Traditionalist Youth Network

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Traditionalist Youth Network
Traditionalist Worker Party.jpg
Fullname: Traditionalist Worker Party
Alias: TWP
Traditionalist Youth Network
TYN
Origin: Indiana
Foundation: 2013
Headquarters: Paoli, Indiana, United States
Commanders: Matthew Heimbach
Matt Parrott
Goals: Win elections for political office (failed)
Create an all-white ethno-state (failed)

The Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), also known as the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN) was a far-right, neo-Nazi group active in the United States between 2013 and 2018. Various sources refer to it as being part of the broader Alt-Right movement active within the U.S. during the 2010s.

Established by Matthew Heimbach, the group promoted white separatism and a white supremacist view of Christianity. Part of the neo-Nazi Nationalist Front, the TWP held a number of protests and other local events. In 2015 it changed into a political party so as to run in elections for local office.

In April 2018, The Washington Post reported that the TWP had been disbanded the previous month after group leader Matthew Heimbach's arrest for battery and his falling out with co-founder Matt Parrott.

Background

The Traditionalist Youth Network was established in May 2013 by Matthew Heimbach and Matt Parrott. Heimbach has been a white supremacist activist since fall 2011, when he formed a group at Towson University in Maryland and invited the white supremacist Jared Taylor to speak at Towson's campus. The following year, Heimbach founded a "White Student Union" on campus, adopting racist and antisemitic views. In spring 2013, upon graduation, Heimbach established the Traditionalist Youth Network in partnership with Parrot, who founded a white supremacist group, Hoosier Nation, in Indiana around 2009. The group eventually became a chapter of American Third Position (later known as the American Freedom Party.)

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks extremist groups, has designated the Traditionalist Worker Party as a hate group and has written of Heimbach: "Considered by many to be the face of a new generation of white nationalists... Since graduating in the spring of 2013, he has entrenched himself further in the white nationalist movement and become a regular speaker on the radical-right lecture circuit."

In January 2015 the TYN established the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) as its political-party offshoot in preparation for the 2016 elections, and a small group of candidates from the far right announced plans to run under its banner. The party states that it stands against "economic exploitation, federal tyranny, and anti-Christian degeneracy". The group's strategy differs from that of the American Freedom Party (AFP), a different fringe group: while the AFP "has long run presidential candidates with no hope of success" in order to "exploit the election cycle as a way to raise money and generate publicity for their racist positions, TWP actually hopes to win by running for local offices in small communities.

On April 22, 2016, the Traditionalist Worker Party formed a coalition with several other organizations called the Aryan Nationalist Alliance. The Aryan Nationalist Alliance later changed its name to Nationalist Front. Its aim was to unite white supremacist, neo-Confederate, and white nationalist groups under a common umbrella. The coalition was joined by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM), neo-confederate League of the South, the neo-Nazi Vanguard America, and four other groups.

In April 2017, the group organized the white supremacist rally in Pikeville, Kentucky which attracted 100 to 125 supporters. In August 2017, the affiliated groups participated in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In October 2017, the Nationalist Front was a key organizer of the "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Participating groups included: NSM, TWP, League of the South, Vanguard America, The Right Stuff, and Anti-Communist Action.

On March 13, 2018, Heimbach was arrested in Paoli, Indiana on charges of domestic battery arising from an alleged attack against spokesman Parrott and Heimbach's wife, who was also Parrott's stepdaughter. Following this, Parrott shut down the TWP's websites and said he planned to delete membership data, citing privacy concerns. According to Parrott, the TWP no longer existed, as the incident had destroyed the group's credibility. Days later, however, Parrott filed a sworn declaration in court (in an ongoing federal civil lawsuit over the Unite the Right rally in 2017), stating that he had not deleted or destroyed the membership information, as it was relevant to the ongoing litigation.

On April 5, 2018, the independent media collective Unicorn Riot released hundreds of thousands of messages on TWP's Discord server and associated ones such as "Silver Guild" and "Not Tradworker" as part of a series on alt-right and neo-Nazi organizations. The messages on TWP's Discord server revealed that the group promoted and praised Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of the Charleston church shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina as well as James Alex Fields Jr., the man behind the Charlottesville car attack during the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group also praised Jacob Scott Goodwin, a member of the group that was involved in the beating of DeAndre Harris in the parking lot during that rally. Additionally, there was a conflict within TWP over one of its members, Colton Williams, having a non-white spouse. These conversations also included the group's ties to Atomwaffen Division, a violent neo-Nazi terrorist network linked to 5 murders such as the death of Blaze Bernstein at the hands of Samuel Woodward of which Mark "Illegal Aryan" Daniel Reardon and Vasilios "VasilistheGreek" Pistolis were members of both organizations. They talked about making Molotov cocktails and their assault on an interracial couple in Shelbyville, Tennessee after the White Lives Matter rally. Despite of his group having been involved in violent incidents as well, Heimbach expressed concern over Atomwaffen's level of extremism and influence and eventually denounced it.