COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A conference of white supremacists and their sympathizers scheduled for April 2018 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort has been canceled, the organization and resort confirmed Wednesday.
The cancelation came a day after Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers denounced white supremacy and said the city wouldn’t “provide any support or resources” to the event.
“The city remains steadfast in its commitment to the enforcement of Colorado law, which protects all individuals regardless of race, religion, color, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment and physical harm,” Suthers said further in a Tuesday statement.
He added that the city “does not have the authority to restrict freedom of speech” or to tell private businesses which events they are allowed to host.
“That said,” he added, “I would encourage local businesses to be attentive to the types of events they accept and the groups they invite to our great city.”
By Wednesday morning, the conference had been canceled altogether.
“Unfortunately, the conference has been cancelled. Registered attendees will receive a refund,” a message on the organization’s conference page read.
Cheyenne Mountain Resort issued a statement saying it “will not be hosting the VDARE Foundation in April of next year.”
“We remain committed to respecting the privacy of guests at the resort,” said spokeswoman Guadalupe Hirt.
When reached by phone, VDARE.com’s editor, Peter Brimelow, said he would be issuing a statement later Wednesday. He describes his website and group as one focused on “patriotic immigration reform.”
Also notable Wednesday on VDARE’s website was a large notice on its front page saying PayPal had cut ties with VDARE.com.
“We were given no reasons, so are left to speculate why we’ve been suddenly purged,” Brimelow wrote. “Best guess: the Charlottesville debacle – in which VDARE.com played no part, either in planning, promoting, or appearing – is being used as an excuse for the authoritarian Communist Left to punish anyone who disagrees with their anti-American violence against patriotic people.”
Jason Kessler, the man who organized the rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville over the weekend, is a contributing writer on the website, and on June 19, published an article on the website titled “Yes, Virginia, There Is Such A Thing As White Genocide.”
Also scheduled to appear had been former U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, who most recently failed in quests for Colorado's governorship and the U.S. presidency.
Brimelow went on to say in the post about PayPal: “It is impossible to predict on what level we will be attacked next. We must have the resources to defend ourselves and our people.”
The Daily Stormer, a white nationalist website, also had its PayPal and web-hosting disabled this week after promoting the white supremacists and their actions in Charlottesville. It had set up shop under a Russian-hosted URL, but Russia kicked the site off its hosting on Thursday.
The event’s cancelation came as all of Colorado’s members of Congress publicly denounced white supremacy and called on President Donald Trump, who again Tuesday blamed “both sides” for the weekend violence, to forcefully condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
A White House spokesperson did so on background on Monday, but Trump’s comments on Tuesday walked them back: "You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now,” Trump said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Suthers issued another statement—this time about the conference’s cancelation. He said Cheyenne Mountain Resort chose to the cancel the conference—something he praised.
“Businesses need to make their own decisions in situations like this, and in doing so, consider both the business and community impacts of hosting disruptive groups,” Suthers said. “I know I am joined by many Colorado Springs residents when I say I appreciate Cheyenne Mountain Resort’s action to cancel this conference, and its conscientious decision not to bring this group to Colorado Springs.”
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., was also pleased the event was cancelled. In a statement, he said that Colorado “spoke up” and said that bigotry wouldn’t be tolerated in the state:
“Throughout our nation’s history, groups have long abused our cherished freedoms by spewing hate. When they do, it is incumbent on all of us to affirm what is best about America: our commitment to equality, basic decency, and respect for others, and a recognition that our strength is inseparable from our diversity.
“?That is exactly what happened today in response to VDARE's previously-planned event in Colorado Springs. Coloradans spoke up and named the organization’s agenda for what it is: one of division and bigotry at odds with everything we believe. We stand with all Coloradans who feel threatened by those spouting hatred and inciting violence. Together, our voices and values will prevail.”?
On Tuesday night, Brimelow pointed Denver7 to a new blog post he made commenting on Cheyenne Mountain Resort’s decision to cancel the event. He said the organization received an email Tuesday night informing them of the decision to cancel.
“Attached were a copy of the credit card receipt for our refunded deposit—and a copy of a check for the very significant liquidated damages payment Cheyenne Mountain Lodge had to make us for breaking its contract,” Brimelow wrote.
He thanked the staff members at the resort for their “professionalism and courtesy,” but said the decision to cancel was a “conspiracy against the civil liberties of Americans by internet vigilantes…and their allied troll army, and the violent Communist gang (the so-called Antifa), plus complicit elected officials.”
Brimelow said his organization “has never advocated violence or any form of illegality” and had “absolutely nothing to do” with the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. He did not refer to Kessler by name, but called Kessler a “freelancer” for the site and said that shouldn’t “link” VDARE to Kessler.
And while he wrote, “We certainly do include a few writers who are explicitly concerned with the interests of whites,” he said that VDARE.com “is not a ‘white nationalist site’” and that “everyone should just get used to” what he said were simple differing points of view.
He said that VDARE’s immigration stance is “substantially the same” as President Trump’s.
“The citizens of Colorado cannot reasonably have denied the opportunity to get to understand it better,” Brimelow wrote of the site’s immigration positions.
He wrapped his comments by saying the “Totalitarian Left” was suppressing the voice of VDARE and those with similar opinions.
“It is above all desperate to suppress a debate on immigration policy—because it absolutely intends to Elect A New People. . . .Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Mayor Suther [sic] and much of the media are helping them to achieve their goal,” Brimelow wrote.
And he ended it with a plea to sympathizers with VDARE:
“If President Trump wanted to speak in Colorado Springs, would he be denied a platform?”
(Donald Trump spoke twice in Colorado Springs within 5 weeks of one another last Fall in the final weeks of the General Election. He has yet to travel west of Iowa as president, though he has a rally in Phoenix, Arizona scheduled for next week.)