I had a bad feeling as Saturday began. Nick Fuentes had planned two anti-vax rallies in Manhattan. His anti-vax rally on Staten Island three days prior had gone swimmingly, but there were reasons to feel pessimistic about the Manhattan ones.
In my last article on the Staten Island rally, I concluded by writing, “Hopefully, Wednesday’s Staten Island event won’t turn out to be the torchlight march ahead of Saturday’s Unite the Right.”
People on the Dissident Right like to think of the legendary tiki torchlit march the evening before Unite the Right as the only part of the event that went well. It was a stunning image, but it probably made the following day worse than it would have been otherwise.
First of all, in the months leading up to Charlottesville, it was somewhat uncertain as to how many people would actually show up. Sure, all the leaders had large numbers of listeners for their podcasts, but how many of those people were willing to drive however many hours on their own dime to risk getting doxed and attacked? The torchlight march gave Antifa intel on just how large Unite the Right was going to be. Several White Nationalist groups did not participate in the march, so Antifa knew that there would be even more people there the following day.
As a result, they lost the element of surprise, and Antifa had enough time to put out an “all hands on deck” all-points bulletin. Emily Gorcenski was one of the few Antifa present at the torch march, and recorded the infamous video “Where the fuck are you?” video that went viral overnight: “This is twenty people! This is twenty people! Standing against what is coming!” The Antifa presence at Unite the Right was probably always going to be huge, but some of them may have been on the fence at first and then decided to go after seeing videos of the torchlight march.
The tiki march was a bitch-slap to Antifa. They were made to look weak, and so in order to save face, they had to bring it extra hard at Unite the Right.
This was on my mind going into Saturday, because Nick Fuentes had basically bitch-slapped New York Antifa with his Staten Island rally. Fuentes is called a white supremacist by everyone from Ben Shapiro to the SPLC, and he had walked into Antifa’s backyard and they were complete no-shows. As a matter of self-respect, that has got to sting.
Some might say that this is a sign of Fuentes’ declining relevance. He’s banned from everything, so Antifa don’t consider him a threat anymore. I doubt that. Antifa will invest enormous amounts of time monitoring obscure Telegram chat rooms full of complete nobodies. Fuentes is still of one the most relevant pro-white advocates in the country. If Nick Fuentes is not big enough for Antifa to care about, then who is?
Things were less favorable on Saturday for several reasons. Like with the torchlight march, Antifa were caught off-guard by Nick’s Staten Island rally, but with his Saturday rallies, they knew he was coming and had time to prepare. They also had an idea of how many people he could pull. And the Saturday rallies were not taking place on conservative Staten Island, but Manhattan — a place Jesse Jackson once called “hymietown”.
Nick had two rallies planned for Saturday. The first was at noon outside the Pfizer headquarters. This one I was not so worried about. Like the Staten Island rally, this one was also announced on short notice, and it was likewise happening in a fairly touristy area. 42nd Street is a famous landmark in itself and the rally was happening next to the Chrysler Building and down the street from Grand Central Station, so I was confident that the cops would not allow things to get out of hand.
Plus, the noon rally was being organized by a normie anti-vax group. Nick’s strategy of using normies as human shields, which he began doing during Stop the Steal, is a pretty smart hack. It’s one thing for cops to step aside and let Antifa attack “white supremacists,” but when Antifa are attacking normies, that can force the police to respond (your mileage may vary depending on where you are). And if Antifa can’t tell the normies from the “white supremacists,” that makes things riskier for them.
Then there was another rally at 4 PM outside Gracie Mansion which, for those who don’t know, is the residence of the Mayor of New York. This one I wasn’t feeling very good about. It’s on the Upper East Side. It’s not really that touristy, except to Sex & the City fanatics, and it’s in fact full of wealthy Karens, AWFLs, and SWPLs (and that’s just the gentiles). These are people who would probably have no problem with seeing a bunch of Groypers get beaten up by Antifa while the police stand on the sidelines eating donuts, stopping occasionally to arrest any Groypers who might fight back.
