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July 6, 2016 13

Extremists Make Plans For GOP Convention

Updated July 21, 2016

The GOP con­ven­tion in Cleve­land (July 18–21) is a key oppor­tu­nity for a range of extrem­ists and big­ots who seek pub­lic­ity to voice their sup­port or oppo­si­tion to Don­ald Trump – and their hatred for any­one who dis­agrees with them.

As the Anti-Defamation League has noted, the 2016 U.S. Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign – and one can­di­date in par­tic­u­lar – has elicited unprece­dented lev­els of engage­ment and enthu­si­asm among anti-government and white suprema­cist extrem­ist groups.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Cen­ter on Extrem­ism has been mon­i­tor­ing extrem­ists’ plans to attend the Repub­li­can con­ven­tion in Cleve­land and has shared this infor­ma­tion with fed­eral law enforce­ment agents man­ag­ing secu­rity for the event. We will share new infor­ma­tion with those agents as it becomes available.

The fol­low­ing list of expected atten­dees is var­ied, rang­ing from indi­vid­u­als to orga­nized groups. This reflects the sup­port (and some­times oppo­si­tion) Don­ald Trump receives from a wide range of extrem­ists. It should be noted, there is no indi­ca­tion that Trump  sup­ports these groups.

  • Richard Spencer, who heads the National Pol­icy, a small white suprema­cist think tank, trav­eled to Cleve­land to pro­mote his racist views. Spencer held up a sign say­ing “Wanna Talk to a ‘Racist’? and report­edly said he “wanted to demys­tify white sep­a­ratism” for the peo­ple he encoun­tered in the pub­lic square near the con­ven­tion. Spencer also report­edly attended the “Wake Up!” party hosted by con­ser­v­a­tive activists, which included con­tro­ver­sial speak­ers such as Milos Yiannopou­los and anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician.
  • Mem­bers of the anti-refugee vig­i­lante group Sol­diers of Odin USA, spot­ted out­side the con­ven­tion hall in Cleve­land, told a reporter they were there as a “com­mu­nity watch” orga­ni­za­tion and had no plans to con­front any­one unless they sensed “immi­nent dan­ger.” While they claim not to be racist, the Sol­diers of Odin USA are in fact vir­u­lently anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. The group orig­i­nated in Fin­land, but has attracted thou­sands of mem­bers and admir­ers here in the United States, many of whom are either white suprema­cists or anti-government extremists.
  • Anti-government con­spir­acy the­o­rist Alex Jones spoke at a rally for Trump near the con­ven­tion hall host­ing the RNC, where he accused “glob­al­ists” of try­ing to imple­ment a “world gov­ern­ment.” Jones runs the Infowars web­site where he pro­motes  con­spir­acy the­o­ries such as the idea that the gov­ern­ment is behind the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks and  is try­ing to strip Amer­i­cans of their rights, espe­cially their rights to free speech and to own firearms.

  • The Tra­di­tion­al­ist Worker Party is an anti-Semitic, white suprema­cist group run by Matthew Heim­bach and Matt Par­rott.  They report­edly filed per­mits to march in Cleve­land but later announced alter­na­tive plans. Heim­bach showed up out­side the con­ven­tion any­way, voic­ing his dis­ap­proval for Trump, whose poli­cies “don’t go far enough” in advanc­ing white nation­al­ism, and urg­ing fol­low­ers to write in George Lin­coln Rock­well, founder of the Amer­i­can Nazi Party.

  • West­boro Bap­tist Church: Five mem­bers of the ven­omously anti-gayand anti-Semitic Kansas church plan to be in Cleve­land to protest the Repub­li­can Party and to warn atten­dees of the “immi­nent judgment”
    Westboro Baptist Church members at a protest

    West­boro Bap­tist Church mem­bers at a protest

    fac­ing the United States. WBC mem­bers are best known for pick­et­ing the funer­als of fallen U.S. sol­diers, car­ry­ing signs cel­e­brat­ing their deaths (because God hates America’s evil ways). Mem­bers of the church are equal oppor­tu­nity big­ots: They also plan to protest at the Demo­c­ra­tic National Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia. Expect to see them car­ry­ing their usual signs – express­ing their bound­less, unmoored hatred for every­thing from gay rights to Israel.

