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April 25, 2016

White Supremacist Events Coincide With Hitler’s Birth Week

Marking the anniversary week of Adolf Hitler’s April 20th birthday, several neo-Nazi and Klan groups held collaborative events over the weekend of April 23. Four such events were held within approximately 150 miles of one another in north Alabama and central Georgia.  adl-blog

  • The United Klans of America (UKA) hosted a private event in Alabama which included a cross burning and several Klan weddings.  The event was open to all members of the Black and Silver alliance which consists of the UKA, the Sadistic Souls (an Illinois-based faction of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations), James Logsdon’s small faction of the Creativity Movement, and Missouri and Tennessee members of the Right-Wing Resistance (a neo-Nazi group that originated in New Zealand.)
  • The neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) hosted a rally at the Law Enforcement Center in Rome, Georgia. Approximately 100 people from various white supremacist groups attended the event, including the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the Texas Rebel Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.  Other attendees included Arthur Jones (a long-time Illinois neo-Nazis and Holocaust denier), Ted Dunn (leader of the SS Action group), and Eric Meadows, who has been linked to the neo-Confederate League of the South. The hateful rhetoric of rally speakers, who intermittently shouted “white power” and “Sieg Heil,” was largely drowned out by counter protesters. Two counter protesters were arrested for disorderly conduct.
  • Approximately two dozen people participated in a white power event at Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park. The poorly attended event, organized by white supremacist John Michael Estes and Klansman Greg Calhoun, was intended to protest leg­is­la­tion that would allow changes to exist­ing Con­fed­er­ate dis­plays and mon­u­ments, as well as a plan by the Stone Moun­tain Memo­r­ial Asso­ci­a­tion to install a mon­u­ment in Martin Luther King’s honor.  The small group held confederate flags and a banner that read “Diversity = White Genocide.” Several counter-protesters threw rocks and fireworks at police, and set a barricade on fire. At least eight counter-protesters were adewayne-stewartrrested and charged with violating Georgia’s mask law, and one was arrested for allegedly throwing smoke bombs at police.
  • On the evening of April 23, ralliers from both the Rome and Stone Mountain events attended a private after-party near Temple, Georgia. The event included white power music and the burning of both a cross and a swastika.

These collaborative events demonstrate the willingness of some Klan groups to practice a Nazified version of Klan ideology and to form symbiotic relationships with neo-Nazi groups.  With both the neo-Nazi movement and Klan movement in decline joint events can help mask the small numbers that individual white supremacist groups are able to generate.

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March 2, 2016

While Vying For Attention, Small California Klan Encounters Conflict

The Loyal White Knights (LWK) had every intention of holding a “White Lives Do Matter” protest on Saturday, February 27, 2016, at Pearson Park in Anaheim, California. But before the event could kick off, a bloody brawl erupted between Klan supporters and counter-protesters.

Klansmen, barely able to exit their cars, were suddenly swarmed by counter-protesters who wrestled Bill Hagan, the California LWK’s Grand Dragon, to the ground. Other Klan members were similarly attacked, and as the chaos continued, Klan members stabbed three counter-protesters, apparently with the tip of a flag pole, leaving one critically wounded.

Six Klansmen were arrested, but they were released on February 29, after law enforcement determined they were acting in self-defense. Seven anti-Klan-protesters were booked by the Anaheim Police Department on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and for elder abuse (after stomping on a senior Klan member).

(At any potentially inflammatory protest, separating the protesters from any counter-demonstrators is critical – it protects even the most hateful speech while ensuring the safety of everyone involved. This separation was clearly not achieved – or maintained – in Anaheim).

Like other Klan groups around the country, the Loyal White Knights say they represent the increasingly “endangered” white population, which they claim makes up a mere 9 percent of the world’s population. In fact, Klan groups themselves appear to be the only “endangered” entity: The ADL has identified about thirty active Klan groups in the United States, slightly down from the 2014 tally. Most Klan groups range in size from small to very small; chapters are often comprised of a single local member.

