Photographed & videotaped among the alt-right in New Orleans, too
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia––No Kill Nation founder and pit bull advocate Debi Day appears to have been among the self-described “Freedom Keepers,” neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen, and other “alt-right” participants in “Unite the Right” protests held on August 11 and 12, 2017 against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee from a park in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.
Facebook postings from Day herself and other “Unite the Right” participants, including video of allegedly armed marchers, appear to put her prominently on the scene at one of the largest white supremacist events of the 21st century.
The Charlottesville demonstrations culminated in three deaths on the second day. Heather D. Heyer, 32, a paralegal from Charlottesville who was protesting against the “Unite the Right” faction, was among at least 20 counter-protesters mowed down in a chain-reaction crash allegedly started by a speeding car driven by James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio. Nineteen other people were injured.
Virginia state troopers H.J. Cullen and Berke M. M. Bates were killed later in the day when their helicopter crashed for unknown reasons and burst into flame.
Identified herself on camera
Photos and video in which Day identified herself to alt-right videographer Johnny Dale Mcclung, of Biloxi, Mississippi, were posted on July 29, 2017, following an “Anti-Immigration March” in New Orleans.
Day, at both the Charlottesville and New Orleans events, appeared among the “Freedom Keepers.”
“The Freedom Keepers have appeared as a camouflage-garbed security force at ‘free speech’ confrontations up and down the west coast hosted by the nationalist movement known as the ‘alt-right’ ,” Willamette Week news editor Aaron Mesh explained, after similar events in several Oregon cities. “They describe themselves as a ‘patriot’ group,” despite the prominence of Nazi, Confederate, and Ku Klux Klan regalia at their events, “and recently protested the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans.”
“Fringe white supremacists”
According to It’s Going Down, self-described as “a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements,” based in Portland, Oregon, “Warriors for Freedom LLC is the most recent guise of a group also known as American Freedom Keepers. Uniting a variety of motorcycle gang members, bigoted fundamentalists, militia members, and other street-brawlers with nothing better to do, this group takes donations from the public and uses the money to jet-set around the country, hoping to get into fights with young activists. They videotape these fights, and then use them as propaganda to gain more donations. In aid of this vicious circle of violence, allowing fringe white supremacists to join their rallies has become commonplace. The more violence, the more outrageous videos they produce, and the more money for Warriors for Freedom, so the more time they can spend flying around the country rather than doing something productive for their communities.”
Day has described herself on Facebook as a “constitutionalist,” a term of multiple interpretations, ranging from the judicial conservatism of some U.S. Supreme Court justices, to the notion that the U.S. should return to observing the U.S. Constitution as it was originally written, before the addition of the Bill of Rights, the abolition of slavery, and the extension of political rights to women.
No Kill Nation & No Kill Advocacy Center
Previously Day has been known chiefly as the apparently biggest single funder behind both her own animal advocacy organization, No Kill Nation, headquartered in Lighthouse Point, Florida, founded in 2009 and the No Kill Advocacy Center, of Oakland, California, founded in 2006 by Nathan Winograd.
No Kill Nation had raised nearly $1.5 million through 2015, according to IRS Form 990 filings, much of it to promote Winograd and his projects.
Winograd, author of the 2007 book Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation & the No Kill Revolution in America, is Jewish, and has often made use in his work of imagery associated with Nazism and the Holocaust.
(See Review: Redemption, by Nathan Winograd, Nathan Winograd in perspective, and Street dogs in the U.S.? Nathan Winograd has gone barking mad.)
This does not appear to jibe well with the anti-Semitic rhetoric often used by alt-right organization members.
“Premiere sponsor to No Kill Conference”
Yet footnotes on No Kill Nation filings of IRS Form 990 repeatedly mention that “For several years No Kill Nation has been, and will continue to be, the premiere sponsor to the annual 2-day No Kill Conference held in Washington D.C. in partnership with the No Kill Advocacy Center.”
Additional footnotes explain that “In 2011 Redemption: The Story of the No Kill Movement in America, produced by Sagacity Productions, began filming. While the majority of the film was funded by one director of No Kill Nation Inc., the balance of the film’s production costs were paid for by No Kill Nation Inc.”
