Research indicates that a number of white nationalist and anti-government activists plan on attending these rallies, but the event in Batesville, Arkansas is particularly alarming because it is being organized by longtime neo-Nazi Billy Roper.
Roper promoted the event on Stormfront, the neo-Nazi message board founded by former Klan leader Don Black. Roper wrote, “Yes, we are the organizers for the March Against Sharia rally in Batesville, Arkansas, this coming Saturday, June 10th, at noon, at the RiverSide Park at the main concert stage. I will be giving a speech on the progress of Arkansas' state anti-Sharia law, and discussing Muslim immigration in general.” Roper also claimed that that representatives from his ShieldWall Network will be in attendance at the ACT events in Indiana, New York, California and Texas.
A recent podcast recorded by Roper indicates that he has not gone rogue with organizing this event, instead he has been actively working with ACT to organize it.
Roper indicated that he was on a recent call for rally leaders, which was organized by ACT. He also divulged that a number of anti-government figures were also on the call. He called the conference call “productive.” Roper said he has been organizing his event for weeks, calling it a “stand against Muslim immigration.” Roper’s event is listed as an official rally location both on the ACT website and on the closed Facebook group being used to organize the event.
Roper’s father and grandfather were Klansmen. He joined the neo-Nazi National Alliance, which was for decades the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi formation in America, and rose to become Arkansas unit leader in 1999. Around the same time, he joined the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the group that served as Charleston terrorist Dylann Roof’s gateway into white nationalism.
On September 11, 2001, Roper sent out an email to the Alliance's membership of some 1,400 people regarding the World Trade Center attacks:
"The enemy of our enemy is, for now at least, our friends. We may not want them marrying our daughters, just as they would not want us marrying theirs. We may not want them in our societies, just as they would not want us in theirs. But anyone who is willing to drive a plane into a building to kill jews [sic] is alright [sic] with me. I wish our members had half as much testicular fortitude."
Roper was active in the white nationalist scene throughout the 2000s notably working with Klan leader Thomas Robb of Harrison, Arkansas. More recently Roper has embraced Christian Identity, become an author of plodding, implausible racist novels, and expounds on all things white on his Roper Report website.
While the ACT events are set to attract a number of white nationalists and others, their acceptance of Roper — an outspoken racist for years— is telling. ACT has come under fire already this year for the extremism of its members. Allowing Roper to organize one of the March Against Sharia events is yet another example of the figures ACT embraces.