Operation Tunnel Rats began to take shape when we discovered the Freedom of Expression Tunnel at North Carolina State University, a place where anyone could express themselves in any manner they saw fit. We gathered our supplies; spray paint, paint rollers, tape, respirators, backpacks, and cameras. One of our local members designed a stencil that could be folded like an accordion into a small square that fit in the palm of your hand, but unfolded when in use, requiring three people to hold. Spending the last week obtaining the material and reviewing our plans, we worked out the details for a quick maneuver.
We gathered at the meeting site prior to departure to go over everything one last time. Once the crew was fully present, we set about packing the gear and the vehicles with all the materials required for the operation. Driving to the site was an adventure in and of itself. A motorcyclist laid his bike down in front of us and we pulled over to provide aid. Our medic was quick to ensure that the driver was in good health, and after discovering that he had only suffered some bruising, we turned the situation to the other cyclists in his party and went about our way. If ever anyone was to question the heart and caring of this organization, our actions speak louder than words.
We continued down the road in the quiet, still air of the Carolina night. Our dark path only interrupted by the emerging skyline of Raleigh, the capitol of North Carolina. The excitement was mounting as the men began to prepare themselves mentally for the operation we had prepared so hard for. Only now, on the crest of the moment, did we begin to understand the impact our message was about to have.
We arrived on campus and made our way through the parking lot down to the Tunnel entrance. Without hesitation, we set about marking the boundaries of the projected stencils with painters-tape and spray paint. The Tunnel was half a football field long, and we needed to mark both sides for the operation. The amount of materials required was significant. With swift precision, the parameters of the first layer of paint were set out.
Setting upon the task, the men used paint rollers and trays to coat the centre of the walls with a one foot strip spanning the length of the tunnel on both sides. When we had finished, we unfolded the stencil assembly to leave our mark. The men worked without distraction with cameras were in their faces, making sure to never lose sight of the end goal or proper technique. Removing the stencil for the first time, we saw the beautiful teal words and symbol of Identity Evropa.
As we set about the second instance, a couple of students came into the tunnel. We had been given the heads up by our sentries, so it wasn’t a surprise to us. They quickly inquired as to what we were doing, saying things like “I’ve never seen anyone put so much effort into this tunnel” and “this amazing work guys, what’s it for?”. We told them that we were identitarians, and after explaining our ideas, they were visibly fascinated with the concepts. We asked if they would care to join in and they happily agreed. It was a testament that the work we are doing is emboldening others who have a deep seated discomfort with the contradictions of our society’s contemporary culture. The encounter was a nice mid-game boost of confidence. After they helped us with two instances of stenciling, they departed with a friendly goodbye and told us that what we were doing was great. As they left we heard them say to each other, “That’s what freedom of speech is all about”. The elation of the men was apparent and the mood of the operation maintained itself as jovial.
The men operated like clockwork gnomes, never once stopping to rest or faltering in their efficiency. In over an hour we had completed our mission, covering both sides of the tunnel in a deliberate, uniformed marking that was impossible not to see by anyone who would pass through the next day. We placed stickers and flyers around the entrances of the tunnel and surrounding parts of campus, just for extra effect. North Carolina State University was the last major University in North Carolina we needed to hit to complete our list for the state. Finishing strong, and sent a message to the students of North Carolina that we are here in force, and that we are here to stay.
We packed up our gear, took some last-minute photos of the crew, looked over our work, and departed in the same fashion we arrived. We went out for breakfast to rehash what had just transpired and to continue the bonding experience that one can only get from being around ones’ people and enjoying the exhilarating determination of spirit brought about by such comradery. It was truly an experience that could only come from such an organization as Identity Evropa, one of brotherhood, unity and the will to shape one’s own destiny.
The Freedom of Expression Tunnel at NC State University was the biggest project for the Carolinas group to date. It took a lot of planning and a sizeable crew of dedicated individuals willing to put everything they had into the completion of the operation. It showed true talent, skill and perseverance by everyone involved. We put real effort into this, and not just for ourselves, but to show our brothers and sisters that with a bit energy and determination, you can accomplish your goals. You can bring to light the greatness within yourself, you just have to be motivated to succeed. The community that is Identity Evropa helps to bring out such fervor, and we want you to be successful with us.