  • Blood and Hon­our USA: This racist skin­head group is the Amer­i­can chap­ter of a loose inter­na­tional con­fed­er­a­tion of hard­core racist skin­heads.  Some mem­bers of Blood and Hon­our USA have in the past com­mit­ted vio­lent acts.  One of the group’s lead­ers announced on social media that he and a num­ber of other mem­bers would be in Cleve­land sup­port­ing Trump and wear­ing t-shirts bear­ing the Totenkopf (death’s head) – a sym­bol used by the SS in World War II.

    William Johnson of American Freedom Party

    William John­son of Amer­i­can Free­dom Party

  • Amer­i­can Free­dom Party: This white suprema­cist group is headed by attor­ney William John­son. John­son made head­lines in the spring of 2016 with his “robo­calls” to vot­ers in cru­cial pri­mary states, entreat­ing peo­ple to “defend the white race” by vot­ing for Trump, and again in May when it was revealed that he was on the list of Trump del­e­gates for Cal­i­for­nia. Blam­ing a “data­base error,” the Trump cam­paign removed John­son from its list, but AFP responded with this glee­ful Face­book mes­sage:  “…here’s what they don’t know: we have more delegates!”
  • David Riden (Trump del­e­gate from Ten­nessee): Mem­ber of the anti-government Patriot Move­ment. Riden has said he believes mem­bers of the cur­rent U.S. gov­ern­ment deserve to be killed for “abus­ing the Constitution.”
  • Jim Sta­chowiak:  Mem­ber of the anti-government Patriot Move­ment. This right-wing, rabidly anti-Muslim extrem­ist from Geor­gia will be in Cleve­land to sup­port Don­ald Trump, and has called upon “all mil­i­tary vet­er­ans, law enforce­ment vet­er­ans, fol­lowed by three-percenters, patri­ots,” to “come law­fully armed with lethal and non-lethal weaponry,” has advo­cated for Mecca to be bombed, and has made not par­tic­u­larly veiled threats against Black Lives Mat­ter activists, whom he refers to as “ter­ror­ists.”  Sta­chowiak, a for­mer uni­ver­sity pub­lic safety offi­cer turned mili­tia fan boy and online radio host, has been arrested sev­eral times.

    malik-zulu-shabazz-hashim-nzinga-charleston-south-carolina-june-2015-350x234

    The New Black Pan­ther Party at a protest in Charleston, South Carolina

  • The New Black Pan­ther Party: The NBPP will be in Cleve­land to protest against Don­ald Trump. In the days lead­ing up to the con­ven­tion, the pro­foundly anti-Semitic, black supremacy group will hold a series of protests and work­shops in part­ner­ship with Black Lawyers for Jus­tice, which is headed by for­mer NBPP leader (and cur­rent “spir­i­tual advi­sor”) Malik Zulu Shabazz. The NBPP, which is known for its calls for vio­lence against law enforce­ment, has announced plans to carry guns dur­ing its protests in Cleve­land. The New Black Pan­ther Party is not affil­i­ated with the orig­i­nal Black Pan­ther Party, whose mem­bers have harshly crit­i­cized the NBPP for “hijack­ing” the orig­i­nal group’s message.
  • Anti-Muslim activsts: Pro-LGBT con­ser­v­a­tive activists are host­ing a party called “Wake Up“ at the Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion in Cleve­land on July 19. The event will fea­ture anti-Muslim extrem­ist Pamela Geller and Milo Yiannopou­los, a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure who report­edly made anti-Semitic com­ments in the past about Jew­ish con­trol of banks and the media. Other fea­tured speak­ers include Geert Wilders, a well-known anti-Muslim Dutch politi­cian, and Ann Coul­ter, a polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor known for her extreme anti-immigrant posi­tion. Accord­ing to a post on the per­sonal blog of Pamela Geller, “The party is the out­come of dis­cus­sions among a group of gay Repub­li­cans fol­low­ing the tragic mas­sacre at a gay night­club in Orlando in June.” This appears to be an attempt to pro­mote an anti-Muslim agenda among this group of pro-LGBT conservatives.
  • The Oath Keep­ers will be on the ground in Cleve­land, osten­si­bly to “help” patrol the area, as they did with long guns dur­ing the protests in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, fol­low­ing the shoot­ing death of Michael Brown. The anti-government extrem­ist group’s web­site has denounced “rad­i­cals’” plans to protest at the con­ven­tion, and calls for vol­un­teers to par­tic­i­pate in “Oper­a­tion North Coast,” an “intel­li­gence gath­er­ing” effort. This hyper-militarized lan­guage is typ­i­cal of the Oath Keep­ers, who recruit from the mil­i­tary and law enforce­ment in their efforts to build a force capa­ble of resist­ing “gov­ern­ment overreach.”

