- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 31, 2017

White nationalist Richard Spencer said he’s aborted plans to speak in Sweden and Poland next month after foreign authorities told him he wasn’t welcome.

Less than a week before he was scheduled to travel abroad, Mr. Spencer said Monday that he’s pulled the plug on a pair of planned overseas speaking engagements in lieu of risking being banned for a second time from Europe’s Schengen Area, a visa-free region composed of 26 European states that previously deemed him persona non grata for a three-year period ending earlier this month.

“I don’t think right now is the best time to risk another Schengen ban for me,” Mr. Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute think tank and a leading figure of the “alt-right” movement, told BuzzFeed News.

“I’ll be back, but just not right this moment,” Mr. Spencer said.

Mr. Spencer had been slated to appear at the Nov. 4 “Identitarian Ideas” conference in Stockholm and a Nov. 10 “Europe of Future” debate in Warsaw, his first visit to the Schengen Area since being ejected and banned for attempting in 2014 to organize a nationalism conference in Budapest.

Poland’s Foreign Ministry publicly condemned Mr. Spencer’s planned appearance last week but declined to say whether he’d be denied entry. Speaking to BuzzFeed, however, Mr. Spencer said that Polish and Swedish authorities have separately threatened to keep him from speaking.

Arktos Publishing, a far-right publishing company organizing the canceled Swedish event, similarly blamed government officials in a statement published on its website.

“After the Polish Foreign Ministry indirectly threatened to ban Richard Spencer if he attended the upcoming conference in Warsaw along with receiving similar indications from Swedish authorities, not to mention a wide-spread campaign to prevent us from hiring venues in the Stockholm area, Richard Spencer has decided to postpone his trip to Europe,” the statement said. “Therefore, we hereby announce our cancellation of the conference in Stockholm that was planned to take place on November 4.

“The fact that our opponents fear what we have to say that they stoop to threats of travel bans and extensive sabotage to prevent peaceful conferences is a testament to the power of our message and proves that the alt-right are indeed the only true opposition to the globalist agenda,” the company said

Neither the Polish Foreign Ministry nor the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs immediately responded to The Washington Times’ requests for comment.

Mr. Spencer, 39, has led the National Policy Institute since 2011 but first achieved notoriety last year for his leading role among the alt-right, a budding political movement widely associated with racist ideologies embraced by his think tank, including nationalism and anti-Semitism. He had been slated to headline “Unite the Right,” a far-right protest scheduled over the summer in Charlottesville, Virginia, but his appearance was canceled when attendees including neo-Nazis and white supremacists violently clashed with counterprotesters.

“As a country which was one of the biggest victims of Nazism, we believe that the ideas promoted by Mr. Spencer and his followers could pose a threat to all those who hold dear the values of human rights and democracy,” the Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday denouncing his scheduled appearance.

Mr. Spencer previously called the Polish government’s response “laughable,” telling The Washington Times last week, “This characterization of me as connected to Nazism and threatening the Polish people couldn’t be further from the truth.”

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