The San Marcos Police Department released an incident report naming three of the eight white supremacist men involved in the flyers posted Dec. 3, 2017, around San Marcos and the Texas State campus.
Their organization, Patriot Front, is behind a majority of the neo-Nazi activity that has crept into Texas State. A former student of Texas State was involved with posting flyers and the organization according to photos.
Patriot Front is a splinter from Vanguard America, a prominent white supremacist organization most known for their demonstrations at the Aug. 11 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. By way of demonstrations, flyers, banners and social media, the Texas-based Patriot Front propagandizes an anti-semitic, anti-muslim, anti-black, anti-immigration and anti-liberal agenda by invoking patriotism as their leading principle, according to their manifesto.
Carla Hill, a senior investigative researcher at the Anti-Defamation League, said the idea of patriotism is key to recruiting their target demographic: veterans turned radical by believing America has failed them.
“It attracts young, white men that feel disenfranchised,” Hill said. “They present it as patriotism to people that feel their country has done them wrong. They believe that their ancestors colonized this land and that it was meant to be passed to them.”
Patriot Front’s first recorded activity in San Marcos began after San Marcos City Council Ethics Commissioner Naomi Narvaiz retweeted an early-October tweet made by an account associated with Patriot Front on Twitter. The Colombus Day tweet said America had been conquered by European settlers and not stolen. This ideology falls in line with the social media postings of Patriot Front and other like-minded white supremacist organizations.
Although Narvaiz faced some backlash from the community, she was not formally reprimanded for her use of social media. Soon thereafter, the first white supremacist flyers were found on campus Oct. 19. Seven incidences of Patriot Front activity in San Marcos have occurred since, according to Hill, including the Oct. 30 banner drop over Alkek Library that stated: “America’s a white nation.”
The most public flyering happened Dec. 3, 2017, and was a reaction to Martinez’s column on whiteness, Your DNA is an abomination. Both the San Marcos Police Department and the University Police Department were involved in the detention of eight men.
UPD detained five men after they were found posting flyers on campus and issued trespass warnings, meaning they would be arrested if they were found trespassing again. According to Director of the University Police Department Jose Banales, this did not warrant an arrest at the time.
Simultaneously, SMPD responded to a flyering at Sanctuary Lofts. There, three men were found gluing posters of Martinez onto a telephone pole that contained his personal information. They were not arrested but were found to be in a city ordinance violation for their distribution of handbills, according to SMPD’s incident report obtained by The Star in late May.
The incident report names the three men as Erik Mitchell Sailors, Paul Cornelious Gray and Andrew Mark Liebenow. Sailors, a former Texas State student and a marine veteran, can be found on the since-disbanded Patriot Front twitter account in a mask placing a flyer on a utility pole.
Following a request for UPD’s police report for the night, all five of the Texas State trespassers’ names were redacted, though Banales confirmed all were members of Patriot Front. The Office of the Attorney General Ken Paxton concluded the information may be withheld at the discretion of the records’ holder: Texas State University.
The organization is more active in Central Texas than in any other state, according to Hill. Located between San Antonio and Austin, San Marcos has become a hub for Patriot Front. In part, this is because of the concentrated number of Patriot Front members in the area, according to Hill.
The group communicates through Discord, a voice and text chat app targeted toward gamers. They discuss potential flyerings and demonstrations, ideologies, and perform casual conversation on their server. As an active member of the conversation, Sailors said his house, located in San Marcos, had become the “official trap house of Patriot Front.”
There have been no reports of any Patriot Front activity locally since the Dec. 3 flyering. Any suspicious activity can be reported to the San Marcos Police Department at 512.753.2108.