“Call to Action! Defend the BLM Vigil!” the tweet read. I was somewhat taken by surprise by this. I had no idea what BLM vigil they were talking about. This was an anti-vax rally. No one said anything about a BLM vigil. Then I read: “Wherever Nick Fuentes goes, the Nazis will follow. These are the types of people who destroy anything that has to do with BLM.”
Even though no one had said anything about trashing the vigil, we are the type who would. Maybe one of us might get lost, stumble up to it by mistake, and think, “Well, as long as I’m here next to this heavily-policed event with press from all over the world, I might as well commit vandalism.”
To be fair to Antifa, last summer there was an incident where Patriot Front defaced a George Floyd statue in Brooklyn, so it’s not as if no Dissident Right group has ever defaced a BLM memorial in New York City, but to morally equate America First and Patriot Front is likely to offend both of them.
This is clearly race-baiting on the part of Antifa. Blacks are the most vaccine-hesitant of all demographics, so saying that their opponent is going to break up an anti-vax rally isn’t going to anger enough blacks. Thus, they have to make up some bullshit about how the Groypers are going to smash up some BLM vigil. Antifa accuse people like Nick Fuentes of using anti-vax to Trojan-horse White Nationalism, but here Antifa is doing the opposite: appealing to anti-white racism to suppress an anti-vax rally.
I was pleased with myself that I was able to arrive at the noon rally only ten minutes late. After walking a few blocks from the subway, I finally got to 3rd Street and spotted the crowd. But as I got closer, I noticed that, conspicuously, there were no Groypers.
I found a young-looking guy in an America First hat and asked where all the Groypers were. He told me they were all further up the street. I walked further and sure enough, the Groypers had colonized the northwest corner of 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue. The scene was like seeing the Jets from West Side Story returning from the past to once again stake out their little piece of New York City.
It turned out that this rally was called the New York Freedom Rally, and that earlier in the day the organizers had released a statement disavowing America First and kicking Fuentes off the speakers’ list. “Today’s organizers completely disavow infiltrators and trolls attempting to link medical freedom with extremist ideology, namely Nick Fuentes and VaxWatch,” they said in a statement.
Fuentes responded in much the way you would expect him to: “We’ll see you there, bitch.”
So you had two anti-vax rallies occurring on the same street, virtually side-by-side. To get a feel for the size difference, this was the normie rally:
. . . and this was the America First rally:
Initially, the normie rally had the bigger crowd, but as things went on, the Groyper crowd was more lively. They broke out into chants and were having fun. This caused some people from the normie rally to get curious and stroll over to the America First camp to see what all the fuss was about.
I scanned for Antifa but found none. The police presence was good.
Nick hadn’t arrived yet, so everyone was just chilling out. An Asian dude walked up to a group of Groypers and introduced himself. He was a journalist. The Groypers are, of course, suspicious of all press and were apprehensive. I asked the guy to repeat the name of the publication he worked for. He showed me his badge: Epoch Times.
As far as newspapers go, Epoch Times is pretty based. They are Right-wing, pro-Trump, and all that, but they are owned by the Falun Gong, a Chinese cult that has been banned in China and is widely believed to have been started by the CIA. The Falun Gong have a ton of money and have been throwing it around Right-wing circles lately to stir up anti-China sentiment there. Supposedly Steve Bannon is on their payroll. Epoch Times is Falun Gong’s mouthpiece and it is fanatically and hawkishly aggressive towards the Chinese Communist Party.
“Oh,” I said to the reporter. “So you are owned by Falun Gong.”
The reporter nodded and said, “Yes!”
One of the Groypers said, “I bet you have a few CIA people working there.”
The reporter laughed and said, “Probably.”
I’m not kidding. He actually said that.
He then continued: “But we are free speech.”
