Two months ago, local white supremacist Christopher Rey Monzon, also known by his online handle “Chris Cedeno,” was arrested for attacking a crowd of civil rights protesters in Hollywood. Charged with disorderly conduct, aggravated assault, and inciting a riot, the 22-year-old from Hialeah has now set up a page on an alt-right crowdfunding site to raise money for his legal fees.
This past August, about 150 demonstrators assembled near the entrance of Hollywood City Hall hours before city commissioners voted on whether to rename three streets that honored Confederate generals — John Hood, Robert E. Lee, and Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. The streets run through a predominantly black neighborhood.
Monzon, who was photographed at the Charlottesville white-supremacist rally two weeks earlier and posts tons of terrible racist stuff on his social media pages, arrived at the site alone and hoisted a large hybrid League of the South/Confederate flag. At first he stood far from the crowd, about 50 yards away, and gave media interviews. “They are communists,” he said in Spanish to a Univision Channel 23 reporter. “My message is that they are not going to win and we are not going to leave without a fight.”
But then, as protesters began chanting loudly while holding “Take Them Down” signs, Monzon approached them and stood in front of a line of yellow tape.
Suddenly, he began shouting at a protester roughly ten feet away. “You are a cancer on the face of the Earth!” Monzon yelled. “All Jews are!” Then he broke the yellow tape and charged flag-first at the crowd.
Immediately, a group of police officers standing nearby tackled him. After placing Monzon in what appeared to be a muzzle, they escorted him away in handcuffs.
Later that day, the city commission voted 5-1 to rechristen Forrest, Hood, and Lee Streets. This past Wednesday, the commission voted to rename them Freedom, Hope, and Liberty. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Hollywood Police Department said Monzon had been charged with disorderly conduct, aggravated assault, and inciting a riot.
Since then, Monzon has taken to the web to ask for money for his legal fees, as first noted by the blog Big If True. Mainstream sites such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter prohibit campaigns that are "in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes," as well as "content associated with hate groups."
As a result, members of the alt-right, along with other white nationalists, have resorted to creating campaigns on the "censorship-free" sites Goy Fund Me and its predecessor, RootBocks, which was left dormant this past summer after payment providers bailed.
I's unclear who runs Goy Fund Me, whose name is not only a pun for the site's competitor, GoFundMe, but also an appropriation of the Hebrew and Yiddish word goy, meaning "gentile" or "non-Jew." The site does not provide a direct phone number or email address, though it has an online contact form, and its domain is listed as private. Not much else is known about Goy Fund Me or RootBocks aside from their shared copyright-holder being listed as J&K Business Solutions LLC.
The site accepts payments made with PayPal, Bitcoin, credit and debit cards; however, in order to avoid losing providers as RootBocks did, Goy Fund Me instructs fundraiser creators not to use "symbols [or] images that may be misconstrued by some as inspiring hate or violence."
Monzon's page, titled "Legal Support for League of the South Member Chris Cedeno," has a fundraising goal of $1,000 and a November 3 deadline. The description states, "[Monzon] was threatened at this protest by aggressive counter-protesters and was forced to defend himself," adding that his political views are "namely that Islam has no place in the South." So far, the page has raised $440 and promises that updates of his trial will be provided via his social media account.
Other white nationalists have also used Goy Fund Me to pay for the costs of their criminal defense and nationalist activities. Among them are Jacob Scott Goodwin, who used a plastic shield to strike DeAndre Harris, a 20-year-old former special-education instruction assistant, in the head inside a parking garage; Brad Griffin, also known as Hunter Wallace, who claims to be the public relations chief for the League of the South; and the London-based white-nationalist publishing house Arktos, whose page has raised $6,580 so far.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.