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Laura Loomer

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Laura Elizabeth Loomer
Laura Loomer on InfoWars.jpg
Laura Loomer discussing Mandalay Bay on InfoWars in 2018
Born (1993-05-21) May 21, 1993 (age 25)
Residence New York City
Nationality American
Alma mater Barry University (BS)
Occupation Journalist, activist
Political party Republican

Laura Elizabeth Loomer (born May 21, 1993) is an alt-right[1] American political activist and Internet personality. She was a reporter for Canadian far-right website The Rebel Media during the summer of 2017, resigning that September.[2][3][4][5][6] Prior to June 2017, she worked for Project Veritas with James O'Keefe.[3]

Early life

Loomer was raised in Arizona. She is Jewish. She attended Mount Holyoke College and, after transferring schools, graduated from Barry University[7] with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism.[8]

Career

Loomer has been described as being active in the alt-right movement.[1] She is a former employee of James O'Keefe, a conservative activist known for producing selectively edited undercover video investigations.[9] Until her resignation in September 2017, Loomer was the New York correspondent for the conservative Canadian far-right news site The Rebel Media, which has been referred to as the "Canadian Breitbart."[7][10]

Public appearances

2015

In March 2015, Loomer used a concealed video camera to record her conversations with Barry University officials, discussing the idea of starting a club called "Sympathetic Students in Support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria." The official responded by asking her to change the name to "Students in Support of the Middle East." The video of her encounter was released by James O'Keefe with Project Veritas.[7] O'Keefe alleged that Loomer's video captured a university official unfazed at the notion of starting an on-campus organization that would support ISIS.[11] Shortly after the edited video was released by O'Keefe, Loomer was suspended by Barry University for violating the student code of conduct rules; criminal charges were also filed against her for taping university officials without their knowledge or consent.[12] At the time, Loomer was an honors student in her senior year, the president of Barry University's Young Republicans Club, and majoring in communications.[13]

In July 2015, Loomer and two other women posing as supporters of Hillary Clinton attempted to lure staffers for the Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign into accepting illegal cash donations. A Clinton official said that the campaign had complied with the law.[14]

2016

On November 8, 2016, the day of the presidential election, Loomer went to a polling station dressed in a burqa and asked for a ballot under the name of Huma Abedin.[3]

2017

In June 2017, Loomer gave a speech to a crowd of anti-sharia marchers in New York City and condemned "liberals who aligned themselves with sharia law."[15] Loomer put a burqa on the Fearless Girl statue adjacent to the Merrill Lynch building.[16]

On June 7, 2017, at a Chelsea Clinton book signing event in New York City, Loomer asked Chelsea to sign a copy of her new children's book She Persisted to Juanita Broaddrick, one of former President Bill Clinton's most persistent accusers. The former first daughter refused to sign it.[17]

On November 1, 2017, Loomer tweeted that she was late to a conference because she could not find a "non Muslim cab or @Uber @lyft driver". Following this, both Uber and Lyft announced that she had violated their guidelines and was banned from using their services.[18]

Julius Caesar play disruption

On June 16, 2017, Loomer disrupted the Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar in New York City, by walking on stage during the live performance shortly after Caesar was assassinated.[19] Before being escorted off the stage by security, Loomer shouted "Stop the normalization of political violence against the right! This is unacceptable!"[20] The play portrayed a "Trump-like" Caesar with a Slovenian-accented wife.[21] Loomer, who is pro-Trump, was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing.[22][23] The Public Theater responded by saying although they're "champions" of the First Amendment, the disruption was caused by "social media".[24] On June 19, 2017, Alyssa Rosenberg of The Washington Post wrote that she didn't believe Loomer was genuinely offended by the play, and that she disrupted it for attention and to collect a $1,000 bounty that was offered to anyone who would disrupt the production.[25]

On June 19, 2017, as a guest on the Fox News program Hannity, Loomer admitted she knew that disrupting the Shakespeare in the Park play would result in criminal charges against her. During the interview, Loomer compared the "Trump-like" Caesar assassination to a May 2017 video of former CNN host Kathy Griffin holding a mask of a bloody severed head of President Donald Trump, Loomer called the Caesar play and the Griffin video "assassination porn" and accused the "left" of a systematic pattern of using free speech and art as a pretext to promote violence against Donald Trump and the "right".[26]

On June 20, 2017, The Daily Beast reported that 'Free Laura', a website for soliciting donations for her arrest, was purchased by Loomer's employer Ezra Levant, the owner of The Rebel Media, six hours before the play started, according to domain records.[27] Loomer was also promoting separately a WeSearchr page for donations, that had received $12,385 from 241 contributors, receiving more money in donations than the normal penalties for the charges she was facing.[28]

2018

In January 2018, an associate recorded Loomer riding the service elevator Stephen Paddock used to transport numerous firearms used in the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting. Loomer rode the elevator from the ground floor to the 32nd floor four times without permission of the hotel and was not engaged by Mandalay Bay hotel security. Wynn had previously said, "No public person has ever ridden a service elevator (at a Wynn property) unless they were accompanied by security."[29]