I said, “Dude, you are owned by a cult.”
The reporter started stammering. “No, Falun Gong is not a cult! It’s meditation!”
There was another Jewish-looking woman with a camera there and the Groypers abused this woman all day, calling her “fake news” and “journalist scum.” She kept denying that she was a journalist, but no one believed her. It turned out that she was actually a photographer for Getty Images; not really a journalist per se, but the Groypers kept picking on her because it was easy to get a rise out of her.
I almost felt sorry for her because she didn’t understand the concept of trolling. Later that evening, I heard her walking away from a group of Gropyers, exasperated and yelling back at them, “I’m not a dyke!” She couldn’t just ignore them. She kept responding to their trolls, which just made it funnier and brought on more trolling.
At last, a car pulled up, a door opened, and Nick Fuentes made his entrance. The Groypers welcomed their hero with a hearty roar. Nick wasted no time in picking up the mic and speechifying. He opened by addressing the elephant in the room: the schism with the normie vax rally down the street. “It’s unfortunate that we had to split with that crowd over there. Boo!”
The Groypers booed right along with him.
“It’s very shameful,” he continued. “And I don’t know if you guys saw it, but we were supposed to rally alongside those people over there. They put a message on Telegram and said we’re trolls, infiltrators, extremists! Are we trolls?”
The Groyper faithful yelled back, “No!”
“Are we extremists?”
The Groypers started crying “No” again.
Nick said, “Well, I will say this. When it comes to being against the vaccine, I am an extremist! Are you?”
The crowd exploded. It was a very clever way to address the issue in a normie-friendly way.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of the above picture. One of the most annoying parts of covering these political rallies is waiting for the wind to blow so you can take a good picture of a flag. You want people to be able to see what is written on it, and here, I wanted to get a picture of the smug Groyper smirking over the sign that reads, “Segregation Is Never the Solution.” It’s the only time I will ever get the chance to take a picture this awesome. I took about 20 pictures trying to get this shot before I finally nailed it.
Baked Alaska was there ,whether you like it or not.
I’ve made my feelings on Baked Alaska known, so I’m not going to harp on it. He might be going to jail soon, anyway, in which case he would become a non-issue. Maybe if he finds a way to stay out of jail, I’ll start complaining about him again, but I’m not going to waste a lot of time on the subject when the whole question could become moot in a few months.
Aside from Fuentes, Baked Alaska was the only other Charlottesville veteran on the Groyper team, although Baked Alaska is the only true Unite the Rally vet (the rally had been called off before Fuentes was able to get to the scene). I never would have guessed that of all the people on the speakers’ list that Baked Alaska would be the one who was still the most relevant four years later. That’s not really a statement of Baked Alaska’s value, but rather everyone else’s lack of it.
Smiley the Fed was also there.
Let me introduce you to this guy with the flag, because he became a somewhat significant character as the day progressed.
That guy is Daby Carreras. I thought he was a bit goofy. Here’s a fun fact about Daby Carreras: He ran for New York City Comptroller in the election earlier this month and got over 200,000 votes. I know that fun fact because Daby mentions it in about every third sentence. After I got home, I fact-checked him and I’ll be damned if the son of a bitch did not in fact get 233,328 votes.
Carreras was over at the normie anti-vax rally but then had some kind of falling out with the organizers, and so defected over to the America First side. I asked him if he knew who Nick Fuentes is. He said that he did not; he only knew that he was now with America First.
He then explained his defection thusly: “They [the normie rally organizers] said all you guys were agent provocateurs, but they are the ones who have agent provocateurs over there. They’ve got people over there wearing garbage bags, trying to make us look bad!”
What’s this about wearing garbage bags? Is that the new tinfoil hat? Is there some new QAnon conspiracy theory out there about a new government weapon that can be foiled by wearing plastic garbage bags? This I had to see. I walked down to the normie rally, and I’ll be damned if there weren’t in fact people wearing what looked to be garbage bags.
