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Ethnic nationalists posters removed at York College

Written by Angie Mason/The York Daily Record | Mar 16, 2017 10:23 AM
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These posters appeared recently on the York College campus.(Photo: Submitted)

(York) -- Posters linked to an ethnic nationalist group that appeared around York College recently have since been removed, the college said Tuesday.

Student Andrey Romanov wrote a letter to the York Daily Record/Sunday News, stating that posters from the group "Identity Evropa" had appeared on campus. The posters included images of Greek thinkers, with slogans like "Our future belongs to us" and "Let's become great again."

Romanov wrote of the group's ties to white nationalists and said that "this seems to be an attempt at normalizing, through polished looks, intriguing posters, a sleazy name, ethnic nationalism. And last time we saw ethnic nationalism be normalized and widely accepted, Hitlerjugend was drawing yellow Stars of David on Jewish-owned stores."

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists Identity Evropa among "active white nationalist hate groups" active in 2016, and one of several that have been trying to make inroads on college campuses.  An article on the center's website says the organization was started last year by Nathan Damigo, previously linked to the white nationalist American Freedom Party.

Identity Evropa describes itself as a group of "awakened Europeans" opposed to those who would "defame our history and rich cultural heritage." A membership form on the group's website asks if the applicant is of European, non-Semitic heritage.

The group has been posting photos of the posters on college campuses, including York College, on Twitter with the hashtag #projectsiege.

York College spokeswoman Mary Dolheimer said in an email that a number of the posters were removed on Monday and that some students had taken it upon themselves to remove others. The college's student handbook says anyone wishing to post information or fliers must have the posters approved and stamped by the college's Office of Student Activities and Orientation.

"York College identifies itself 'as a diverse community of educators and learners' in its mission statement. As such, we do not tolerate or condone any group that promotes hate or the dehumanization of others," college President Pamela Gunter-Smith said in a statement.

"We are proud of our student, who has used important critical thinking skills to identify the real motives behind seemingly benign images and had the courage to denounce intolerance masquerading as cultural pride."

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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