D.C. Counter Resistance: What We Know So Far

BY: ALEXIS ARNOLD

We already know that ten confederate flag posters were hung around American University’s campus on Tuesday night. But what was printed on the backs of the flyers could be a clue as to who posted them.

The backs of the posters were marked with the name, “D.C. Counter Resistance.”  The local group was identified by a logo on the back of the poster that consisted of two interlocking white ovals on a black background with the organization’s name above it.

  Photo by Max Spivak

Photo by Max Spivak

There is not much known about the group, but their Twitter page has several anti-immigration, anti-Semitic and pro-Trump tweets. This is not the first time D.C. Counter Resistance has put up propaganda. Their symbol has also been seen on other threatening flyers posted around D.C.

Last month residents in Ward 4 told the Metropolitan Police Department about xenophobic and hateful posters in their community, reported DCist. One poster said, “Even RBG backs the ban. Build the wall," referencing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the travel ban backed by the Trump administration. 

Another poster made claims that a man who had been deported more than 20 times sexually assaulted an elderly woman, and encouraged residents to “Report illegal aliens to DHS or ICE.” On each of these posters, the same D.C. Counter Resistance symbol was present. Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd encouraged constituents to report any other flyers to the police.

The term “counter resistance” is often used by the alt-right. The symbol itself is a modification of the Milice française, or French Militia, flag. The Milice française was an openly fascist, communist and anti-Semitic group that sought to destroy the French Resistance during World War II. They were known for rounding up French Jews and resistance fighters for deportation. It was one of the most extreme manifestations of fascism in occupied France.

“If they're calling themselves the D.C. Counter Resistance, [that] means there is an established resistance in the first place, which is a positive sign for those actively combatting racism and discrimination in our society,” said Max Spivak, a senior in the School of International Service.

 “On the other hand, the perpetrator must have chosen their methods intentionally, trying to strike a chord in a widely controversial subject. It worked, but, rather than displaying fear, it seems like those affected are positioning themselves with resilience, courage and passion.”

  Photo by Joe   Palekas

Photo by Joe Palekas

The presence of these posters seems to intentionally align with the Dr. Ibram Kendi's first official introduction to AU's new Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center. The "bias incident" is being investigated by University Police, said President Sylvia M. Burwell in a statement released Wednesday morning.  

“[AU] will recommit to creating a community that does not stand by,” Burwell wrote. “When one of us is attacked, all of us are attacked.”