Africa: Is a Racist wanted in America hiding in Nigeria?
Tanya Gersh, an American realtor, and her 12-year-old son became victims of cyber hate and bullying after she reached out to tenants of a local building, in a bid to help sell their property.
The trouble started after a telephone conversation with Sherry Spencer, the building’s owner, and mother of white supremacist, Richard Spencer.
Gersh had warned Spencer of imminent protests at the building, as a result of her son’s supremacist activities.
The building’s value, Gersh advised, would nosedive once the protests begin.
Her counsel to Sherry Spencer irked the Neo-nazi movement and supporters of Richard Spencer.
DailyStormer.com, a neo-Nazi propaganda website, launched a tirade against Gersh.
The site’s founder, Andrew Anglin, accused Gersh of extortion in a blog post, urging readers to do the same by sending enough messages to drive home their point.
“Let’s hit ‘em up,” he posted. “Are y’all ready for an old-fashioned Troll Storm?” he asked.
Messages such as, “Listen here you f*****g Jew. You had better back off and leave Richard Spencer’s mom alone, you dirty s***bag,” and “You f*****g Jew. You had better back off of Richard Spencer’s mom. Everybody is watching you”, woke Gersh and her family up daily.
“I never imagined that I would have to teach my children that they might be hated because they are Jewish,” Gersh says. “These are not trolls. They are terrorists. They are very harmful, they are very malicious and they are dangerous.”
But instead of making a run for it, Gersh decided to take a stand and fight. “Andrew Anglin has done this to so many people. I’m going to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else,” she says defiantly.
Gersh sued Anglin after getting a go-ahead from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based organisation that monitors hate crimes across the country. She accused him of intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and violation of Montana’s anti-intimidation statue.
Anglin, on the other hand, is fighting back. He revealed via his website that he has hired a first amendment lawyer to fight the lawsuit, saying he was simply “blogging”.
Anglin has apparently fled town as lawyers for Gersh have said they cannot find him.
“I hope the result is that we get fair compensation for the Gersh family, that we punish Andrew Anglin and the people who are associated with him in this circle of terror,” one of Gersh’s lawyers said, claiming they have a strong case.
“And beyond that, my hope is that we wind up convincing him to stop.”
When contacted by CNN, Anglin said he now lives in Lagos, Nigeria, where “his rights to say what he wants are not limited”.