As a feint against their diminishing influence, Klan groups continue to use attention-getting stunts to attract publicity.  For example, in 2015 the International Keystone Knights made headlines for appealing an “adopt a highway” court ruling in Georgia while the Knights Party drew media attention after sponsoring a pro-white billboard in Arkansas.

The most common Klan tactic, however, continues to be the use of fliers to broadcast their racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and increasingly Islamophobic message. In 2015, the ADL counted 85 Klan fliering incidents, an increase from 73 incidents in 2014.  In the last six months, the very small California Loyal White Knights group has caused an outsized stir in a number of California cities, including Whittier, Santa Ana and Anaheim, as neighbors discovered candy and rock-filled bags with pro-Klan messages on their front lawns. As the Anti-Defamation League has previously noted, this leafleting activity is actually a desperate publicity tactic, and reflects Klan groups’ declining stature and membership.

Today’s Klan groups tend to be irresolute, short-lived and in a constant state of flux.More than half of the currently active Klans were formed just in the last five years. While a few longstanding Klans, still exist, they are mere shadows of their former selves. In fact, two prominent Klans disbanded in Late 2015: Mor­ris Gulett’s Louisiana-based Aryan Nations Knights and Ron Edward’s Kentucky-based Imperial Klans of America.

As befits the groups’ shrinking ranks, public Klan events are increasingly rare. There were only two public Klan events of consequence in 2015.  In July, members of the Loyal White Knights and the Trinity White Knights joined members of the neo-Nazi Nationalist Socialist Movement in protesting the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House.  In March, approximately 20 Klansmen rallied in Montgomery, Alabama, at an event honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the 1920s, according to some historical accounts, Anaheim’s Pearson Park was the site of events that attracted upwards of 20,000 Klan supporters. This past weekend’s protests and violence involved six Klan supporters — and while that certainly epitomizes the state of today’s Klan, the group’s historical baggage and undeniable notoriety means that even one Klan member has the potential to spark considerable pain and upset.

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June 20, 2013

FBI Arrest Two In Bizarre Alleged Radiation Plot

FBI agents arrested two upstate New York men on June 18, charging them with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists for an alleged plot to build a “mobile, remotely operated, radiation-emitting device” to kill people at a distance with X-ray radiation.  Arrested were Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, from Providence, and Eric Feight, 54, from Stockport.

crawford-criminal-complaint

Selection from criminal complaint

According to the criminal complaint filed by the FBI in court, Crawford, with help from Feight, spent more than a year attempting to obtain the components for constructing such a radiation device, which they allegedly hoped to sell. To obtain money for financing the construction, Crawford allegedly approached both Jewish institutions in New York (they quickly contacted the authorities) as well as the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.

The criminal complaint alleges that Crawford himself variously claimed to be or to have been a member of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a Midwest-based Klan group that does not have an organized presence in New York, though it may have isolated members in the region. In recent years, Klan activity in New York has been minimal at best. Publicly, Crawford tended to align himself not with white supremacist groups but with conservative and Tea Party causes and groups.

It is very unusual that a purported Klan member would approach Jewish organizations for help (especially with regard to illegal activity), but Crawford’s ire seems to have been directed primarily at Muslims. The criminal complaint provides a number of alleged instances of anti-Muslim sentiments on the part of Crawford, as well as suggestions that Muslims (including a “Muslim organization”) were one of the intended targets. 

Other targets allegedly discussed included a “political party” and “a political figure.”  The latter two seem to have been the Democratic Party and Barack Obama. According to the criminal complaint, both Feight and Crawford independently made statements expressing their unhappiness with the 2012 elections. In April 2013, Crawford allegedly sent a text message to someone in which he claimed that Obama (“your treasonous bedwetting maggot in chief”) has been bringing Muslims (“muzzies”) into the United States without background checks.  “This administration has done more to enable a government sponsored invasion than the press can cover up,” Crawford allegedly sent.

FBI agents were aware of Crawford’s alleged activities from an early stage and brought in numerous undercover agents and confidential informants—including allegedly a member of the Loyal White Knights—to act as purported backers of Crawford’s plans.  At no point does it seem that Crawford and Feight had the means with which to construct a radiation weapon or use it.

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