The hacker collective Anonymous has vowed to attack white supremacist and alt-right websites in the wake of the racist violence in Charlottesville, Va. and urged followers to “tear down symbols of hate” in an operation dubbed “Denouncement Day.”
On Wednesday, the so-called “hacktivist” group urged its followers to take part in operation Denouncement Day, and dismantle remaining Confederate symbols still standing in the U.S. on August 18.
“It is time to denounce the Confederacy. To denounce racism, bigotry, and hate. It is time to take down these monuments of hate ourselves,” the group said in a statement.
The group posted the names and locations of a handful of Confederate monuments, including the Robert E. Lee sculpture in Charlottesville.
Anonymous’ call to action comes the same day mourners gathered in Charlottesville for a memorial to honour Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally that descended into violence last weekend.
Last week, a large group of white supremacists and members of the so-called alt-right marched through the University of Virginia campus, with Tiki torches in hand, to the school’s statue of founding father Thomas Jefferson, where they were met by a much smaller group of student counter-protesters, who were eventually surrounded.
Punches were thrown and several people had to be treated for minor injuries, with police eventually breaking up the skirmish and arresting at least one person. The march was a lead-up to the planned “Unite the Right” rally, a protest against the impending removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park, the latest in a growing and controversial movement to take down Confederate statues and monuments in various U.S. cities.
“Anonymous finds it a sad state of affairs when in the year 2017, we still have Nazi Party flags flying high, and terrorists still killing for the Nazi cause. In a country where we went to war and regrettably dropped two atomic bombs on Japan to attempt to end this ideology, it is clear now that even a nuclear option does not work,” the group said.
The hackers warned white nationalists Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler and former KKK leader David Duke that “the blood of Heather is on your hands.
“And you will pay for it in blood,” the group said.
Anonymous said it will continue to take down white supremacist websites and vowed to track down owner and editor of neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin.
Anglin had written a post following Saturday’s events in Charlottesville and referred to Heyer as “fat” and “childless” and said “most people are glad she is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness.”
The Daily Stormer said Anonymous hackers had taken over the site in response to the article about Charlottesville victim.
Anonymous said in a statement Anglin was using the group’s name to discredit them.
“It is true that Anon Operatives were running attacks against it, but we were in no way involved with its defacement. This was a cowardly attempt by Anglin to discredit us and position himself as some sort of martyr for the supremacist cause,” the groups said. “He failed miserably. With Go Daddy and Google terminating any partnership with him, his website is now in jeopardy and likely to be permanently shut down. And in using our name, he has made us angry.
“We’ve contacted Anonymous members currently residing in Lagos, Nigeria. If you value your life, Mr. Anglin, you will need to flee the country. We will find you. We promise,” Anonymous said.