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Dees Runs for Sierra Club Board

In an attempt to avert a 'hostile takeover' of the Sierra Club by anti-immigration activists, Center co-founder Morris Dees is running for the board of directors of the well-known environmental organization.

Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), is running for the board of directors of the well-known environmental organization, the Sierra Club. The candidacy is part of an effort to bring attention to what Dees has called an attempted "hostile takeover of the Club by radical anti-immigrant activists."

The following information further explains the ongoing battle within the Sierra Club.

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  • UPDATE: The anti-immigration agenda is voted down by Sierra Club members on April 21.

  • UPDATE: The Associated Press covers the results of the Sierra Club election.

  • UPDATE: Dees' Sierra Club candidate statement, urging members to stop the "greening of hate."

  • UPDATE: An interview with Robbie Cox, Club board member and former director, from the Intelligence Report, Spring 2004.

  • The Washington Post discusses the battle for control over the Sierra Club and how it is part of the organization's determining how best to leverage their influence in national politics.

  • Anti-immigration extremist John Tanton's connections to the Sierra Club fight are explored in a Denver Post article.

  • A Los Angeles times article giving in-depth coverage of the internal battle and the various leaders involved.

  • A Teaching Tolerance exclusive interview with Intelligence Report editor Mark Potok about the current Sierra Club controversy.

  • An Oct. 21, 2003 letter from Mark Potok, editor of the Center's Intelligence Report, to Sierra Club President Larry Fahn. 

  • The Puppeteer, an article from the Summer 2002 Intelligence Report detailing the activities of anti-immigration activist John Tanton, the first person to suggest a takeover of the Sierra Club.

  • The 1986 "WITAN memos" (memo to FAIR from Tanton, memo to FAIR from then-executive director Roger Conner, and WITAN IV attendees), co-authored by John Tanton, first mention the Sierra Club as a target and also contain bigoted language.

  • A notice in the Fall 2003 issue of The Social Contract, a journal published by John Tanton, (download cover through page 2 and Sierra Club announcement on page 55) asking immigration reductionists to join the Sierra Club by the end of 2003 to help "redirect" the Club toward an anti-immigration position. (PDFs)

  • Keeping America White, an article from the Winter 2003 Intelligence Report about anti-immigration activist Peter Brimelow and his hate site. VDARE is helping to champion the attempt to take over the Sierra Club.

  • includes information and documents provided by opponents of the Sierra Club takeover attempt.