Once I saw it, I realized what was going on. The skies were cloudy and it looked like it might rain soon, so these people made some makeshift ponchos out of plastic bags. It did in fact start raining quite heavily about an hour later. If I am wrong, and there is some QAnon conspiracy theory involving garbage bags that I don’t know about, let me know in the comments, but as far as I can tell, “makeshift poncho” is the most likely explanation for this mystery.
As I was walking back to the Groyper camp, a Jew on my Left stopped me and asked, “Are you a protestor?”
I replied, “Sort of. I’m a journalist.”
“Oh, really? A journalist for who?”
I just laughed and said, “You don’t want to know.”
The Jew yelled at me, “I do want to know!” and started giving me a hard time. I told him the truth; he didn’t want to know.
Apparently, this Jew is some kind of pro-Trump journalist/e-celeb himself. I was told that he had had something to do with Fuentes getting kicked off the bill at the normie rally. I don’t know if that is true, but I suspect that it is, ahem, on the nose.
I have to say, today’s protest had some interesting and funny confrontations. Here is one between a Nick Fuentes supporter and a Journalist. pic.twitter.com/BPCftnPeb6
— LUKE2FREEDOM (@L2FTV) November 14, 2021
As for Daby, I thought he was a goofball but he seemed to win over some of the America First crowd, who appreciated that someone from the normie rally stuck up for them, and they appreciated the enthusiasm with which he denounced the organizers who had kicked Nick off the list. As a reward, Nick invited him to speak at the 4 PM anti-vax rally at Gracie Mansion.
During his speech, Daby dropped a bombshell. He revealed that not only did he run for City Comptroller and got over 200,000 votes, but that he actually won the election. Alas, like Donald Trump, Daby was the victim of cruel election fraud. They rigged his election, just like they rigged Trump’s. But fear not, for Daby says he is working on getting the election overturned, and he is happy to report that they are finding more uncounted votes. (Daby’s opponent got 674,229 votes.)
This Daby struck me as a crank who probably got the Republican nomination for an unwinnable race because no one else wanted it, and now thinks he’s a big shot.
There were a few non-white Fuentes supporters present. They are still a small minority of his fans, but there are more than a few of them and they are hard to miss. On this occasion, it worked to Fuentes’ advantage to have a few based blacks around because it set some of the normies’ minds at ease. I saw two normies talking with one of Nick’s black supporters when one of them said to the other, “They told me these guys were white supremacists!” He then pointed to the black Groyper and said, “Does this look like a white supremacist to you?’ The guy seemed legitimately pissed that he had been lied to.
After Nick’s blistering speech on the vax, he stuck around for another hour to meet with fans and sign autographs.
Nick and his friends also took a lot of time to evangelize stray normies and intrigue passersby, explaining to them what America First was about.
The America First rally got slowly bigger as time went on and the rival rally progressively smaller as curious normies drifted over to find out why this Fuentes character had been kicked off the show, and why all the journalists and cameramen were over by Nick rather than at the larger rally.
Around 1:45, Fuentes left the scene. I had some time to kill until the next rally at Gracie Mansion. I figured I could knock out an hour of that hoofing it up to East 86th and East End while smoking cigarettes and listening to shoegaze.
As I made my way north, I checked Twitter again to see what the Antifa chatter was like. No one had mentioned the noon rally, but they had become aware of it as videos of Nick’s speech at 42nd were starting to appear online. So Nick Fuentes had now thrown two rallies in Antifa’s backyard without them even putting up token resistance.
It seemed almost too easy. There has always been speculation that Antifa is a fed operation, and maybe with Trump gone they have outlived their usefulness, and so the feds are cutting their funding. It’s funny how BLM always pops up and dominates the news at times when it is amazingly convenient for the establishment and then slink back into the background when it’s not. Maybe they’ve been demobilized.
