For those lucky enough to have never heard of him, Joey Gibson is the leader of the violent, far-right gang, Patriot Prayer. He is also a frequent suitor of other hate groups including the self-described "western chauvinist" Proud Boys and the openly white supremacist Identity Evropa.
Now it appears that Gibson, fresh off the heels of an embarrassingly unsupported run for a US Senate seat, will be showing his face in our very own Great Lakes/Midwest region next month. He is scheduled to speak at an open carry rally at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio on Saturday, September 29th.
The rally is being put on by Zainesville, Ohio native Kaitlin Marie Bennett and Liberty Hangout - a so-called "libertarian" organization Bennett founded during her time as a student at KSU. While attending the university, Bennett also served as president of the school's chapter of Turning Point USA (TPUSA), another right wing group known for its courtship of neo-nazi groups like the Traditionalist Worker Party. TPUSA has also been noted for their propensity for hiring racists into leadership roles, as well as "owning the libs" by donning diapers on campus.
Bennett gained a following among right wing groups when a photo shoot, which depicted her open-carrying an AR-10 rifle on the KSU campus, went viral in May. Now a far-right media darling, she has since gained further notoriety by both mocking Parkland shooting survivor, David Hogg, on social media and openly supporting and appearing on right wing extremist outlets like InfoWars.
Gibson and Bennett aren't the only fash-adjacent (to be generous) names slated to appear at the rally. Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier is listed as a speaker, and according to Bennett's fundraiser for the event, InfoWars propagandist Millie Weaver is also said to be attending.
It's worth noting that many leftists, including most of those within our affinity groups, strongly believe in a well-armed working class. That belief holds especially true for those peoples oppressed due to race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. However, large groups of armed crypto-fascists like Gibson and those he intentionally attracts, stand as a danger and a threat to our communities. This danger both cannot and will not stand unopposed.
Please join us Saturday, September 29th, in standing against Gibson and his violent extremist fanboys, and let them know that fascists and crypto-fascists are unwelcome in Ohio, in the midwest, or anywhere.