The founder of the neo-Nazi site says that & # 39; troll storm & # 39; is a protected speech, wants a dismissed claim –

The founder of the neo-Nazi site says that & # 39; troll storm & # 39; is a protected speech, wants a dismissed claim


Lawyers for Andrew Anglin, founder and editor of the Daily Stormer, responded on November 30 to a lawsuit filed by real estate agent Tanya Gersh, saying the dispute between him and Gersh is reduced to the First Amendment.

Well-known First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, who represents Anglin, told CNN: "The only thing he (Anglin) did was summon people to talk, but people want to draw the line of expression that they do not they like "

Gersh, with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is suing Anglin for" invasion of privacy, intentionally inflicting emotional distress and violations of the Montana Anti-Bullying Act ". That lawsuit was filed in April in the United States District Court for Montana.

He told CNN earlier this year that his family endured weeks of harbadment that led to his physical and emotional decline due to Anglin's actions.

Gersh says that Anglin used its website as a platform to encourage its thousands of readers to contact her through emails, social networks, letters and phone calls. All focused on two facts: she was Jewish. And Anglin accused her of extortion.

She says there is a man to blame for what happened to her and her family: Andrew Anglin.

Freedom of expression or harbadment?

Most of the messages from their readers came in the form of anti-Semitic insults. There were edited images of his face on the doors of the Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz. A voice message with the sound of shots. There were letters sent to the house she shared with her husband and her young son, who also received messages on social networks.

Gersh told CNN that she was obsessed with the images and feared for her life and that of her family. who debated fleeing the state because the threats seemed so real.

Anglin's lawyers say that these messages are considered "generally recognized anti-Semitic tropes", but they do not intend to cause real or real harm, despite what Gersh may have felt about it.

Gersh told CNN earlier this year that he believed that reducing Daily Stormer readers simply to "trolls" minimizes the impact they had on their lives.

"They are not trolls, they are terrorists," he told CNN. "They are very harmful, they are very malicious and they are dangerous."

This is not how the law sees it, Anglin's lawyers argue in their motion to dismiss the claim.

"Even Nazi expression, regardless of the psychic damage to Jewish residents, is nonetheless protected speech," Anglin's lawyers wrote.

The speech that may be abhorrent to some still constitutes freedom of expression, argue their lawyers.

"Every word spoken by Mr. Anglin in this public dispute is protected by the First Amendment, no matter how many people consider such views intolerable," Anglin's lawyers argue.

The argument that Anglin's words and announcements are protected as freedom of speech is not a surprise. Even Gersh's lawyers spoke with CNN about this as an expected defense. SPLC counselor John Morrison called it a flawed defense.

"This is not freedom of expression, this is nothing protected by the First Amendment, this is not the expression of political opinion," he told CNN earlier this year. "The purpose of this is to harm these people, the purpose of this is to cause them fear and emotional damage, and that is illegal."

  The small town of Whitefish, Montana.

A dispute in a small town

It could have a big impact on the Daily Stormer website, which has since been disconnected in several countries and confined to the dark network – an internet layer accessible only through anonymous networks – from the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On his website, Anglin said losing the case could close his website. He used it to encourage people to donate to his defense fund. Anglin said he was able to raise more than $ 150,000.

While the case might have far-reaching implications, it began modestly, following an interaction between two mothers in the small town of Whitefish, Montana.

  This mixture of use property was at the center of the dispute between Sherry Spencer and Tanya Gersh.

The troll storm began after a dispute between Gersh and Whitefish resident Sherry Spencer. Spencer is the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Gersh became the target of hatred after contacting the tenants of a building owned by Sherry Spencer, warning them of possible protests by a group for their son's opinions.

When Sherry Spencer called for advice, Gersh says, she advised him to sell the building and donate money to a human rights group as a way to defuse tensions. Gersh says he offered to help Spencer sell the property.

Sherry Spencer finally accused Gersh in a public blog threatening his livelihood.

He wrote that Gersh told his protesters that the media would go up and reduce the value of the building if she did not sell.

A troll storm and a major court case

That's where Anglin comes in. He started writing about the case in the Daily Stormer, calling what Gersh did "extortion." "She encouraged her army of trolls to tell Gersh what they thought of her and posted her personal information and ways to communicate with her on her website, they did it for hundreds.

But Anglin's lawyers argue that "he specifically denies asking for threats or harbadment," but called for a "campaign to make our voices heard."

Anglin's lawyers also argue that he was doing something that Gersh had already done to Sherry Spencer.

] "Ms. Gersh participated in the planning of a boycott and a protest against Ms. Spencer's business. Therefore, Ms. Gersh approves the collective action to express a political opinion, provided that the political opinion is favorable to her, "Anglin the lawyers wrote in the case for the dismissal.

" In view of that, no there is reason to expect that Ms. Gersh would not similarly forgive other people involved in collective expression, "they added.

Southern Poverty Law Center, on behalf of Gersh, told CNN that her attorneys are reviewing the submission and They will submit an answer.

Anglin has always argued that all he is doing with his website is exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Court documents reveal that he has still not been served because he could not be found. His lawyers said he may not even live in the United States and that the case should be dismissed for that too.

Ultimately, a judge in Montana will decide if the case continues.

But Randazza, Anglin's lawyer, told CNN that if the case goes forward, it is likely to be in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals because it talks about the very principles of freedom of expression.

"This is the price of admission to a free society," Randazza told CNN. "Even if he finds Mr. Anglin's views abhorrent"

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