Posted on October 19, 2018

Fighting for the Rights to Speak and Assemble

Henry Wolff, American Renaissance, October 19, 2018

American Renaissance is fighting for the rights of all dissidents.

Taylor v. Twitter

In February, we sued Twitter for permanently suspending our accounts. Our complaint was based on several causes of action, the most far-reaching of which would apply the free speech provisions of the California Constitution to Twitter and all other California-based companies. Final victory on those grounds would essentially end viewpoint-based censorship on the internet.

In June, Twitter lost a motion to dismiss our suit. Judge Harold Kahn ruled that the suit could go forward, but only on our claim that Twitter had violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) by falsely declaring itself a free-speech platform. Twitter then appealed this decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which, without hearing arguments from our lawyers, ordered Judge Kahn to reverse his decision. Judge Kahn did so, also without hearing our arguments.

Our lawyers believe both the appeals court decision and Judge Kahn’s reversal violated our rights to due process, and that the legal basis for Judge Kahn’s reversal is unsound. We therefore filed a motion for reconsideration that will be argued before Judge Kahn on November 14. If that motion fails, we will appeal our entire case — including our more far-reaching causes of action — to the appeals court. If our motion for reconsideration succeeds, we expect to take Twitter to trial on the UCL claim and then appeal our broader causes of action once a verdict is reached.

The short of it is this: We are still very much in this fight to protect free speech on the internet. Since our ban, social media companies have begun censoring even the most inoffensive conservatives. Twitter will fight us every step of the way, but we can’t stop now. Already, the suit has cost us more than we have raised to fight this vitally important battle. Please send us your most generous gift to support this suit (include a comment that it is for Taylor v. Twitter).

You can find the full case history and all filings here.

 New Century Foundation v. Robertson

We’re suing to secure our offline speech rights as well.

Every year beginning in 2012, American Renaissance has held conferences at Montgomery Bell State Park just outside Nashville, Tennessee. Every year, protesters demonstrate outside our event and park rangers keep the peace. This year, for the first time, the park added a 10 percent surcharge to our total bill to help cover this security. For next year’s contract, they included a provision that would obligate us to pay potentially unlimited fees for security and for damage caused to the park.

This would encourage protesters to threaten massive disruptions, force the park to hire a costly security force, and make us foot the bill. We cannot afford to pay the additional $30,000 or more that the park would probably charge us, so we would no longer be able to hold conferences. This amounts to a heckler’s veto — a violation of free speech that the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional in Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement.

Therefore, we are suing Tennessee State Parks and have filed an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction to compel the park to offer us a clean contract without the security provision. We are represented by Van Irion, who is being assisted by Kyle Bristow. Mr. Irion argued for the injunction — against eight opposing lawyers from the state attorney general’s office — before Judge Aleta A. Trauger earlier this month. We expect a decision soon.

Much is at stake. In June, the American Freedom Party — another dissident group — held a conference at Montgomery Bell. Their contract required a 20 percent surcharge for security, which the party agreed to pay. After the event, Montgomery Bell issued an invoice for an additional $21,000 for security and will not let the party sign a new contract until that bill is paid. In September, the League of the South had to cancel an event at another Tennessee park when authorities demanded that the League take out an insurance policy for nearly $5,000 and pay potentially unlimited security fees.

Clearly, the State of Tennessee wants to stop dissidents from holding meetings. A victory in our case would keep public facilities remain open for all lawful groups. The full case history for New Century Foundation v. Robertson is available by paid subscription here. Our initial complaint is here.

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Lawsuits are expensive, but we’re determined to fight for the rights to speak and assemble. We’re a small non-profit fighting well above our weight: Twitter has retained a top D.C. law firm and Tennessee is using a fleet of lawyers from the state attorney general’s office. We’re confident in both cases that the laws are on our side. We have very capable lawyers and they have cut their fees substantially for us, but they can’t work for free.

The movement for race realism and white advocacy is at a critical stage. We’ve made tremendous gains and seen the birth of an entire movement, but that movement will be stillborn if we lose access to social media platforms and public meeting facilities. We would be back to handing out pamphlets, word of mouth, newsletters, and the occasional hit piece from mainstream outlets. We must act — while we still can — or be throttled. These cases are critically importantPlease donate to support our efforts.