“The ultimate thank you”
Said Winograd on the No Kill Advocacy Center web site, “The ultimate thank you goes to the film’s benefactor, Debi Day. I remain grateful for her kindness, her unique and special contribution to our cause and the potential for animals her assistance helps to be realized.”
Winograd did not respond to an ANIMALS 24-7 request for comment about Day’s participation in alt-right events of an anti-Semitic and generally racist nature.
Day was also identified by the Miami Herald as one of the funders of a failed August 2012 attempt to repeal the lightly enforced 1989 Miami-Dade County ban on possession of pit bulls. Though there was no organized opposition to the repeal attempt, it failed by a margin of 63.2 percent to 36.8 percent.
This article is proof of why Animals 24/7 is so essential. There is an unfortunate tendency among animal advocates to embrace *anyone* who presents themselves as being “for the animals,” no matter what other activities they engage in, or even if the things they do in actuality harm animals.
Anyone with a conscience should be horrified and disturbed by the recent high-profile activities of these racist groups. This hatred and stupidity has no place in a movement of compassion. Just because someone parrots a few lines about “save them all” or puts a few cute pet photos on Facebook, doesn’t let them off the hook for being a hatemonger, a child molester, or any other awful example of the human species.
Natalie Slater says
Nathan responded to this, and No Kill Advocacy center will no longer accept donations from Debi Day or No Kill Nation. https://www.facebook.com/nathanwinograd/posts/1634533893237515
JoAnne Rando-Moon says
This is shocking and bad for the animal community!
Jamaka Petzak says
Lindsay, posting above, is absolutely correct. Organizations are always made up of people and people are individuals, with their own unique set of thoughts, feelings, and actions. Each person should always be looked at as an individual, not as a representative of a group. Haters and extremists of all types, while possibly claiming membership in groups, in the end represent themselves, not the group. It’s very unfortunate that fear and ignorance have motivated so many individuals to act in the name of groups of all kinds, giving those groups very bad names. My policy is to always research whatever group is concerned and then deal with the members thereof as individuals. The animal advocacy movement has always attracted, in addition to caring and intelligent people, troubled individuals seeking to belong and be accorded importance. We cannot let them stand for us or claim to represent us, because, bottom line, it is the most innocent, blameless, vulnerable and voiceless who need us and who we defend.
Are those rescued “No Kill” pups then siphoned off to play roles as attack/guard dogs in her anti-Semitic activities
The actions of this woman are driven by economic gains; nothing else; nothing noble…
Marian Brown says
Question, how is Debi Day earning a living? Does she own another business or something? Puzzled as to how she can afford to run along gun toting like that. Is she using donations? Or, what is her line of business then?
Janice Holladay says
It’s my understanding that she herself has quite a bit of money and had that prior to her advocacy.
rick bogle says
The animal advocacy community has always been a cross section of the populous at large. Revolutions always involve strange bed partners.
Lily Hammer says
The only thing missing from the picture of Debi Day is her staunch supporters. All two of them. Maria Venuto and Susan Stelljes.
Julie Jo says
Excuse me, I support Debi Day as an animal advocate.
She also has the right to own guns and to protest for what she believes in.
I do not own guns nor do I belong to a militia. Debi Day has the right to her political activities though and I know her well enough to know she is no Nazi supporter.
She has a “right. . . to protest what she believes in.” I agree! No one is saying that she doesn’t have any rights. What decent folks are saying, is that “what she believes in” is disgusting, unethical and sinister.
And Kate Riviello
As a rescuer from the way back when the name “rescue” didn’t even exist, I am appalled at Day. This is a horrible association; animals/hate.
I do not know if Debbie Day is in the same group w/ the racist/neo-Nazi arrested for beating a young black man in the parking garage or not, but he was also from a Florida militia. Since then, the anti-government III% (three percent) has said they will not send their militias to “guard” racists/neo-Nazis.
Today, in a vicious post by Daily Stormer leader (“weev”, a hacker, neo-Nazi/racist), they have announced they expect to demonstrate at the funeral of Heather (See Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/daily-stormer-website-sending-nazis-to-harass-funeral-of-woman-allegedly-killed-by-white-supremacist-in-charlottesville/). Yes, folks, these are the kind of people Day associates with.
hopefully, we can find “angels” to stave off those vile people at her funeral. I already tried contacting Patriot Guard, but they’re not interested.
