reposted from Stumptown Research Collective
Welcome to Part I of a series on the Evergreen Active Club (EAC) and the regional active club alliance to which they belong, the Northwest Nationalist Network (3N). This project is a collaboration between several antifascist organizations and individuals: Corvallis Antifa, SunlightAFA, SoCal Research Club, FashFreeNW, Stumptown Research Collective, and antifascist anons.
In this first installment, we will be familiarizing readers with the roots of the active club movement, EAC’s connections to that movement’s leaders, and how Evergreen Active Club lied to a Pasco, WA venue in order to host a white nationalist mixed martial arts tournament on a racist holiday. We will also explore the large crossover between EAC and old-school racist skinheads, and how a unity meeting between NW active clubs led to the 3N alliance. We will then be introducing you to EAC’s leader Daniel Rowe, as well as identifying several members of his crew.
If you have any information on Evergreen Active Club please reach out to us via email at [email protected].
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EVERGREEN ACTIVE CLUB: A NEW FACE IN THE ACTIVE CLUB FRANCHISE
Active clubs are a small but growing form of white supremacist organizing in North America, and the PNW is no exception. Most active clubs have humble beginnings; a couple nights of putting up stickers around town, maybe a banner drop. But not the Evergreen Active Club. In late 2022, the eastern WA-based group made their debut by sponsoring the second organized white nationalist mixed martial arts (MMA) fight to be held in the United States. The fight was sparsely attended by a handful of well-known neo-Nazi characters and resulted in a press nightmare for the host venue. Since then, Evergreen has gone on to grow itself into two chapters and create alliances with other PNW active clubs—including the PDX area Rose City Nationalists—forming a united front called the Northwest Nationalist Network.
The active club model is a template for autonomously organized and loosely networked crews of white men whose common cause is rooted in their obsession over fitness, masculinity and racial grievance. They’re hate groups masquerading as fitness fraternities, and their training regiments are as much about acquiring and maintaining an impossibly high standard of “physique” as they are about preparing members to carry out future violence against perceived enemies.
These fascist fight clubs promote everything from bigotry to white ethnonationalism through “activisms,” most of which include stickering, graffiti, banner drops, book / flag burning and posturing in skull masks at far-right rallies. They then take footage from their “activisms” and combine them with clips of members engaging in exercise and training, creating hyper-stylized videos in an attempt to recruit disaffected, young white men into what they call the “3.0” movement. Membership is porous and may include members of other white nationalist groups. There is also a significant overlap with White Lives Matter (WLM) organizing, whose Telegram channels serve as both a means of further radicalization, and as a potential recruitment pool for racist crews to find new members.
The active club movement was introduced by Robert Rundo, founder of the now defunct white-nationalist street-fighting crew Rise Above Movement (RAM). RAM disbanded following the heat that came from their role in the infamous Unite the Right rally and other violent events. The legal fallout was a convoluted affair that ended with Rundo fleeing the country and hiding out in eastern Europe, where he cultivated deep ties within the European fascist MMA scene until his arrest on March 31 of this year.
While in exile he mocked up a RAM-inspired vision of combat crews that could be run independently by local white nationalists. Drawing inspiration from European fight club efforts, and informed by the experiences and legal challenges that undid his former group, he essentially repackaged and resold the Rise Above brand into an active club franchise; a move which, by its atomized nature, serves to shield him legally and protects against a network-wide collapse if one of the crews catches a charge. Yet, even though at a public remove, the model still affords him the opportunity to (at the very least) influence the styling, message and direction of active clubs. According to a former member, Rundo himself sits atop the chain-of-command within the supposedly autonomous structure of the active club world.
Rundo pitched this active club “lifestyle” through his post-RAM orgs – Will2Rise and Media2Rise. The brand began producing propaganda that infused fascist messaging into an aesthetic that blended the “old world” of a mythologized past with a modern street/combat sportswear look that glorified the male physique. He called it “cultured thug” and sold it as both an idea and as merchandise to men whose empty ideology and shallow aspirations make them easy marks for fascist facades.
It’s important to stress that the active club format is a monetization of RAM. “Buy the active club gear! Follow the active club lifestyle! Land a sexy white girl! Be a white success!” Rundo and his Will2Rise team are pushing a product. They are pushing gear and swag and hate.
