The white supremacist group known as “Identity Evropa” interrupted an ethnic studies class at UC San Diego, according to the Jan. 11 UCSD Police Department logs. One member sat in the front of the class and another sat toward the back.
The group announced it was only there to “observe” and left after a good amount of time had passed in the class. Some students thought the members were messaging each other on their phones and were worried more members were being called to the class.
On their way out, they flashed Identity Evropa badges at the students attending the lecture. Most of the students there at the time were confused, and it is still unclear exactly what Identity Evropa was hoping to accomplish.
After leaving the ethnic studies class, the members reportedly headed to the Black Resource Center in the original Student Center. It is also unclear what their intent was in doing this.
Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, non-profit organizations which track radical groups, recognize Identity Evropa as a hate group that advocates white supremacy. The SPLC notes that Identity Evropa often operates under the guise of “pseudo-intellectualism” to attract young college students.
This same group has reportedly previously vandalized UCSD property and hung controversial banners from the roof of Price Center reading “No Amnesty, End DACA” in October 2017. The banners were quickly taken down, with UCSD citing a violation of posting policies.
Identity Evropa have targeted various UC campuses several times in recent months. In April 2017, one of the group’s leaders was videotaped sucker punching a female protester during a protest that turned violent at UC Berkeley.
The school released a statement about the incident.
“The recent disruptions present an opportunity for faculty to enforce behaviors that facilitate the effectiveness of the learning environment,” it read. “Course instructors have the responsibility and authority to maintain order in the instructional setting. Safety of our students, faculty and staff is of paramount concern.”
In an email sent out by the school, professors were given permission to remove disruptors from class, and students were allowed to film Identity Evropa members.
“I believe it is an important moment of the student body to use its own power in terms of free speech and remember that they have the power to organize and educate their fellow community members,“ Abraham Galvan, vice president of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion of A.S. Council told the UCSD Guardian. “There has to be more learning and teaching on white supremacist groups, as well as how to keep students safe when they may be affected by these actions and these groups’ rhetoric.”