The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
This past Saturday morning, the Keystone State Skinheads (KSS) held their seventh annual rally in Philadelphia to celebrate Leif Erikson, the Nordic explorer who is believed to have been the first European to land in North America. The 40 or so racist skinheads who showed up at Fairmount Park were met by about 100 anti-racist counter-protesters.
Before the rally, a shouting match took place at the staging area at the top of Lemon Hill Drive with counter-protesters screaming, among other things, “death to the Nazis, power to the people.” Afterward, both racists and anti-racists marched to the Thorfinn Karlsefni statue in the park. Karlsefni was a Nordic explorer who founded a North American settlement that lasted three years.
Members of several racist groups were in attendance besides the KSS, including Vinlanders from Indiana and Oklahoma, the Advanced White Society, the Blood and Honour “Social Club,” and the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN). Matt Heimbach of the TYN spoke at the rally. “We must stand united against opponents of our race,” Heimbach told the crowd, according to philly.com. “Our day will come and our foes will be defeated.” Also speaking at the rally was Brien James, a founder of the Vinlanders Social Club.
The organizers of the event, the KSS, were founded in 2001. At one time, the KSS had many members and several chapters in Pennsylvania, but it has dwindled as of late. In 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed only two chapters of the group, in Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Several well-known members have been arrested over the last decade for violent crimes, but in recent years, the group has tried to distance itself from those incidents. ( continue to full post… )
Some skinhead organizers, well, it seems, just can’t stop organizing the next generation of racist clubs, claiming they’ve now found the right formula. Take the case of Brien James, a tattoo shop owner from Indiana.
A household name in some racist circles, James has been organizing or attempting to organize neo-Nazi skinhead gangs since his teens. About a decade ago, he was a founder in the sometimes violent Vinlanders Social Club, a neo-Nazi gang with a reputation for drinking, fist-fighting and following a racist, pagan religion known as Odinism once practiced by Vikings. ( continue to full post… )
Criminal charges have been dropped against nine of 13 people arrested last year in Florida for allegedly participating in paramilitary training with the American Front, described by authorities as a well-armed, militia-style white supremacist group.
Only its leader, Marcus Faella, 39, still faces trial next month in Osceola County. He is charged with participating and teaching paramilitary training, attempting to shoot into an occupied dwelling, and directing the activities of a gang.
Previously, defendant Christopher Brooks, 28, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Luke Leger, 32, and Kent McLellan, 22, each received four years probation after pleading no contest to charges of participating in paramilitary training.
A man with white supremacist tattoos, accused of shooting and nearly killing two Idaho sheriff’s deputies last month, has been charged by federal authorities with being a felon in possession of a handgun. ( continue to full post… )
An Idaho sheriff’s deputy is alive today after his bulletproof vest was struck by bullets allegedly fired at close range by a 27-year-old fugitive who reportedly is a white supremacist with ties to the neo-Nazi Hammerskins.
That deputy and another officer, whose names were not released, were shot on Oct. 23 in Canyon County in southern Idaho after attempting to arrest suspect Kyle Alan Batt of Caldwell, Idaho. Batt remains hospitalized in serious condition in a Boise hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head that ended a five-hour SWAT team standoff. ( continue to full post… )
Editor’s Note: This essay by Hatewatch Editor Mark Potok was originally posted Sunday night in The New York Times online opinion section as part of a “Room for Debate” feature that also included articles from four other contributors. The essays were meant to address the question, “Is the Threat From Hate Groups Overlooked?”
One of the most troubling aspects of the mass murder of Sikhs near Milwaukee last week is that the man who carried it out was well known to groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center that monitor the radical right. The shooter, Wade Michael Page, had long been a fixture on the white supremacist music scene and was associated with seriously violent skinhead groups like the Hammerskin Nation.
But the almost certain reality is that there was little that law enforcement officials or others could have done to foresee or forestall the racist attack. Page does not seem to have done anything to suggest that he was planning a slaughter, and his views, fully protected by the First Amendment, were no different from those of thousands of other angry white nationalists.
Still, the attack occurred in the context of a sharp rise in the number of hate groups and antigovernment “patriot” organizations, mostly spurred by the changing racial demographics of our country, which are personified in our first black president. Domestic, non-Muslim terrorism has been on the rise since Barack Obama took office in 2009. Given that reality, is there something more that law enforcement should be doing? ( continue to full post… )
Wade Michael Page, the racist skinhead who killed six people last weekend at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin before turning the gun on himself, was a “patched” member of the Northern Hammerskins, a regional chapter of the larger Hammerskin Nation, the Southern Poverty Law Center has learned.
Page became a full, or patched, member of the Hammerskin chapter last October and appeared to be rising quickly in the organization, according to postings on Crew 38, the online forum for Hammerskin Nation (HSN). This year, in fact, his girlfriend, using the name “LuluRoman” on the forum, directed all regional inquiries regarding Northern Hammerskin events to Page. ( continue to full post… )
The GOP committee for Luzerne County, Penn., is trying to determine whether it can eject from its ranks a white supremacist who was elected to the committee with only one vote during the state’s April 24 primary election, the Scranton Times Tribune reports.
Steve Smith, a longtime racist activist with a history of violence and top-level ties to numerous white nationalist hate groups, reportedly won the election by writing himself in as a candidate for one of the two committee seats allotted to his district, Pittston City Ward 4.
In a statement released Monday, the Luzerne County GOP Committee denounced Smith’s “abhorrent” and “hateful” views but noted that its bylaws contain no language permitting it to expel a committee member for his or her beliefs. ( continue to full post… )
Steve Smith, a longtime racist activist with a history of violence and top-level ties to numerous white nationalist hate groups, has been elected to a 4-year term on the Republican Party’s county committee for Luzerne County, Penn., One People’s Project reports.
Recruited into the neo-Nazi movement while he was stationed at Fort Bragg in the 1990s, Smith, of Pittston, Penn., has been active in an extraordinary array of white nationalist, skinhead, and neo-Nazi groups, including American Third Position, Keystone United (formerly Keystone State Skinheads), and the Council of Conservative Citizens. He is a former Aryan Nations member and former leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, which was created by former Klan leader David Duke but is no longer associated with him. Smith also belongs to a Pennsylvania-based group called the European American Action Coalition (EAAC), which according to its website was formed in fall 2011 “by a few well known White activists in the great and historic state of Pennsylvania.” ( continue to full post… )