And at the heart of the pitch is the philosophy of what Rundo refers to as “3.0”. The concept is simple: racist skinhead culture is considered the original version of white nationalism (“1.0”), the buttoned-up counterculture of the “Alt-Right” was the second (“2.0”), and now a new “upgrade” is occuring in white nationalism (“3.0”). This new iteration has been crafted to try and make white nationalism more palatable than “1.0”, and to try to succeed where “2.0” failed. According to Rundo, the aim of “3.0” is to make regular “displays of defiance that show… that [white] culture will not be erased” through a veneer of a healthy and fit white youth culture that is visible and outspoken. A prime example of a “3.0” group is Patriot Front, and active clubs were designed to be the movement’s vanguard.
Rundo’s vision has caught on. Active clubs have joined a growing network of international far-right fight clubs, and while neo-Nazi MMA matches have been held in Europe for quite some time, North American active clubs are now catching up with the trend.
With “3.0” on the rise, Rundo isn’t just credited as the movement’s founder – he’s idolized for it. His recent arrest in Romania has made him a cause celeb, and his pending extradition to the United States will undoubtedly result in Rundo being heralded as a martyr for angry white men.
MARTYRS DAY RUMBLE
Martyrdom and resentment are two of the most powerful psychological drivers of white nationalism. Evergreen Active Club was tapping into that energy when they held their inaugural event on Martyrs Day weekend, an annual remembrance of the “sacrifice” of neo-Nazi Robert Jay Mathews.
Mathews, founder of the white terror gang The Order, was killed in an armed standoff in 1984 on Whidbey Island, WA. Every first weekend of December there is a commemorative event, which sometimes includes a white supremacist pilgrimage to Whidbey. It is a weekend when PNW antifascists have their heads on a swivel; a racist “holiday” that has become synonymous with violence.
For the PNW members of the Evergreen Active Club, choosing this weekend to make their mark on the evolving white nationalist scene would have come naturally. It’s a remembrance that looms in the regional mythology, as well as a time for violent myth making. Not that their fight was saga worthy; it was fairly pathetic. But it did mark a milestone.
The Rumble followed fairly quickly on the heels of the first organized, white nationalist MMA tournament to be held in the United States—”Birth of a New Frontier“—which had taken place four months earlier in San Diego, CA. The Frontier fight was sponsored by big names on the hard-right – Media2Rise and Patriot Front. It was also co-planned by SoCal Active Club (SCAC). It was, as Media2Rise put it, “a new milestone for the US scene.”
The Martyrs Day Rumble was a smaller, more regional milestone held on Evergreen’s home turf in the Tri-Cities area on December 3rd at the HAPO event center in Pasco, WA. It was sponsored by EAC, SCAC, and the white power concert promoter West Coast Firm, which is affiliated with the Western Hammerskins.
Neither the appearance of a Hammerskin affiliated promoter, nor the neo-Nazi bands on the bill that day, are a surprise considering that Evergreen has very deep ties within old school 1.0-style white supremacist circles. For example, the fight was widely promoted by former Mighty Berdoo skinhead and current Central Point, OR neo-Nazi Anthony Allen on Telegram, where he was a persistent presence in racist skinhead circles under his former handle “Bersrekkr”
Allen has his own Martyrs Day history. In 2006, he and other members of the Southern CA-based Mighty Berdoo skinheads were on their way to a Martyrs Day event when they attacked a random Black man—an assault so vicious it lead to a ten year prison sentence for Allen on attempted murder and hate crime charges. You can read the disturbing details of the near-deadly assault—which Allen openly brags about—here.
That an entirely new active club was able to host the second-ever organized, euro-style fascist MMA tournament in the US speaks volumes about Evergreen’s status and connections within white nationalist circles. So does the co-sponsorship of SoCal Active Club.
Formerly known as Legion XIV (a reference to the white supremacist “14 words“), SCAC is building on the ruins of RAM and has direct ties to Robert Rundo through one of his right-hand men, Grady Mayfield (aka “Luke”). Though Mayfield isn’t technically a member of SCAC, he does work very regularly with the crew, and their proximity to Rundo has undoubtedly elevated the group’s status within the national active club scene. That they partnered with Evergreen for the Martyrs Day Rumble demonstrates how closely EAC connects with leaders in the movement.
It also suggests that the strength of the bond between the two crews involves their shared ties to the Hammerskin Nation.
SoCal AC leader Robert Wheldon represented his crew at the Martyrs Day Rumble. He is a former 3rd degree Proud Boy who got his start as an admin for WLM CA. He gained notoriety—and the attention of antifascists—when he began teaming up for banner drops with the antisemitic Goyim Defense League. You may recognize him as the subject of one of the best all-time antifascist ID drops ever.Antifascists expropriated SCAC/Legion XIV propaganda to expose the group’s leader, Robert Wheldon.
