Students Rally After Posters for Far-Right 'Patriot Front' Found on Campus

Students and faculty staff at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis held a rally denouncing racism and hate speech after dozens of posters and stickers promoting a far-right group were placed around campus.

Around 200 people took part in a "Stand Against the Hate" demonstration one day after propaganda from the white supremacist group Patriot Prayer was found on university grounds.

St. Paul Police are investigating the material linked to the extremist group. A spokesman told the Star Tribune that a man walked onto University of St. Thomas property about 3 a.m. on September 27 and placed multiple Patriot Front stickers across campus, as well as on street lights, stop signs and no-parking signs on nearby streets.

Patriot Front is a white nationalist organization formed in the aftermath of the deadly "Unite the Right" neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists Patriot Front as a hate group, said the extremists focus on "theatrical rhetoric and activism that can be easily distributed as propaganda for its chapters across the country."

The "Stand Against the Hate" rally was organized by student organizations such as the African Nations Student Association, Asian Students in America, Black Empowerment Student Alliance and the Muslim Student Association.

"I want to say to every Black, brown, Indigenous and BIPOC student: You belong here. You matter," sophomore Safiya Mohamed said during the rally, according to the university's website.

"You bring so much to this campus, to this university that is not acknowledged, unfortunately. You deserve to be here. You deserve to take up all the space that you choose to, and I want you to know that your experience, your perspective, your background and cultural identity...that is all an asset."

Racial Justice Initiative founding director Dr. Yohuru Williams was another one of those who spoke at the rally.

"A cold front blew through here the other day with a message of hate, but the warm front's here now, and it's a message of change," he told the crowd.

The University of St. Thomas confirmed that their public safety team removed the stickers from its grounds on Monday.

"St. Thomas will not tolerate acts of racism and intolerance, or anything that stands against our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We understand these acts are hurtful and are intended to instill fear and division," the university said in an email to students, faculty and staff, reported the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

St. Paul Police has been contacted for an update.

University of St. Thomas patriot front
Students ad staff at the University of St. Thomas held a rally against racism after posters and stickers from far-right group Patriot Front were placed throughout the campus. University of St. Thomas