Eight anti-immigration flyers posted at American University
Posters part of far-right, worldwide effort on college campuses
Eight flyers with the words “NO means NO” and “#MyBordersMyChoice” were found at the University Monday, Fanta Aw, vice president of campus life, confirmed to The Eagle. The flyers also contained the name and website of a known white supremacist group beneath a map of America.
Four posters were found between the School of International Service and Roper Hall. Four additional flyers were found at Kerwin Hall, Aw told The Eagle. The University has reached out to the Metropolitan Police Department regarding the flyers, Mark Story, the University's director of strategic communications, told The Eagle.
Freshman Abigail Bowers spotted one flyer on their way to Roper Hall Monday at about 12:30 p.m. Bowers said Public Safety officers were already responding to the flyer when Bowers arrived at the residence hall, which is home to a social justice-themed floor.
“I felt worried and angry, of course, because the campus is supposed to be a safe space,” Bowers said. “But, I am not surprised.”
Aw sent an email to students Monday afternoon stating the flyers “contained anti-immigration messages attributed to a Neo-Nazi organization.” She said she does not believe the flyers were specifically targeted to AU.
“These flyers represented part of an international, hateful movement attempting to provoke fear in and intimidate immigrant communities throughout the world,” Aw wrote. “These flyers also are most likely a reaction to the DACA and Women's marches held in Washington, D.C., this past weekend.”
The posters appear to be part of the coordinated #MyBordersMyChoice campaign, a worldwide effort promoted by far-right figures such as Jack Posobiec and white supremacist Chris Cantwell. Organizers instructed followers on forums such as 4chan and Reddit to put up posters “on campuses and public spaces around the world” on Jan. 21.
“Bonus points for putting them in feminism & SJW [social justice warrior] related areas: social science & psychology departments, women’s & gender studies departments, office doors of feminist profs [professors], etc.,” said one widely shared post on Voat, a social media website labeled as the alt-right version of Reddit by the New York Times.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate tracker, a Twitter account that tracks the social media activity of the alt-right, identified #MyBordersMyChoice as a trending topic of alt-right users earlier this month.
Aw said AU police are investigating the incident and will notify the community when more information is known.
The executive board of Student Government said they were “once again outraged” that AU has been targeted “by an outside organization aligned with neo-Nazis.”
“We ask that the university continue to work on safety and security improvements on campus to make students feel safe in their home away from home,” the statement said. “Strides have been made, and we’re confident there are more ahead of us.”
This story will be updated.