Video credit: Pacific Antifascist Research Collective
Joining Wheldon was SoCal Active Club member and WLM CA admin Patrick Mushaney, who was repping Crew 38 (a Hammerskin feeder club for prospective members) on his bomber jacket. Mushaney fought in both Pasco and San Diego, and is a prime example of the disaffected white dude who takes a quick ride down the far-far-right pipeline. In less than a year, he went from being a self-described internet shitposter to running alongside the “leader” of a racist crew and repping a racist skinhead gang with a history of deadly violence.
Also in attendance was the neo-Nazi leader of the Tennessee Active Club (TNAC), Sean Kauffmann (aka Fashsquatch). Like Mushaney, he fought in both tournaments. Kauffmann is a particularly violent white nationalist who used to run the neo-Nazi Panzer Strike Force in Arizona, before joining the recent wave of racist transplants that have been moving to Tennessee. Not only has he successfully built his own active club there, he is also growing a regional network of affiliated clubs that, on first blush, appear to be organizing in a similar fashion to the Pacific Northwest’s 3N.
A quirky thing about Sean is that he often wears a kilt. A vile thing about him is his penchant for grooming minors into white terror, including members of the Blood and Soil Crew (who are super young teenagers). He’s gone so far as to personally take a 16-year-old under his wing as a member of the TNAC.
But despite the hype and the presence of a few racist heavy hitters, the Martyrs Day Rumble doesn’t appear to have gotten a very big draw. Three dozen or so racist skinheads and white nationalists descended on the publicly owned Hapo Center in Pasco, WA, a space that is much too large for such a small fash-on-fash rumble. The footage of the event put out by Media2Rise is just sad—there was no obscuring just how much the oversized venue dwarfed the small crowd. Regardless, the attendees were no doubt hyped. The venue operators, not so much.
Hapo Center’s privately contracted venue operator has since stated that they were caught flat-footed and had no idea that the fight would be a white power event. This tracks with comments made by the owner of the facility used for the previous MMA tournament, and members of SCAC later admitted on a (now deleted) episode of a neo-Nazi podcast to having to straight-up lie to venues in order to secure rental contracts.
The venue operator states that as the evening wore on it became increasingly obvious that they had a hate party on their hands, and when a “No Guilt” banner went up, the venue moved to shut it down. It’s not entirely clear how long the fight was allowed to continue before being cut off, or if the venue was even successful in cutting it short, but the damage had already been done.
Two white power bands were slated to perform that evening, Ironwill and Beer Hall Putsch. It’s not clear what kind of playing time they got, what with the venue’s attempt to shut things down, but Beer Hall Putsch was featured doing a cringey little song for their cringey little crowd in the Will2Rise video of the event. Both bands have been regular Martyrs Day acts over the years (with Beer Hall Putsch making their live debut at a Martyrs Day event in 2014), and both are deeply embedded in the NW Hammerskin scene.
White power music is tightly wound-up in Hammerskin culture and has served as an effective recruiting tool for decades. Their annual Hammerfest concerts are a racist hate mecca, and Euro-style fascist MMA fights make for a very natural extension of that scene.
As you can see, from the very beginning Evergreen Active Club has appeared to have more of a 1.0 influence than your typical 3.0-type club like RCN. As more information has come to light, that impression has deepened. There are a lot of racist skinheads involved in EAC, and there is a very real possibility that the Hammerskins may be using these new 3.0 active clubs as a potential recruiting pool to bring a new generation of young men into their movement who otherwise wouldn’t have been drawn into the violent skinhead culture.
The leader of RCN, Casey Knuteson, recently spoke to this point when he appeared on white nationalist Riggin Scheer’s Achtung! Amerikaner podcast:
“Yeah, there’s a lotta crossover too between like the OG skinheads and then the 3.0 nationalist guys. I mean, a lot of these active clubs are made of a lotta guys that were, you know, in the movement 20 years ago in different skinhead groups.”
It’s not yet clear if the significant overlap between the groups is just that dense within the relatively small hate space they occupy, or if some of the active clubs in the U.S. are purposely being used as feeder groups and recruiting fronts for Hammerskin crews, similar to what was found to be going on in Canada. But considering the overwhelming amount of direct ties between 1.0 racist skinheads and 3.0 active clubs, as well as RAM’s history of involvement with members of the Hammerskins, antifascist researchers on the West coast will continue to closely monitor the groups.
