TURLOCK — A local college student is trying to make the most of the turmoil in Charlottesville over the weekend. Stanislaus State student Nathan Damigo, the founder of the white supremacist group Identity Evropa, was one of the people cited for refusing to disperse at an event after a series of violent clashes earlier in the week.
Ex-marine Nathan Damigo, 31, is an Oakdale resident who is a social science student at Cal State University, Stanislaus. When Unite the Right organizer Richard Spencer addressed the press after the riots, Damigo was at his side. Spencer credited Damigo as a key player in their rally gone bad.
Damigo stepped on the national stage when he slugged a counter protester during the race demonstrations in Berkeley last spring in a video that went viral.
In a Twitter video posted this weekend, he played the victim.
“We were peacefully assembled, there was Antifa throwing rocks, throwing bottles things like that,” Damigo said.
But opponents, including self-described anarchist groups, are painting Damigo as the violent instigator and trying to have him expelled from Stanislaus State.
While some white supremacist posters and flyers placed on campus were attributed to him, free speech rights will keep him on campus this fall.
But Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn wants to make sure there is no repeat of Charlottesville here.
“In the aftermath of what happened in Charlottesville, we instated six additional measures to, number one, ensure all student on campus are safe,” said Rosalee Rush, vice president of media relations for Stanislaus State.
And there will be ways to resolve free speech differences.
“She wants to help students understand the complex nature of free speech and ways to counteract it in a productive manner,” Rush said.
Meanwhile, Damigo says he will keep fighting.
“I’m not going stop doing this, this only furthers my resolve,” Damigo said.
Whether that’s fighting figuratively or literally remains to be seen.