Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Neo-Nazi’s Lawyers Argue That Anti-Semitic ‘Troll Storm’ Is Free Speech

Lawyers for a prominent neo-Nazi are arguing that his call for a “troll storm” of threats against a Jewish woman in Montana is protected as free speech, the Washington Post reported.

Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit against him brought by Tanya Gersh. Anglin published Gersh’s contact information and address on his site in May and urged his readers to call her and threaten her.

“If a local business were discriminating against black customers, the NAACP can exhort its members to send correspondence to it,” Anglin’s legal team wrote in a court brief. “And, conversely, the KKK can ask its members to send letters of protest to an establishment that treats all races equally.”

The Montana state supreme court has held that the constitution does not protect any “right to cause substantial emotional distress by harassment or intimidation.”

As a result of Anglin’s own exhortation, Gersh and her family received numerous death threats. One person photoshopped an image of her son being crushed by a truck with a swastika on it.

“Overnight, my life was stolen from me,” Gersh told the post in the spring, when the threats were made.

Contact Ari Feldman at [email protected] or on Twitter @aefeldman


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.