For decades, freedom fighters around the world have developed bold, cunning, and occasionally bizarre tools to fight fascism and white supremacy.
Now, a Florida brewery is adding a new weapon to the arsenal: free beer.
In advance of a planned speech by notorious white nationalist Richard Spencer, local hop-smith Alligator Brewing Company is offering a draft on the house to anyone who brings in two tickets to the event to throw away.
The brewery hoped to dispose of enough tickets to confront Spencer with a host of empty seats.
“The thought of putting tickets in the hands of those who may have opposing ideas was already bouncing around town, and we realized we were in a position to up the ante a bit,” Aaron Kahn, Alligator’s head brewer and operations manager, tells Upworthy.
Kahn says his neighbors and customers overwhelmingly oppose the event, which is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 19.
“Most everyone we spoke to were against [Spencer’s] arrival,” he explains. “Violence seems to follow him and his words suggesting that this nation belongs to one race are dangerous.”
He believes Gainesville is “smart and prepared” to deal with any fallout from the speech.
After the deadly act of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the city is taking few chances. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in advance of the event, citing a need to ensure the “entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe.”
Unfortunately, on Saturday, Spencer told the Miami Herald that he was aware of the brewery’s plan to scrap the tickets in exchange for beer.
“We’re going to have a system in place to combat that,” he promised.
Tickets were initially made available at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts box office, according to a Washington Post report.
After Alligator Brewing’s post went viral, the National Policy Institute, the Spencer-led group sponsoring the talk, went ahead and picked up all the tickets, which it now plans to distribute first-come, first-serve in person before the event.
Despite the last-minute roadblock, the brewery hasn’t given up. Their customers may have to line up the morning of the event to snag the tickets, but they can still exchange them for beer.
“We are so incredibly proud to be part of community that will rally together for the greater good,” Kahn says. “We stand by our pledge if we can find a way to redirect some of those unused tickets.”
So … who wants a cold one?