The University of Pennsylvania spent Monday removing neo-Nazi recruiting posters from around campus. Penn President Amy Gutmann emailed students and faculty Monday night about the posters, some of which pointed to the website Iron March, which markets itself as an international online forum for fascists.
Gutmann’s letter explained that while the ads had been discovered in multiple locations around Philly’s Ivy League campus, they’d all been since removed:
This past weekend, some neo-Nazi flyers were found posted at several locations in the vicinity of campus. These appear to have been circulated by off-campus groups known to be bent on sowing fear and discord, and targeting campuses within our region and nationwide.
Although the flyers in question are no longer posted, we think it important to take this opportunity to remind the community of our shared conviction that hatred and fear-mongering have no place at Penn.
Our University strives to be a place that is safe and welcoming for all students, faculty and staff. Expressing hate or animus for any group of individuals is vile and reprehensible. We underscore our commitment to a supportive, respectful, diverse and open campus, and we encourage the exercise of free expression rights to counter misguided hate with stronger words of truth and mutual respect. We also encourage anyone who is troubled or in need of support to reach out for help. Please know that Penn stands with you, and any of the offices below can provide you with assistance and guidance.
A photograph of one flier went viral Sunday on Facebook. The flier appears to have been printed out on Saturday through Gmail, if the printer stamps on the page are to be believed. “How is a diploma going to help you in the race war?” the flier asked. A hand reminiscent of Uncle Sam’s pointed forward out of a rounded swastika.
Iron March’s site says the group operates really as two entities, an online network and an IRL organization, “to create not just mere political and career/hobbyist fascists but rather people who share an inherently different perception of the world and thus live and breathe Fascism 24/7… .”
Iron March, according to its guidelines, forbids pedophiles, people on the autism spectrum and gays. Racial minorities are welcome, but advised that “users of non straight-white-male-fascist backgrounds also need to be conscious of their differences and check their privilege at the door.” Their account on Twitter account has been suspended.
Still active on Twitter, though, is user @Illegal_Aryan. As reported in the Daily Pennsylvanian, this Twitter user seems to be claiming responsibility. The user shared several photos of the fliers in two tweets with the announcement, “Hey UPenn- Saaaaaaay NIGGER! #dayoftheflyer” Another flier posted, per these photos, promoted white supremacist news site the Daily Stormer.
Iron March recruiters are no strangers to college campuses. This past December, a group formed on the site posted fliers depicting Hitler around UChicago’s campus. Chicagoist reported that similar pro-Nazi ads had been seen at Boston University, Old Dominion and the University of Colorado, among others.