MSU Wild

Montana State University

A white nationalist group recently plastered some stickers and posters around the Montana State University campus.

California-based Identity Evropa posted four photos on Twitter last week showing its triangular logo stickers and posters on MSU flagpoles, kiosks and bulletin boards.

But this week they’re all gone, either taken down by campus staff because MSU doesn’t allow stickers on poles and kiosks, or swept away in the routine cleanup of public bulletin boards to make room for new event announcements.

On Wednesday the most prominent signs around campus were advertising a trivia night and 4-H. The only group of activists on the Centennial Mall was promoting Bibles.

Matt Caires, dean of students, said that campus police received reports about the Identity Evropa stickers.

It’s not an MSU student group, Caires said. MSU has politically active student organizations that are conservative, he said, but none that espouse white supremacist or nationalist views.

Caires said he thinks Identity Evropa was just passing through.

One of its posters photographed at MSU featured founder Nathan Damigo speaking at a rally with the slogans, “Our Generation, Our Future, Our Last Chance.” Another poster showed the faces of three young white men, one speaking into a bullhorn and one smoking an old-fashioned pipe.

Similar Identity Evropa stickers were plastered last year around the University of Montana campus in Missoula.

USA Today reported in March, “White supremacists (are) recruiting like crazy on college campuses.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in February that white nationalists were working to make inroads at U.S. colleges. It cited Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute and Damigo’s Identity Evropa.

SPLC said Damigo founded the group in 2016 to promote “European identity and solidarity.” Damigo is a former Marine corporal who discovered white nationalism while serving five years for armed robbery by reading ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Damigo calls himself an “identitarian” and rejects terms like racist and supremacist. But members of Identity Evropa must be of “European, non-Semitic heritage.” Its fliers have appeared on dozens of campuses around the country as part of its “#ProjectSiege.”

The Los Angeles Times reported in December that Damigo, 30, told a group of California State Stanislaus students that immigration and diversity are destroying the country and whites are becoming an endangered minority. He has posted online messages saying that he and other members of the “alt-right’ are the reason President Donald Trump won election. On Twitter he has written that refugees should “go home,” and that Trump “was the only candidate whose policies would make America Whiter.”

Gail Schontzler can be reached at 406-582-2633 or gails@dailychronicle.com.

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