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4chan Safety Squad Raids refers to an online campaign meant to shutdown DIY venues across the United States following a deadly fire that occurred at the Ghost Ship warehouse in early December 2016.
On December 2nd, 2016, a converted warhouse in Oakland, California run by the Ghost Ship artist collective caught fire during a concert for the house music record label 100% Silk. A total of 36 people killed, marking it the deadliest fire in the history of Oakland. On December 7th, an anonymous 4chan user submitted a post calling for readers to report local art spaces to be inspected by the fire department in an effort to "crush the radical left" (shown below).
While the original thread received only 214 posts, an archived version on 4plebs subsequently circulated among advocates for DIY spaces, who began replying to the thread. In the coming days, the 4plebs post gathered upwards of 920 responses. On December 8th, the DIY catalog site DoDIY.org was shut down by creator Neil Campau, who left the following message on the site:
"DIY spaces are being shutdown around the country and even though it’s been a huge labor of love (of which I’ve dedicated 9 or so years running), I have no intention in letting it simply become a tool for authorities. If you’re a cop combing this site looking for some folks to evict or some vile human looking to call the cops on folks listed here, fuck off immediately."
In the coming days, several new threads were created on /pol/, leading to an organized raid against numerous art spaces across the United States.
News Media Coverage
On December 13th, The Observer published an article titled "Internet Trolls Launch Campaign to Shut Down Progressive Spaces." On Dcember 15th, the Vice music blog Thump published an article titled "4chan Users Launch Campaign to Shut Down DIY Venues in Aftermath of Oakland Fire."
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