Loomer attended the March 2018 trial of Noor Salman under press credentials, which were revoked after Loomer harassed Salman's family. Loomer returned to the trial the next day and was removed by a U.S. marshal.[30]

Loomer disrupted an event promoting James Comey's book A Higher Loyalty. She was taken out of the building by security.[31]

After the May 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting, Loomer implied on Twitter that the tragedy was actually staged, prompting concerns about the spread of misleading information and conspiracy theories by troll farms and social bots.[32]

In 2018, Fortune described Loomer as a "far-right provocateur".[32]

In July 2018, Loomer promoted the false narrative that a man arrested with bomb-making equipment and illegal weapons had been a "leftist antifa terrorist".[33] The individual in question was instead a conservative whose Facebook profile was littered with pro-Second Amendment memes.[33]

References

  1. ^ a b Sources describing Loomer as "alt-right" include:
  2. ^ "Rebel Media Loses Another High-Profile Contributor". Canadalandshow.com. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "Behind the Scenes with the Right-Wing Activist Who Crashed "Julius Caesar"". The New Yorker. June 19, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Woman who stormed stage during controversial Julius Caesar is arrested". Belfast Telegraph. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  5. ^ "This is violence against Donald Trump': rightwingers interrupt Julius Caesar play". The Guardian. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  6. ^ "'Do you want Trump to be assassinated?'; Rebel Media reporter arrested after storming stage of Shakespeare play with Trump-like Caesar". The Toronto Sun. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Feldman, Ari (July 14, 2017). "Laura Loomer Is The Jewish Voice Of The Far Right. Can She Tame Jew Haters?". The Forward. Retrieved July 18, 2018. 
  8. ^ Foreman, Sean D.; Dewhirst, Robert, eds. (2015). The Roads to Congress 2014. Lexington Books. p. 409. ISBN 978-1-4985-1719-5. 
  9. ^ "Two Protesters Disrupt 'Julius Caesar' in Central Park". New York Times. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. the conservative activist known for selectively edited undercover video investigations. 
  10. ^ "Blogger booed off stage after rushing 'Julius Caesar'". New York Post. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Group Claims Barry University Approved Pro-ISIS Club". NBCMiami.com. March 30, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Barry University professor files criminal complaint against student". www.local10.com. April 9, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Barry University faculty accused of supporting Islamic State terrorists". www.local10.com. March 30, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Clinton Campaign On Alert For Undercover Conservative Sting". Time.com. August 21, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  15. ^ "At NYC 'Anti-sharia' Rally, White Nationalists and Conservative Jews Find Common Ground". Haaretz. June 10, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Two Trump/Pizzagate Supporters Tried To 'Shutdown' A Shakespeare Play And Got Arrested For Their Efforts". Uproxx. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Cringe Video: Chelsea Asked to Sign Book for Bill Clinton-Accuser Juanita Broaddrick". Fox News. June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  18. ^ Tani, Maxwell. "Uber and Lyft ban far-right activist who complained about Muslim Uber drivers". Business Insider. Retrieved 2 November 2017. 
  19. ^ "Two Protesters Disrupt 'Julius Caesar' in Central Park". New York Times. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Pro-Trump protester arrested after rushing stage at controversial 'Julius Caesar' production in New York". The Washington Post. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Pro-Trump protester storms stage at 'Julius Caesar' performance". New York Daily News. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Pro-Trump Protester Arrested After Rushing Stage at 'Caesar' Play in Central Park". NBC News. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Pro-Trump Protesters Interrupt 'Shakespeare in the Park' Performance of 'Julius Caesar". Time. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Laura Loomer, woman who stormed stage during 'Julius Caesar,' is arrested". The Washington Times. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Trolls, hypocrites and performance artists are trying to hack our lives. Don't let them". The Washington Post. June 19, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  26. ^ "'Assassination Porn': Activist Defends Disrupting NYC Trump Stabbing Play". Fox News. June 19, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  27. ^ "The Domain Troll Behind Pro-Trump Stunts". The Daily Beast. June 20, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2017. 
  28. ^ ""Julius Caesar" stage crasher nets financial windfall". Salon. June 21, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Mandalay Bay security tested as two reach 32nd floor without permission". fox5vegas. January 30, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018. 
  30. ^ Jeltsen, Melissa (March 29, 2018). "Far-Right Activist Thrown Out Of Courthouse At Pulse Nightclub Trial". Huffington Post. 
  31. ^ Delk, Josh (19 April 2018). "Far-right activist interrupts Comey book event". 
  32. ^ a b Morris, David Z. (May 19, 2018). "Trolls and Bots Moved Fast to Politicize Texas School Shooting on Social Media". Fortune. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 
  33. ^ a b Kludt, Tom. "Right-wing media called him a leftist terrorist. He appears to be a pro-gun conservative". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-07-20.