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Alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos was banned from a popular furry convention on Monday after announcing he was planning to attend, presumably as a snow leopard–a fursona he said he recently adopted.
After hearing of Yiannopoulos’ registration, convention-goers expressed their concern, prompting Midwest FurFest to release an initial statement on Twitter Sunday. It announced that it was investigating the matter because attendees’ “safety is of the utmost importance and is not being ignored.”
We have received a number of mentions and support tickets today - we assure all attendees that your safety is of the utmost importance and is not being ignored. We are investigating all concerns being relayed to us.— Midwest FurFest 🌻 (@FurFest) September 15, 2019
In a later statement, Midwest FurFest confirmed that Yiannopoulos did register for the event and said that the Midwest Furry Fandom board had rescinded Yiannopoulos’ registration and banned him from all Midwest FurFest events, for life.
“Mr. Yiannopoulos’ attendance at the convention may lead to an inability to provide a safe and welcoming experience for convention participants,” Midwest FurFest wrote in a statement on Monday.
Self-registration for our event does not imply a given individual’s presence is condoned or appropriate.— Midwest FurFest 🌻 (@FurFest) September 16, 2019
Our full statement is below, along with a link to our Code of Conduct: https://t.co/bf78xOGSOo pic.twitter.com/0CnTi6AbYt
Now, Yiannopoulos is threatening to crash the convention, and participants are once again concerned. Yiannopoulos released his emails with the Midwest FurFest press team and the Midwest Furry Fandom board on Telegram, a new Neo-Nazi hub–and not by the neo-Nazis’ choice, but because it’s the only platform that hasn’t taken steps to deplatform them.
In one of the emails, Yiannopoulos said he booked two hotel rooms, under two different names–both of which are not his–which he said granted him “unfettered access to hotel facilities.” He then gave the Midwest FurFest 24 hours “to act” and “rescue this relationship.”
In a separate, yet equally threatening, email, Yiannopoulos wrote that he was “coming anyway” and bringing friends with him. “Get ready,” he wrote.
Here's Milo's response to MFF. He insists he's attending anyway, having gamed the room lottery to get two con hotel rooms. I've got a feeling the hotel will deal with implied threats. pic.twitter.com/GZqzGXHo3I— Teko (@TekoOtter) September 16, 2019
Midwest FurFest told the Daily Dot that it had no additional comment on the new developments and then directed the Daily Dot to its earlier, official statement.
Disclosure: Milo Yiannopoulos was the founder of the Kernel, a publication the Daily Dot acquired in 2014.
Eilish O'Sullivan is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism and government at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.