and white privilege.

Among groups organizing our opposition there were some stark political disagreements (as could be expected for a coalition with such a wide array of organizations), but at the end of the day we remained united and our efforts were a massive success. We threw a major, potentially permanent wrench in the gears of the AmRen hate machine. Taylor has said they will not return to Charlotte, and the tradition of the AmRen conference may be forever abandoned. All in all, a great victory for the anti-racist movement.