The Southern Poverty Law Center Sues Andrew Anglin In Federal Court
Andrew Anglin, publisher of far-right site Daily Stormer, has been sued in Federal Court today for $300,000, stemming from his reporting about Tanya Gersh, a Montana real estate agent who he accused of attempting to extort Richard Spencer’s mother into selling a Whitefish, Montana property. In the lawsuit, Anglin is accused of creating a “troll storm” against Gersh that caused her emotional distress and anxiety.
Here is the announcement from the SPLC:
The Southern Poverty Law Center, along with its Montana co-counsel, filed suit in federal court today against the founder of a major neo-Nazi website who orchestrated a harassment campaign that has relentlessly terrorized a Jewish woman and her family with anti-Semitic threats and messages.
The lawsuit describes how Andrew Anglin used his web forum, the Daily Stormer – the leading extremist website in the country – to publish 30 articles urging his followers to launch a “troll storm” against Tanya Gersh, a real estate agent in Whitefish, Montana. Gersh, her husband and 12-year-old son have received more than 700 harassing messages since December.
The intimidation began after Anglin accused Gersh of attempting to extort money from the mother of Richard Spencer. The younger Spencer heads the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist organization.
Anglin and Spencer are both prominent leaders of the “alt-right” movement that rallied white nationalists behind President Donald Trump’s campaign.
“Andrew Anglin knew he had an online army primed to attack with the click of a mouse,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen. “We intend to hold him accountable for the suffering he has caused Ms. Gersh and to send a strong message to those who use their online platforms as weapons of intimidation.”
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, Missoula Division, seeks compensatory and punitive damages. It accuses Anglin of invading Gersh’s privacy and intentionally inflicting emotional distress. It also outlines how his campaign violated the Montana Anti-Intimidation Act.
Richard Spencer’s mother described in a blog post how Gersh pressured her to sell her property:
I had no intention of selling . . . until I started receiving terrible threats in the last couple of weeks.
These threats came from Tanya Gersh, a local realtor with links to “human rights” organizations Love Lives Here and the Montana Human Rights Network.
On November 22, Gersh and I spoke on the phone. She relayed to me that if I did not sell my building, 200 protesters and national media would show up outside — which would drive down the property value — until I complied. Gersh’s other conditions included that I make a public denunciation of my son in a statement written by the Montana Human Rights Network and that I make a donation to this organization from the sale of the property. As Gersh announced on Facebook, she was “spear heading” the campaign.
Read the rest of the article at Return of Kings