'Vanguard' Party Tries Out a Facelift

Neo-Nazis

In an unintended tribute to Leninist tactics, the West Virginia-based National Alliance has long styled itself as the "vanguard" of the white race: elitist, largely invisible to the public, and usually unwilling to work with other hate groups.

While it became the largest and most effective neo-Nazi organization in the United States, the Alliance mostly shied away from populist ploys and cheap publicity.

That is changing. Apparently believing that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 were a potential watershed for white nationalism, the Alliance has recently sought more cooperation with other racist groups and far greater exposure to the public — tactics that the organization has mocked mercilessly in the past.

Along with several other hate groups, the Alliance organized protests at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 10 and Dec. 15, drawing over 50 neo-Nazi supporters at each.

Then, on Jan. 12, Alliance Deputy Membership Coordinator Billy Roper joined neo-Nazi leaders from the World Church of the Creator, Hammerskin Nation and a variety of other groups who appeared at one of the largest white supremacist rallies in years, held at a public library in racially troubled York, Penn.

Many of the approximately 250 racists who attended engaged in street battles with hundreds of "anti-racists," resulting in some 25 arrests.

Also since September, the Alliance has distributed racist literature in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., and in Houston, at the premiere of a play celebrating the life of Anne Frank, a Jewish child who died in the Holocaust.

In December, the Alliance rented a billboard in downtown Tampa, Fla., posting a message that read "WTC [World Trade Center], R.I.P. — Stop immigration — NatAll.com."

The message, suggesting that Americans should blame non-white immigration for the September terrorist attacks, was taken down immediately after the billboard company learned its meaning.

As the Intelligence Report went to press, the Alliance was planning February protests at the Winter Olympics in Utah.

In a further sign that the Alliance is trying to put on a friendly face, leader William Pierce recently upbraided Roper for a private comment he made — wishing that his members had "half as much testicular fortitude" as the Sept. 11 hijackers — that was publicized by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Pierce called Roper's praise for the mass murderers "ill-advised private comments."

Meanwhile, Roper boasted privately of his group's size and finances. Presented with an estimate that the Alliance had between 2,250 and 2,750 members last fall, he claimed those numbers were "a lot closer than the SPLC's estimates" of about 1,500.

Roper also claimed that a remarkable $6.55 million estimate of the Alliance's annual gross income — much of it produced by the Alliance's Resistance Records white power music enterprise — was "a bit higher than we actually bring in, but not unreasonably so." There was no confirmation of Roper's claims.