A group of student and anti-fascist activists successfully shut down an ‘alt-right’ talk at King’s College London last night. Demonstrators stormed the stage and reportedly set off smoke bombs and a fire alarm in order to disrupt the event. The venue had to be evacuated.
The interrupted discussion was between Dr. Yaron Brook, chairman of the board of directors of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Carl Benjamin, who is more known as British alt- right YouTube personality Sargon of Akkad. Contrary to mainstream media coverage, not all who took part in the action were masked. One of the antifa protesters was beaten.
Some media outlets, in rather dramatic fashion, had described the antifa action as an attack on freedom of speech. However, it is likely that the main target of yesterdays action was Benjamin. With 766,717 subscribers and over 200 million views he is a very popular vlogger. He self- describes as “the thinking man’s alt-centrist”, but he is known for peddling alt- right propaganda, and his commentary often features conspiracy theories. He is also a Trump supporter.
In a livestream with a fellow alt-righter Colin Robertson, Benjamin helped spreading the alt-right conspiracy theory that Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer died because of a heart attack, and not because she was struck by a vehicle driven by a neo-nazi. In another video, he claims that ‘racism bating is helping to give cover to child molesters’ [sic].
He is also spreading Syrian Civil War conspiracy theories. Benjamin shared “evidence” that the April 2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical attack in Syria was staged. He later maintained that he was “not even sure that there is proof of a chemical weapons attack [in Syria]”. Benjamin said that so-called “independent” journalist Eva Bartlett‘s conspiratorial statements on Syria were “completely accurate”. In reality, they were proven to be false.
Benjamin once asked online: “Antifa: on a scale of 1 to allahu akbar, how pleased are you that ISIS are flying your colours?”
Benjamin is perhaps most well-known for his “Why Do People Hate #Feminism” series. He believes that “reality has an anti-feminist bias” and that “feminism is cancer”. After British MP Jess Phillips argued that internet freedom of speech requires that harassment of women become “unacceptable”, Benjamin responded with a tweet stating “I wouldn’t even rape you”. During the #MeToo campaign encouraging women to share their stories of sexual abuse, Benjamin suggested #IWouldntEven as a hashtag to mock the campaign. He later refered to survivors of sexual abuse committed by Harvey Weinstein as “gold digging whores”.
Well done to London Antifa for taking action against one of major universities assisting an alt- right speaker in spreading hateful propaganda.