Counsel of Citizens
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The meetings of the right-wing Council of Conservative Citizens' "National Capital Region" chapter are held in the upstairs room of a cozy little café on Wilson Boulevard. Here, over coffee and beer, the defenders of white supremacy conspire, grumbling about Third World immigration and the Jews ruling Hollywood.
Below, a waitress from Latin America serves hot chocolate and espresso, chatting with patrons in Spanish about the many varieties of Peruvian potato.
Arriving at a meeting in December, the first thing the visitor notices while signing in on the CCC roster is David Duke's brand-new autobiography on the table for sale. On another table, copies of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's column, "Protecting our Borders," lie alongside a handout entitled "AIDS: The Fruits of Interracial Mating."
Directing the proceedings is a dynamic man who gives his name as Mark Cerr — but who is actually a Briton with a neofascist background named Mark Cotterill. Cotterill gives a brief CCC history, followed by a political description of its members as "Buchananites," sympathetic to the ultraconservative message of Pat Buchanan.
From there, the meeting gets rolling.
Did the Mossad Kill JFK?
Next up is Michael Collins Piper, a correspondent for the anti-Semitic Spotlight tabloid who explains that Israel was actually behind the Kennedy assassination. Piper gets progressively angrier as he talks about the Jews he says control Hollywood.
It is a strange crowd and a strange meeting. Piper is accompanied by a black bodyguard, who sits quietly by a table stacked with literature from white supremacist groups, his eyes shielded by dark sunglasses. He is the only person of color present.
An elderly woman wearing a bright red muffin hat sports a button protesting the "death tax." At one point, a young blonde woman in a sheer blouse makes the rounds of the room with a hat collecting donations.
With the exception of the second woman and a handful of shaven-headed youths sitting in the back, it is an older crowd, reflecting the age of the much of the CCC's membership. Out of the crowd of 63, only five are women.
Piper ends with a comment on how sick he is of hearing about the Holocaust, and how he just doesn't care how many Jews died.
Now Cotterill opens the floor to comments, inviting one very tall, imposing man to the podium.
Jesus as 'Sissy'
"Don't be yeller!" this speaker shouts suddenly, raising both fists in the air and jolting his sleepy afternoon audience in their seats.
"Only the Nazis can compete with the Jews! Until we form a group like that, we ain't gonna get anywhere. We need a young movement of guys ready to do things. That's the only way to save this country."
The audience is wide awake now.
"We've got to stick together to be white, but collaborate with the other races against that one man-made race — the Jews," the man exhorts. "Jesus has been written up in history as a sissy with all that turn-the-other-cheek stuff.
"We gotta get tough, folks."
With this recommendation, 80-year-old DeWest Hooker — who later says coyly that he "may be" a member of the CCC — steps down. Another person takes the podium and begins to disagree with Hooker. He starts by explaining he is half-Jewish.
He doesn't get much farther.
"How much did they pay you to come here?" Hooker yells angrily. There is a rumbling among the youths. "Maybe you're at the wrong meeting!" one of them yells.
And maybe this man is. No CCC leader stands up to defend him. No CCC leader explains that this organization does not support national socialism.
The next CCC speaker drones on and on about impeachment. Finally, the meeting ends with an invitation from Cotterill to all present to join CCC members at a restaurant just two doors down.
On the menu? "European food."