Of course, I’m sure some of Nick’s detractors will say that it is because both Nick and Antifa are feds and that it doesn’t make sense for them to have their own assets fighting with each other. Even if that were the case, you would still think that there would be at least a few true-believing Antifa who are not feds who would go confront him regardless.
It seemed to me that Antifa would have to make a big showing at Gracie Mansion if they wanted to maintain any credibility. There was no way that they could allow Nick Fuentes to hold three rallies in New York City and then let him go back to Chicago without ever having facing any resistance. It would send a message to every pro-white group in the country that it was now safe to venture back outside.
It’s like the old Frank Sinatra song, “New York, New York”:
If you can hold a white supremacist rally here,
You can hold a white supremacist rally anywhere,
It’s up to you,
New York, New York
Those lyrics are from an alternate version of the song that was a b-side to “My Way” and released only in Estonia.
I got to Gracie Mansion, and for the first time I saw a small handful of Antifa gathering around the corner. I started to move forward to get a closer look at them but was told by Groyper security not to. Word had come down that the police would protect us, but if America First started provoking Antifa, they would not.
Just then, I saw Baked Alaska and his entourage walk by the Antifa with his text-to-speech superchats, blaring the words “nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger” into the air.
There were already a few dozen Groypers assembled at the Gracie meetup. I was under the impression that this event was being organized by someone else and that America First was only participating in it, but I soon found out that was not the case. There would be no normie human shields for this one.
Things were a bit tenser than they had been earlier in the day. A few Groypers suspected me of being a plant. To be fair, I’m about twice the age of the average Groyper, so I probably did look a bit out of place. I was able to convince them I was not. A distressing number of Groypers have never heard of Counter-Currents.
Baked Alaska and Smiley the Fed were already on the scene, but Nick was nowhere to be seen yet.
The police presence looked okay. There were more cops than Antifa.
Little did I know that the police presence would triple by the end of the rally.
It was quite an experience being on the Upper East Side and hearing chants of “America First,” “Christ is King,” and “We will not comply” echo off the buildings towering over us. The Dissident Right has gone a long way from a niche corner of the internet. It was now holding court in Gossip Girl Land.
The America First crowd started to attract some curious onlookers, such as a trio of Jews who wanted to know who was yelling about Jesus Christ in their neck of the woods.
Some of them may or may not have been Antifa spies.
A lot of people took precautions to protect their identities, but one fellow took it a little too far — and by “too far” I mean into some weird quasi-BDSM territory.
At this point we were still waiting for Mr. Fuentes to arrive, although people seemed to be enjoying themselves and socializing. Even though people want to describe America First as a cult, the Groyper faithful seemed capable of enjoying themselves without Nick. It’s not like they follow him around and hang on his every world. It is more of a community than some give it credit for.
By now, the poor Getty Images lady had been being abused by Groypers for hours and was completely frazzled. “I just want this to end,” she said. “I don’t care what these assholes do. This is a waste of my time.”
I walked back down the street to check on the Antifa situation. They were still a small group, but they had now doubled in size. It looked like they were still waiting on the BLM contingent, which appeared to be running late (of course).
Fuentes finally showed up and got his customary rapturous welcome. He walked straight up to the podium, which was immediately swarmed by the press. They lined up in front of the podium and started taking pictures. The Groypers were unable to see Nick as a result, so he yelled at the press to get the hell out of the way and invited the crowd to come forward. The Groypers did so until they were surrounding Nick and the press were forced to the back.
He opened by giving thanks to the police for their assistance. That was not a guarantee that the police would reciprocate his kindness, but it couldn’t make things worse. Under the circumstances, if something were to go wrong, you would want police on your side, so it was tactically wise.