To whomever is responsible for the comments here I request my name and any comments associated with my name be removed.
I have absolutely NOTHING to do with any of this. I was not at the protest in Charlottesville and I do not belong to any militia.
I simply love animals and try and rescue some when I am able.
If you walk alongside Nazis then you are a Nazi supporter. She espouses some of their beliefs at least or is Nazi/white supremacist/white nationalist adjacent. If you have beliefs that are abhorrent to you, then you cannot in your heart support these people because they hide evil. Which means that you may hold some of these beliefs too since you support Debbie. But you have a right to abhorrent beliefs of superiority and you have a right to associate with those type of people. Just don’t be surprised when people shun you for it. I do not want that evil and hatred near my home. “I love animals but think other nationalities are subhuman” just doesn’t cut it for me.
Julia Sharp says
Thank you for the article, Merritt. People need to realize No Kill Nation (Debi Day) and No Kill Advocacy (Nathan Winograd) are 2 different groups. That being said, I think you know where I stand on No Kill. It is simply not yet feasible in the US. Low Kill is, No Kill is not. Spay and neuter must be the #1 task any animal advocate works towards.
A very well-written article, Merritt Clifton. Anyone reading it can clearly understand who the alt-right are, and why it is important to record that Debi Day was there. Thank you.
Hitler was a vegetarian and antivivisectionist, who was reportedly deeply distressed by images of animal cruelty and used vivid and gruesome descriptions of animal suffering and slaughter at the dinner table to try to dissuade his colleagues from eating meat.
Merritt Clifton says
Hitler at various times claimed to be a lot of things he wasn’t. Being vegetarian, for the most part, was among those bogus claims, though Hitler did experiment with vegetarianism to some extent and became mostly vegetarian during the meat shortages of World War II. For further details, see Vegan author & historian Rynn Berry, 68 (1946-2014).
Said Berry, “I decided to research the matter in order to ascertain whether this butcher of Europe was in fact a vegetarian. To my dismay, I found that Hitler biographers stoutly maintain that he was a vegetarian in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Since no one had written a book that marshals the evidence to prove that Hitler was not a vegetarian, I wrote Hitler: Neither Vegetarian, Nor Animal Lover (2004).”
Hitler on several occasions claimed to be a vegetarian, but those who accept him as one “don’t seem to realize that one cannot be a vegetarian and be so inconsistent as to eat liver dumplings and cured meats, which eyewitnesses attest that Hitler did on a regular basis,” Berry said. “If anything, Hitler was a flexitarian. By no stretch of the imagination could he accurately be called a vegetarian.”
To accept the contention that Hitler was an antivivisectionist would also be distorting the reality that he promoted vivisection on human subjects to an extent unparalleled in history. Bona fide antivivisectionists oppose invasive experimentation on any living subjects; this is what the word “antivivisection” means.
It is true, unfortunately, that Hitler, his sidekick Heinrich Himmler, and their ally, Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, deceived much of the American and British animal and habitat advocacy communities (but hardly all) into accepting their bogus claims that they were animal advocates. For this the American Humane Association issued a public apology in January 1942, after the U.S. became a declared combatant in World War II.
To this day, unfortunately, Nazi ideology pertaining to introduced species prevails among mainstream U.S. and British conservation organizations, without acknowledgement or apology, even though the Nazi influence is clear, particularly through the work of Jorian Jenks, who was editor of the journals Rural Economy and Mother Earth, and was secretary of the Soil Association during the 1940s and 1950s, after serving during the 1930s as agriculture critic for the British Union of Fascists.
Just curious, how many here actually know Debi Day? I’m shocked at the comments I’m seeing. Does everyone here simply believe what any random person posts? I really hope you all take a look in the mirror and remember what it felt like the last time you were accused of something that wasn’t true.
Merritt Clifton says
What is it that you believe is not true? More than a dozen photographs placing Debi Day at white supremacist rallies, a video of such a rally in which Day identifies herself to the videographer, and Day’s own blog postings including one likening running over Antifa protesters to playing Wack-a-Mole, amount to considerably more than “what any random person posts.”