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March 22, 2013 2

Texas Police Shoot White Supremacist From Colorado

A mem­ber of the 211 Crew, a Colorado-based racist prison gang, was shot and mor­tally wounded by police on March 21.  Police shot Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, of Den­ver, Col­orado, fol­low­ing a high-speed chase and shootout. 

The inci­dent began in Mon­tague County, Texas, when Deputy James Boyd was allegedly shot by Ebel, twice in the chest and once in the ear, dur­ing a rou­tine traf­fic stop.  Boyd, who was wear­ing body armor, suf­fered non-life-threatening injuries. 

Mem­bers from mul­ti­ple law enforce­ment agen­cies pur­sued Ebel, who allegedly fired his gun out the win­dow as he led police on a high-speed chase until he crashed into a semi-trailer truck on High­way U.S. 380 in Decatur.  Accord­ing to police, Ebel exited his vehi­cle after the crash and opened fire on police who returned fire, mor­tally wound­ing Ebel.

Ebel, a parolee from the Col­orado Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions, has a crim­i­nal his­tory dat­ing back to 2003 when he was con­victed of rob­bery.  He was also con­victed of assault­ing a prison guard in 2008.  Cur­rently, author­i­ties are inves­ti­gat­ing Ebel’s pos­si­ble con­nec­tion to two El Paso County, Col­orado, mur­ders which occurred ear­lier this week, includ­ing that of Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions Direc­tor Tom Clements. 

Ebel is the sec­ond 211 Crew mem­ber killed by police in just over a year.  In Feb­ru­ary 2012, Jere­miah Bar­num of Engle­wood, Col­orado, was shot and killed by police after he allegedly ignored an officer’s orders to stop, and instead reached for a gun in his waist­band.  Bar­num, who was a high rank­ing mem­ber of 211 Crew, was con­victed in 1999 of being an acces­sory after the fact to the race-based mur­der of a West African immi­grant in Denver.  

211 Crew Tattoo

The 211 Crew, named after the Cal­i­for­nia penal code for rob­bery, also known as the Aryan Alliance, was started in the Den­ver County Jail in 1995 by Ben­jamin Davis.  In 2007, Davis was con­victed of oper­at­ing a crim­i­nal enter­prise from prison that sold drugs and ordered attacks on inmates and oth­ers out­side prison.

The gang con­sists of sev­eral hun­dred mem­bers who are recruited in prison, but con­tinue their crim­i­nal activ­i­ties after their release, includ­ing attempted mur­der, assault, rob­bery, rack­e­teer­ing, bribery, wit­ness tam­per­ing, and drug dis­tri­b­u­tion.  As with most racist prison gangs, any white suprema­cist ide­ol­ogy they might have is sec­ondary to their orga­nized crime or crim­i­nal enter­prise motives. 

This shoot­ing, the sec­ond this month, is a con­tin­u­a­tion of a string of at least 30 shootouts between police and domes­tic extrem­ist in the United States since 2009.  Ear­lier this month police fatally shot anti-government extrem­ist Jef­fery Allen Wright fol­low­ing a four-hour stand­off in Florida.

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