Throughout, we could hear Antifa and BLM chattering. At one point, Fuentes addressed the situation: “We have to thank the police for protecting us while we’re in New York City, because it’s actually a dangerous environment.” Fuentes pointed down the street. “They have a little Antifa event over there. It’s not as big. They have a little gathering over there. It’s really cute. I saw their Twitter posts. They were saying, ‘We cannot let the fascists rally in this city. Nick Fuentes will not rally here.’ But hey, I was in Staten Island, I was at the Pfizer building, and now I’m at Gracie Mansion in the center of New York City, so what do you think about that?”
The crowd roared.
“They say they’re not going to let me in their city? This is my city! This city belongs to the Groypers!”
The crowd then broke out into chants of “Groyper!”
I went back to check up on the Antifa and there was a big uptick in their activity. They had moved some people closer to us and a lot of them were carrying cameras and taking pictures. It looked like most of the Antifa weren’t black, meaning they had brought in BLM to do the heavy lifting. Maybe Antifa really is defunded. They can’t even bash their own fash.
They were doing recon, trying to get a feel for America First’s numbers. Whatever they were planning, it was coming soon.
I went back into the Groyper crowd to let someone know that Antifa were about to make their move when it occurred to me that I wouldn’t know who to tell. Nick was still at the podium.
I went back to check on the Antifa situation, and at just the right time. They were now lined up in a row at the end of the street.
A few of them, just the leaders, started walking forward.
Then more started walking forward.
And then more . . .
. . . until Antifa and America First were standing face-to-face.
This guy in the white hoodie appeared to be their leader.
At one point, this guy in dreads went up to an Indian Groyper and said, “You’re the only Indian I’ve seen at one of these. You know your people.” I’m not sure what he meant by that. Are Indians supposed to be a race of Uncle Toms?
The Getty Images lady suddenly found herself in the middle of a story that would make headlines around the world, and now finally understood why she had been assigned to follow the America First rapscallions.
The rally ground to a halt. Antifa and America First spent the next 20 or so minutes exchanging chants. The two sides were only a few feet away from each other, and the police were not moving from their spots.
For a time, things were tense, and we were afraid things were about to explode and we would end up getting totally screwed by the legal system. America First started chanting at the police, “Do your job” — but they didn’t move.
Nick was perfectly cool. After a while, he picked up the mic and said, “We came here to protect the police from the mandate, but they won’t protect us against Antifa.”
I moved next to Nick and asked if it was possible to keep going. Apparently, it was not — and it was not a good idea for us to turn our backs on Antifa.
“No one said it was going to be easy,” Nick continued. “We’re not just fighting these bastards on the Left, but we’re fighting the bastards in power, too. And I say to the police and the military and the government that if you are not with us, then you are against us.”
I don’t know if it was because of that or because Antifa started throwing eggs at us, but after 20 or so minutes, the police finally came down and stood in between America First and Antifa, and eventually some fencing was put up in between the two camps.
I looked again and there was a noticeably larger police force than before. It made you wonder why they had taken so long to swing into action. Maybe they were waiting for backup — but the police presence was now massive.
Fuentes went on to finish his speech and then called it a night. Despite whatever Antifa or the media might say, Antifa did not shut down the rally. These Groyper events usually involve Nick giving a 25-ish-minute speech, and then everyone hangs out for an hour while Nick does a meet-and-greet. On this occasion, Nick made the wise decision to step away from the table while he was still winning. He had already done a meet-and-greet earlier in the day, so this wasn’t a huge loss.
In the end, it was a big win for the Groypers. Anyone who bothered to make the journey to New York City got to go back home with a cool story. They got some laughs and high drama. They got to have a real but ultimately harmless encounter with some actual Antifa. The Gracie Mansion rally has made the news all over the world, and now they can tell their friends they were there. I therefore think every Groyper left satisfied, having gotten more than expected.
I think it also shows that those who have been counter-Fuentes or say that he’s jumped the shark are speaking too soon. Two years after the Groyper Wars and months after being deplatformed from all social media, Fuentes is still capable of making big waves.
* * *
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