White Nationalists Attacked at Family Restaurant in Chicago

Lunchtime diners at a normally sedate restaurant in a Chicago suburb were treated to a rude shock on May 19 when 18 intruders, dressed in black and wearing masks, stormed in and began swinging steel batons, hammers and chairs. Their targets: white nationalists who were holding a strategy session.

Ten people were injured, and the owner of the Ashford House restaurant in Tinley Park estimated the attackers caused up to $15,000 in damage.

Police arrested five Indiana men on felony charges related to the attack, which appears to have been organized by a group that fights racism with violence. Two of the participants in the meeting were also arrested.

The attack came during a meeting of the Illinois European Heritage Association, a strategy session organized on the white nationalist Web forum Stormfront.

Five Indiana men who allegedly joined 13 others in brutally attacking a white nationalist luncheon in a Chicago-area restaurant have been arrested. Police say they were affiliated with a group called Anti-Racist Action.
Most of the white supremacists fled immediately, though three were treated at local hospitals, according to news reports. The two meeting participants arrested after the melee were Steven Speers of North Dakota, on an outstanding warrant for possession of child pornography, and Francis Gilroy of Florida, for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Tinley Park police said the suspected attackers were apparently affiliated with a group calling itself South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action. Charged were: Jason Sutherlin, 33, of Gosport, Ind.; Cody Sutherlin, 23, Dylan Sutherlin, 20, and Alex R. Stuck, 22, of Bloomington, Ind.; and John Tucker, 26, of Spencer, Ind. They face charges of felony mob action, felony aggravated battery and felony criminal damage to property, according to Tinley Park Police Chief Steven Neubauer.

At press time, police were still searching for the 13 other attackers.

In taking responsibility for the attack, Anti-Racist Action (ARA) said organizers of the white nationalist meeting included Shawn Kayden and Jeffrey Burns of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), and Beckie Williams of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC).

The ARA website pledges to fight racist and fascist groups partly “by denying (them) the opportunity to monopolize public spaces and by denying racists and fascists the chance to turn public spaces into spaces that are hostile toward people of color, women, immigrants, queers and trans folks, the disabled and others.” As a practical matter, that has frequently meant illegal violence.