The white supremacist Hammerskin Nation was a product of the racist skinhead scene of the 80s and 90s, and whether by design or by chance, they appear to have found fertile ground for recruitment and public activism in the growing active club scene. (Reminder: proper skinheads are antiracists. White supremacists tried to co-opt the scene and are referred to as boneheads).
Founded in 1988 in Dallas, TX the Hammerskin Nation has gone on to spread to most places in the world where there is a white “homeland” or colony. They believe that white western hegemony is in a precarious position and they crave a race war to re-establish white “dominance.” Put more simply, they are horny for violence and they fetishize committing harm on minority populations. Their history is one of white power concerts and hate crime assaults, including a high-profile 2012 mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. A Hammerskin’s life is often just a race between which gets the higher count: one’s rap sheet or the number of one’s tattoos. They are 1.0 to the core.
The organizational history and structure of the Hammerskins is complicated and we won’t get into that here. But it is worth noting that Crew 38 is their intermediary “support,” or “feeder” group. It has both male and female members; with the males being prospects who are hoping to get patched into the Nation itself.
As our EAC series goes on, it will become increasingly clear that bonehead involvement is one of the defining characteristics of its membership. This should be factored into any decisions on how to counter them.
The Evergreen Active Club is based in the Tri-Cities area of eastern Washington, but the territory it covers is pretty large. EAC membership extends into western Washington in one direction, and eastern Oregon / southwestern Idaho in the other. It has been said that the club is comprised of two crews: presumably this means an eastern and western crew.
On January 7th we got our first good look at EAC leader Daniel Rowe in a hiking video where he didn’t make any attempt a concealing his face. This led researchers and journalists to identify him fairly quickly, although subsequent posts on Telegram would have done the trick; Rowe makes very few attempts to cover his tracks. David Neiwert of the Daily Kos was the first to publicly name Daniel Rowe when he broke the story of the Pasco MMA fight.
Members of EAC, the Puget Sound Active Club (PSAC), Asatru Folk Assembly and RCN had a regional unity meeting on January 21st at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, WA where they got to step out from behind their group chats and sniff each other’s asses IRL, do a little sparring, and chill in their skull masks next to a playground. They posed for a creepy group photo beside a giant “No White Guilt” banner (similar to the banner that alarmed the venue operators in Pasco) and held up a flag with the Cascadian tricolors. You would be excused for mistaking their flag for the average regional standard. It’s not. It’s the nazi version. Cascadian flag stripes run horizontal. Cascadia flipped and running vertical is the standard of the white supremacist Northwest Territorial Imperative.
The Northwest Territorial Imperative (NWTI or PNWTI) is a nightmare vision of a white separatist ethnostate that neo-Nazis and others hope to establish in the Pacific Northwest through “acts of insurrection and guerrilla warfare.” It’s an ideology of genocide that has been espoused by white terror groups like Robert Jay Mathew’s The Order (Martyrs Day guy), The Base, Atomwaffen Division, and the Northwest Front.
Not all proponents of the NWTI have taken such an aggressively accelerationist approach. As Redoubt Antifascists have put it, “…others have adopted a more militia prepper type style of homesteading and stockpiling supplies, including guns and ammo, in preparation for what they believe to be inevitable social collapse and race wars.” But whatever a particular group or individual’s approach, a NWTI-type ethnostate cannot be achieved without violence.
RCN’s Telegram channel has cross-posted NWTI material, and EAC ally Anthony Allen has been a loud evangelist for the Imperative, going so far as to take over ownership of the PNWTI Telegram channel and chat (both of which he abruptly deleted when he was identified). The unity meeting in Lakewood was likely where the Northwest Nationalist Network (3N) alliance was hatched; and it was done so under the NWTI flag.
Two weeks later the Rose City Nationalists and Evergreen Active Club would be holding their first joint banner drop together in Portland, OR. The following day they would announce the formation of 3N, complete with a new Telegram channel and a new logo—the “Black Sun Tri-Color”—a NWTI flag with a nazi sonnenrad.
Active clubs were originally designed to be autonomous, so the development of a sort of regional network “umbrella” identity might be considered almost counter-intuitive to the original vision of the movement. While it’s not clear how it will play out in the long run, it has already had the effect of increasing their numbers on the ground (which, to be clear, are still fairly small).
In Part II of our series we will go into detail about the first collaborative banner drop in PDX, as well as the two hate rallies that followed: anti-drag protests in both Pasco, WA and Florence, OR. For now, we turn our attention to the leader of Evergreen and several of its members.
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